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Industry Best Practices

A wide variety of possible solutions can be implemented to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury associated with retail sales of fireworks. Example solutions include the use of good electrical safe work practices, use of signage, lockout/tagout, housekeeping, emergency action plans, and fire prevention plans. This page provides example industry best practices to control hazards.

American Pyrotechnics Association (APA)

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

  • Emergency Response Information for Consumer Fireworks (1.4G). Includes information for emergency responders:
    • During normal handling, storage and transportation, no chemical composition is released or exposed.
    • However, in the event of a vehicle fire or intense heat reaching the cargo area, the fireworks are likely to ignite. They will burn, spreading burning particles over a limited area. A mass explosion is not expected. Smoke and potentially-irritating gases will be produced in such a fire.
    • If fireworks are spilled in an accident but are in no danger of being ignited, they can safely be picked up and repackaged. The area should be kept clear of non-essential people while this is being done.
  • Storage of Consumer Fireworks. Provides information about finished “consumer” fireworks, they will:
    • not mass explode in a fire situation, because of the limited amount of pyrotechnic composition permitted in each individual unit.
    • merely burn at a controlled rate, and the fire can be fought by conventional methods. Such a fire could be fought using standard protective equipment, and the spread of the fire could be minimized by the application of water.
    • not require great separation distances when consumer fireworks--packaged, finished form--are stored in a warehouse.
    • not pose a fire hazard different from that of other combustible materials when stored in a typical retail sales location.
International Code Council (ICC)

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

  • International Fire Code (IFC). Addresses fire safety in new and existing buildings and together with the International Building Code, comprehensively references national standards.
    • Chapter 33: Fireworks and Explosives.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

  • 1, Uniform Fire Code, 2006 Edition. Incorporates provisions form NFPA's Fire Prevention Code and Western Fire Chiefs Association's (WFCA's) Uniform Fire Code into one far-reaching document that serves the need of every jurisdiction. The 2003 Code offers guidance on vital fire prevention and fire protection topics.
    • Chapter 65, Explosives, Fireworks, and Model Rocketry.
  • 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, 2006 Edition. Provides guidance on equipment distribution, placement, maintenance, operation, and inspection, including testing and recharging.
  • NFPA 13, Standard Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 2002 Edition. Provides guidance for the character and adequacy of water supplies and the selection of sprinklers, piping, and valves.
  • 101, Life Safety Code, 2006 Edition. Adopted as law by jurisdictions in most states, the Life Safety Code has grown in scope to provide a minimum building design, construction, operation and maintenance requirements needed to protect building occupants from the dangers of fire, smoke, toxic fumes, and panic.
  • 1124, Code for Manufacture, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles, 2006 Edition. Regulates the construction, use, and maintenance of buildings and facilities for the manufacture and storage of fireworks at fireworks manufacturing facilities; the storage of display fireworks and pyrotechnic articles at other than display sites, the retail sales of consumer fireworks in retail sales facilities, and the transportation of fireworks on public highways.
    • Chapter 7, Retail Sales of Consumer Fireworks. Applies to the retail sales of consumer fireworks at consumer fireworks retail sales facilities or stores.
Using Consensus standards to support a 5(a)(1) Citation

A consensus standard can be used to show "industry recognition" of a hazard. However, the hazard must be recognized in the employers' industry, not an industry other than the employers’ industry.

Section 5(a)(1):

  • is not used to enforce "should" standards
  • is not used to require abatement methods not required by a specific standard.
  • is not normally used to cover categories of hazards exempted by an OSHA standard.

    The general duty provisions can only be used where there is no standard that applies to the particular hazard involved.

Background Section 5(a)(1):

Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

The general duty provisions can only be used where there is no standard that applies to the particular hazard involved.

Evaluation of Potential 5(a)(1) situations

Employer failed to keep workplace free of hazards to which employees of that employer were exposed.

  • Must involve a serious hazard and employee exposure
  • Does not specify a particular abatement method – only that the employer keeps the workplace free of serious hazards by any feasible and effective means.
  • The hazard must be reasonably foreseeable.

The hazard was recognized.

  • Industry recognition
  • Employer recognition
  • Common-sense recognition

The hazard caused or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Feasible means to correct the hazard were available.

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