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Our Accident and Injury at Work Solicitors on firework dangers

By Principal Lawyer, Occupiers and Public Liability

Our Personal Injury Solicitors recently acted for a number of clients who were injured in an explosion at a firework factory where fireworks had been stored in a large metal container, similar to those seen on the back of lorries and in the hold of a ship (known as an ISO container) and which exploded a firework factory in East Sussex in December 2006.

Our Injury at Work Solicitors, took the claim to trial in February/March 2013 and following an 8 day trial a lengthy judgment was provided by the High Court finding in favour of our clients.

The purpose of this blog is that I note with concern that there has been a huge explosion at a firework festival in Japan. Early indications are that propane gas cylinders which are notoriously dangerous and which were being used at food stalls, exploded.

No doubt further investigations will reveal the actual source of the explosion and the purpose of this brief comment is to note again, that whilst fireworks are very enjoyable (and when used safely, rarely if at all give rise to the risk of an injury occurring), on occasions explosions can arise.

Fireworks are very basically made up of explosives and when combined therefore and in the correct unique circumstances, their presence can result in a traumatic outcome and they should therefore be treated with the respect that they deserve.

One of the most important aspects which arose from the recent trial is the information that is available to the emergency services. It was surprising how very little information had been disseminated to fire fighters on the ground dealing with fireworks and as to their explosive nature. The common thought, certainly prior to the explosion in December 2006 was that fireworks simply go bang and create a nice colourful display. Little information had been passed down to the fire officers despite this knowledge being available, that in a confined area and with sufficient quantities the effect can be drastic.