Department of Labor cites entertainment company in Orlando fireworks warehouse blaze, explosion in which 4 workers perished
ORLANDO, FL – A Florida-based entertainment company could have prevented a deadly fire and explosion at an Orlando warehouse in December 2022 in which four employees perished and a fifth was left hospitalized for months with near-fatal injuries, a federal workplace safety investigation has found.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that, as a team of workers employed by Magic in the Sky Florida LLC readied fireworks for a local show, an ignition sparked a fire and explosions in the storage facility. The five employees, who ranged in age from 22 to 27 years old, quickly found themselves trapped.
Following its investigation, OSHA found the company failed to protect its employees by following established safety protocols and issued citations for 10 serious violations. Specifically, the agency determined Magic in the Sky failed to do the following:
- Ensure proper storage of explosive materials used in commercial fireworks displays.
- Comply with OSHA’s process safety management standard for preventing or minimizing the unplanned ignition of explosive materials, by performing a hazard analysis, and developing and implementing written process safety procedures and an emergency action plan.
- Ensure electrical equipment in the work area was designed and classified for use in hazardous locations and could not serve as an ignition source.
- Develop a hazard communication program and maintain safety data sheets.
The company faces $109,375 in proposed OSHA penalties, an amount set by federal law.
“The deaths of four young workers and a fifth worker’s life-changing injuries exposed Magic in the Sky’s systemic failures that likely led to a fire and explosion the company could have prevented, which only adds to the tragedy,” said OSHA Acting Area Office Director Audrey Windham in Orlando, Florida. “Companies that use pyrotechnics must ensure safety protocols are strictly followed to protect workers from catastrophic consequences.”
Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, Magic in the Sky Florida, LLC is an entertainment services company that specializes in pyrotechnics for use in aerial fireworks displays.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.