Safety Alert: Fireworks Firm Faces Fines

Monday, December 9, 2013 @ 05:12 PM gHale

A New Jersey pyrotechnics manufacturer and fireworks display firm, Garden State Fireworks, is facing $48,300 in fines for 12 safety violations at the company’s facility in Millington, NJ, according to officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s inspection began in May under its Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program.

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Eleven serious violations included the employer’s failure to:
• Compile process safety information on the dangers of highly hazardous chemicals, technology and equipment
• Keep records showing employee training
• Provide effective training to employees required to use respirators and chemicals
• Establish and implement written procedures to maintain the integrity of process equipment
• Provide a written respiratory program
• Provide a medical evaluation for workers required to use respirators
• Develop and implement a written hazard communication program, plan of action regarding the implementation of employee participation, and operating procedures for conducting activities safely in each covered process
• Perform an initial process hazard analysis and perform inspections and tests on process equipment to maintain mechanical integrity
• Properly guard a radial saw
• Develop an emergency plan for the plant and ensure exits discharged directly outside or to a street
• Fit test workers required to use a tight-fitting facepiece respirator

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“Ensuring that proper safety precautions are in place is crucial for workers who handle pyrotechnics,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “Employers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the job and taking appropriate measures to protect workers from serious injuries or death.”

One other-than-serious violation, which carried no penalty, was for failure to provide Appendix D training to workers wearing respirators on a voluntary basis. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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