This Saturday marks our nation’s 239th birthday. Most Americans will celebrate our country’s Independence Day with friends and family. Many will enjoy fireworks under evening skies.
As an organization dedicated to keeping workers safe, we’d like to take this opportunity to share that we are very proud Americans. Arbill is a GSA certified Contract Holder, which allows state and local governments to purchase from Schedule 84 for law enforcement and security products and services. So in addition to protecting the workers of growing businesses throughout the United States, Arbill is dedicated to serving U.S. government agencies – brave men and women who serve and protect our nation every day.
We also want to take the opportunity to remind you to be especially safe on July 4th. Fireworks are dangerous and can kill. Every year we hear heartbreaking stories of people who have been injured – some severely – because they took risks or were not prepared to handle dangerous fireworks.
In preparation for July 4th celebrations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging employers in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to protect their workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks for public events.
As Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels shared the other day, “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. It is vital that employers take the required steps to ensure workers' safety and health."
In a statement released by OSHA, a worker was killed last summer and another critically injured in an explosion and fire at a fireworks storage facility in Kansas. Two employees were directed to use a gas-powered forklift to move pallets of fireworks and cardboard out of an explosives storage facility in Pittsburg when the gas ignited, which caused an explosion and fire. OSHA cited the employer, Lone Star Management, with nine serious safety violations and proposed $55,000 in fines.
OSHA's Web page on the pyrotechnics industry addresses retail sales of fireworks and fireworks displays. Information on common hazards and solutions found in both areas of the industry, and downloadable safety posters for workplaces are available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/pyrotechnic/index.html. It also includes a video that you can view at http://www.osha.gov/video/fireworks/index.html. The video demonstrates best industry practices for retail sales and manufacturers based on National Fire Protection Association consensus standards.
We support OSHA with this important initiative to keep workers safe. Not just on the 4th of July, but all year ‘round.
Fireworks and explosions remind us of fire in the workplace. Since fire is one of the most common hazards in the workplace, it is important for employees to know how to properly use a fire extinguisher if a fire should break out at the work site. OSHA mandates that employers develop and implement a written Fire Protection Program for each facility. Employees required to use portable fire extinguishers (PFE) must receive training on the proper use, classification, maintenance, testing and storage of PFE.
Arbill can provide assistance in meeting OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.157 fire extinguisher requirements through training and conducting facility audits. Additionally, we offer a number of safety products designed to protect workers from fire.
We wish you a safe and healthy Independence Day!