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Lack of training caused fatal workplace injury to 21-year-old

It is vital for employers of new workers in Oklahoma and other states to provide the necessary safety training that will prepare them for any potentially dangerous job situations they may encounter. This covers all industries and is not limited to those typically regarded as dangerous, such as the construction sector. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into an incident in which a worker suffered a fatal workplace injury in a July fireworks explosion in a neighboring state.

Investigators said the 21-year-old woman who lost her life was an employee of a company in the performing arts sector. Reportedly, she had only been working with the company for three months when the explosion occurred. In preparation for an outdoor production, she was supposed to take an inventory of the pyrotechnics required for the show. The cause of the explosion was not reported.

Before workers can handle explosives, they must receive proper training, and OSHA investigators determined the company failed to train workers appropriately. The business was also cited for its failure to provide personal protective equipment such as fire retardant clothing for those handling the pyrotechnics. OSHA inspectors also determined that hazard assessment and a written emergency communication program were not part of the company's safety protocol.

Money was likely the furthest thing from the minds of the surviving family members of this young woman immediately after her death from a fatal workplace injury. However, facing the high costs of end-of-life arrangements and the sudden loss of her income may have caused financial difficulties. Fortunately, workers across the country, including in Oklahoma, are covered by the workers' compensation insurance system, and dependents of deceased workers may pursue death benefits claims to ease the financial burden.

Source:, "OSHA Cites Performing Arts Employer After 21-Year-Old Worker was Fatally Injured from a Pyrotechnics Explosion", Feb. 2, 2016

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