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Employer cited for poor training, safety in worker's fireworks death


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited and proposed $42,000 in fines against a Texas employer for a fireworks explosion that killed a 21-year-old employee.

OSHA initiated an inspection following the July 2015 fireworks explosion at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas, which fatally injured the employee while she was taking an inventory of the pyrotechnics for an outdoor musical production, according to an agency news release issued on Tuesday.

OSHA issued six serious citations against Canyon, Texas-based Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Inc. for failing to train workers on the use of explosives, provide fire retardant clothing, perform a hazard assessment and develop a written hazard communication program, according to the release.

“A 21-year-old worker, with three months of work experience under her belt, lost her life because Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation failed to provide appropriate training and protective equipment to workers handling pyrotechnics,” Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA's area director in Lubbock, Texas, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the nonprofit tourism group could not be immediately reached for comment.

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