SafeWork NSW targeting illegal sale of fireworks on social media this long weekendMedia Release | 26/09/2017
SafeWork NSW is targeting the illegal sale of fireworks on social media in the lead up to the October long weekend.
The illegal sale of fireworks on social media sites such as Facebook is a growing problem with SafeWork NSW working closely with NSW Police Force to crack down on this activity and keep the community safe.
Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said anyone who buys, sells or uses fireworks without a SafeWork NSW licence faces heavy fines or imprisonment.
“Fireworks are not a novelty item, they are regulated under explosives laws because they are an explosive that can cause serious injuries and even death,” Mr Dunphy said.
“They should only be set off by trained and licensed individuals who know how to manage the risks and ensure everyone’s safety.
“SafeWork NSW is working in conjunction with Police to identify individuals advertising fireworks illegally online and prevent them being sold to unsuspecting users.
“Sellers as well as suppliers will be targeted this long weekend with fireworks advertised on social media cross-referenced with fireworks suppliers to determine their origin.”
Mr Dunphy said SafeWork inspectors will also be conducting random inspections at fireworks displays to ensure license holders are complying with their licence requirements.
“SafeWork NSW records show that over the past two years there have been three fatalities from illegal fireworks and numerous serious injuries, including burns and loss of limbs,” he said.
“Almost two tonnes of illegal fireworks has also been seized resulting in two prosecutions, including a 10 month custodial sentence.
“SafeWork inspectors will be conducting spot checks of single-use licence holders and licensed pyrotechnicians this weekend.
“Any licence holder found to be breaching their licence faces on the spot fines of up $2,500 and having their licence cancelled.
“So the message is simple, if you’re thinking about buying or selling illegal fireworks on social media or conducting an unlicensed fireworks display, the authorities are watching and you will face significant penalties if you are caught.”
In NSW, the possession, use, storage and transport of display fireworks is restricted to SafeWork NSW licence holders. Licensed pyrotechnicians are also required to notify authorities before a fireworks display, including Police, Fire and Rescue NSW or the NSW Rural Fire Service and Council. Anyone caught selling or purchasing fireworks without a licence faces fines of up to $27,000 and 12 months in jail and anyone caught displaying fireworks without a licence faces penalties of up to $27,500.
In the lead up to Australia Day 2017, SafeWork NSW worked closely with NSW Police to target individuals attempting to sell illegal fireworks on social media. SafeWork issued $10,000 in on the spot fines and cancelled two fireworks licences as part of the operation.