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June 30, 2011
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA cautions on the dangers of using fireworks

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cautioned employers in the fireworks/pyrotechnics industry to protect their workers from hazards they face while handling fireworks for public events.

With July 4 rapidly approaching, retailers are stocked up on fireworks and communities across our Nation are planning to celebrate Independence Day with impressive pyrotechnic displays. Unfortunately, these exciting activities also bring the potential for tragedy for workers who handle these dangerous materials.

"Workers who are not properly trained and protected from hazards in this potentially volatile industry are at an increased risk of serious or fatal injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Employers who manufacture, sell, display or work around pyrotechnics need to recognize potential hazards and prevent worker injuries. This holiday weekend is a time for family and fun, but it should not be at the expense of the workers who play such a large part of our celebrations."

OSHA offers a Safety and Health Topics page that addresses two sectors in the pyrotechnics industry: retail sales of fireworks and fireworks display. The Web page includes descriptions of common hazards and solutions found in both areas of the industry, downloadable safety posters for workplaces where fireworks are handled, and a video demonstrating best industry practices for retail sales and manufacturers based on National Fire Protection Association consensus standards.

The OSHA website references other federal standards associated with the industry, such as those of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, both of which address consumer use of fireworks.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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