FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Release No. SPR-13-0627-01
Nicole Racadag, AIHA Communications
New CPSC data reveals that more than 8,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2012
FALLS CHURCH, Va.
(June 27, 2013) — In advance of next week’s Independence Day celebrations, the American Industrial Hygiene Association®
(AIHA) is urging pyrotechnics industry workers to be cautious when handling fireworks and fireworks displays for public events and activities. According to the 2012 Fireworks Annual Report
released yesterday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in 2012. More than 5,000 consumers were treated around the fourth of July in emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries.
“With the July 4 festivities quickly approaching, we urge employers and workers in the fireworks industry to exercise increased caution when manufacturing, storing and transporting fireworks,” said AIHA President Barbara J. Dawson, CIH, CSP. “Increased safety awareness is crucial to the health and well-being of workers in this industry, as well as consumers, during this time of year.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website includes a directive
that describes inspection guidance and OSHA requirements as they apply to pyrotechnics facilities and operations. The website also contains information on common hazards found in the fireworks industry and downloadable safety materials for the workplace.
Fireworks-related injuries have been an area of concern in the occupational health and safety industry, most recently since the April 2011 explosion
that took place in a fireworks storage facility in Hawaii, resulting in the deaths of five workers. Following its investigation of the incident, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a report
in January 2013 calling for new regulations on the safe disposal of fireworks. CSB highlighted the “regulatory gap” pertaining to fireworks disposal in the U.S. and noted that there are no industry codes or standards that provide safety guidance on fireworks disposal. At present, OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard applies to fireworks manufacturing, but not to fireworks disposal.
Founded in 1939, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is the premier association of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. AIHA’s 10,000 members play a crucial role on the front line of worker health and safety every day. Members represent a cross-section of industry, private business, labor, government and academia.