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Disability Benefits

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With the Fourth of July just around the corner, fireworks stands are gearing up for the 10-day window in which they are legally allowed to sell their products. Although the spirit of the holiday is fun and relaxation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a notice for “increased safety awareness” in the fireworks industry in preparation for the 4th.

Fireworks are, by nature, volatile and explosive, with the potential to cause extreme property damage and personal injury. The OHSA announcement restates important guidelines for sale of any fireworks in the United States, from obtaining all necessary state and local permits, strictly prohibiting smoking within 50 feet of sales areas, and keeping fire extinguishers operational and accessible. The OHSA also requires all employees involved in the sale of fireworks to participate in safety training. Employees should also be aware of their ability to gain disability benefits if they are injured on the job.

The increased watchfulness comes after a tragic March 2012 incident, in which three workers at Missouri-based Global Pyrotechnic Solutions Inc. suffered severe burns after several pyrotechnics exploded. OHSA fined the company more than $117,000 for violating important explosive safety guidelines. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels reiterated the need for safety of pyrotechnics employees.

“Employers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the job and taking appropriate measures to protect workers from serious injuries or death,” Michaels said.

Last year in San Diego, the Big Bay Boom 4th of July show quickly went south after a computer malfunction launched all the show’s fireworks at once. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the incident, which produced a miraculous fireball above the San Diego Bay.

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