It's busy season in the pyrotechnic industry.
Across the country, firework operators are gearing up for another amazing Independence Day weekend of colors, noise, and fiery explosions.
While we all look forward the sights and sounds of the events, the pyrotechnic experts running those shows face a weekend of extreme danger and potential disaster. Every year, we hear fresh stories of displays gone array, operators maimed and killed by the entertainment they are trying to produce.
"Millions of Americans will enjoy the excitement and beauty fireworks bring to the 4th of July holiday, but we must recognize the dangers workers in the pyrotechnics industry face every day," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "It is vital that employers take the required steps to ensure workers' safety and health."
OSHA offers these 10 tips to protect fireworks display operators:
- Make sure personnel are trained and competent.
- Obtain required licenses, permits and inspections.
- Maintain display site security and communications.
- Wear protective gear and proper clothing.
- Prohibit accidental ignition sources.
- Properly install mortar boxes, racks and drums.
- Keep fireworks cartons closed.
- Keep fireworks dry and in good condition.
- Always handle fireworks carefully.
- Stay away from loaded mortars.
Read the full take on the potential hazards of firework displays at EHS Today.