Eyes are on the skies this week as the nation celebrates Independence Day with fireworks displays. The public is warned each year of the dangers of personal fireworks and handheld sparklers, and even adults setting off fireworks may be injured to the point of requiring hospitalization and temporary disability. However, few probably consider the danger involved in assembling the explosives.
Recently, California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a local industrial explosives manufacturer almost $300,000 for failing to provide protection and training to employees working with explosives. The fines followed nine citations for safety violations, including three categorized as willful-serious. The violations stem from an incident that occurred in December in which a technician was injured.
The technician had been preparing explosives in tubing called Small Column Insulated Delays and was mounting the 79 tubes on an aluminum tray. When she attempted to secure the SCIDs with tape, 75 of them exploded, seriously injuring the technician. Cal/OSHA says the same company was cited for similar violations in 2015 and again in 2007 when an explosion was so serious that an employee was airlifted to a hospital.
It seems obvious to state that working with explosives is a dangerous job that requires careful supervision, diligent training and quality protection devices. Explosions at close range may result in severe burns and loss of limbs, which may make it difficult or impossible for an employee to return to work. While workers' compensation provides permanent or temporary disability for those employees, they would benefit from the advice of a California attorney who will work tirelessly to pursue recovery of the maximum benefits possible.
Source: safety.blr.com, "Explosives maker cited, again, in California injury case", June 28, 2017