Employees, citizens at risk of North Carolina fireworks accidents

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys wish each of you a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.

For those of you on the job this weekend, including our law enforcement officers, construction crews and city and county park and recreation employees, we thank you for helping keep the roads and local fireworks displays and other activities safe and enjoyable for the thousands of residents and visitors who will be out enjoying the long holiday weekend.
Employees and citizens alike should plan to stay safe around fireworks this weekend. As News 14 reports, many types of fireworks are banned in North Carolina, including those that fly through the air, spin on the ground or explode. But even legal fireworks — including sparklers, fountains, smoke bombs and snaps — can cause serious injury. In other cases, an employee can be injured in a North Carolina fireworks accident when asked to handle fireworks or otherwise perform tasks to assist with a company or municipal function.

“We see a lot of hand injuries from fireworks exploding in their hands, or people think that the firework is a dud, so they go over to it to check on it, and then it goes off and it may go off in their face,” emergency physician Amy Griffin said. “The other thing is sparklers. Even though they’re fun and they’re pretty, they’re very hot, so we see kids with hand injuries and hand burns from the sparklers.”

One-third of all fireworks accidents involve children under the age of 15 and nearly half injure young people under the age of 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The threat of a North Carolina fireworks injury to an employee or citizen is very real. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that about 200 people a day are injured by fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday. Each year, about 9,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks injuries.

The most frequent injuries occur to the hands, eyes, head, face and ears. Common injuries include burns, contusions, lacerations and foreign objects in the eye. Typical causes of fireworks injuries include high-grade fireworks used by consumers, operator error, being too close to fireworks, child curiosity and experimentation with homemade devices.

If you are injured in a fireworks accident in North Carolina, or while celebrating the holiday on business or public property, contact the North Carolina workers’s compensation lawyers and personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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