Be aware of the safety hazards this Fourth of July

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and with the Independence Day celebrations, many people forget about the safety hazards that put many workers in Pennsylvania at risk. Every year after the Fourth of July, new reports highlight stories about firework-related injuries but they often forget to discuss how workers suffer injuries as well during this holiday.

Fireworks can be very dangerous for everyone and the most common types of injuries include burns and eye injuries. These types of injuries are often a result of people not following safety precautions when using fireworks, including sparklers which are more dangerous than they seem. Everyone should follow safety tips when handling and using fireworks this year to prevent workplace injuries that will ruin the Independence Day celebration.

Most people know that handling fireworks are dangerous but what are the risks workers face? Workers are at risk for the same injuries anyone handling fireworks is subjected too. However, there are additional safety hazards that workers should be aware of when working with the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry this holiday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has tried to raise awareness in the fireworks industry to help keep workers safe from hazards when they are manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks in Pennsylvania and around the U.S. this year.

Employers are responsible for keeping their workers free from serious injuries and death while working in the fireworks industry. Employers should make sure to properly train and educate workers about the hazards of working with fireworks while they are being manufactured, stored and displayed to prevent accidents and injuries that can commonly happen due to the high amount of chemicals used to make fireworks.

Workers and employers should be aware of the risks associated with working with fireworks and take appropriate steps to reduce those risks so everyone can enjoy the Fourth of July this year.

Source: EHS Today, “Keeping the Fourth Fun and Safe,” Sandy Smith, July 2, 2013

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