New Blasting Checklists – Are you compliant?

By on February 12, 2012

GAVIN MOREIRA , Administration Officer of the CMPA provides an overview of the recently developed blasting checklists.

THE CMPA has recently developed two new blasting checklists – Shotfirer’s Book and Magazine Management Safety Checklist which are now available to purchase at a cost of $25 for Members and $45 for Non-members. The need for new documentation came about as a result of the removal of health and safety obligations, particularly the management of explosives within extractive industry sites, from the Department of Primary Industries in 2005.

As a consequence of this change explosive record books are no longer being printed at the government printers. Numerous members had contacted the CMPA for information as to where to obtain these books, with some parties photocopying the old books.

Furthermore there had been significant changes to the way explosives were being managed at extractive industry sites; for instance:

  • how they are delivered to sites,
  • many operators engaging contractors to undertake rock-on-ground contracts,
  • operators undertaking parts of the drill and blast program, subcontracting sections out, or
  • sites undertaking the delivery of explosives without magazines onsite.

The wider community has also become more conscious of the importance of tracking and management of explosives records as a result of terrorist attacks.

With Blast Management Plans (BMPs) being enshrined in Dangerous Goods legislation in 2011 and required at all quarry sites, it was apparent that detailed evidence was required to underpin regulatory obligations.

These two publications are the first two tools designed to assist in meeting these obligations and to ensure compliance with the Dangerous Goods Explosives 2000 Regulations and AS2187.1 – 1998 Appendix J.

The development of the books has taken close to two years to complete, starting back in March 2010 with a small group of members. Thank you to Bob Ferguson, Moree Quarries for bringing this issue to the attention of the CMPA all those years ago.

In October 2010 the CMPA held a Blast Management Workshop where over a thousand years of industry experience was present to provide their input and expertise. Several meetings later with members and WorkSafe Victoria have culminated in two finished products.

Blast at Allstone Quarry

The new Shotfirer’s Book was developed to ensure that all blasting details were recorded and reports on the blast collated in accordance with AS2187.2: Explosives – Storage and use. Part 2: Use of explosives.

The book was also designed to ensure checklists were being completed by Shotfirer’s prior to the blast and that there was compliance with the sites Blast Management Plan (BMP).

The second new book Magazine Management Safety Checklist (also comprises an Explosive Stock Record section) was developed to ensure members are complying with changes to the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011 which came into effect in June last year. The magazine needs to be kept in a good and safe working order as well as hold the licensed amount of explosives and comply with AS2187.1-1998 Appendix J.

Part two of the book is made up of Explosive Stock Record sheets, which allows the quarry manager to keep an ongoing record of quantities of detonators and explosives within the magazine.

The CMPA strives to educate industry participants with the development of resources in an attempt to increase the overall safety of the industry.

The obligation lies with the owners and directors of companies to ensure that employees have a safe working environment which is not a risk to their health. The incident below highlights the need for such resources:

A Tasmanian quarry worker narrowly escaped with his life earlier this month aft er a blast was detonated in close proximity to his vehicle. The sub-contractor was on-site at the quarry to undertake drilling operations, but hadn’t been signed onto the pre-blast checklist.

The explosives company that had been employed to conduct the blasting had loaded the drill holes, with the shotfirer unwinding the bell wire to a point 150m from the blast site.

Workers then worked through the checklist, gave the all clear and sounded the blast siren. After a final visual check and a last radio communication, the shotfirer detonated the blast. Unknown to him, however, the drilling sub-contractor had returned to the drill rig, only 20-30m from the blast site. Incredibly, he was unharmed.

According to the Workplace Standards Tasmania, the incident occurred because of a number of oversights. Primarily, the driller had not been signed into the quarry entry point, partly because traffic management plans and exclusion zones were inadequate. Likewise, the shotfirer commenced the blast preparation procedure before ensuring all personnel were outside the exclusion zone.

Problematically, it was the explosives company that communicated the “all clear” and “OK to proceed”, not the quarry as required.

While the sub-contractor was lucky to survive the incident this time, had things gone differently, the company could have been liable for three years’ imprisonment and a $780,000 fine, along with the tragic consequences of a loss of life.

To order a Shotfirer’s Book or Magazine Safety Checklist contact the CMPA on Phone: 1300 267 222 or Email: enquiries@cmpavic.asn.au

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