Work with explosives
Blasting and rock work are common in a wide range of activities, for example in mines, building and construction work, rock and gravel quarries, and in forestry and agriculture.
Blasting is carried out in rock to extract minerals, to prepare for the construction of buildings and tunnels, for laying pipes or cables. Blasting work often involves various types of preparatory rock work such as drilling and charging. Blasting and rock work is risky and must be carried out and managed by persons with specific expertise and experience.
The Work Environment Authority has special rules for blasting and rock work, which must be complied with. It is particularly important that all those involved in the workplace are informed about the risks and how to behave at locations where explosive work is carried out.
Applies to all types of explosive work from 1 January 2020
From 1 January 2020, the provisions on explosive work as a whole apply to all types of explosive work. The exemption for so-called ‘explosive powder-actuated tools and gas generating compositions’ expired on that date.
Expertise and experience required
A person working as a so-called blasting base shall have proven theoretical knowledge and 1 year’s practical experience. ‘Traineeship’ is defined as the conduct of explosive work under supervision. For what is termed ‘less-complex explosive work’ in the regulations, the blasting base needs only to have a proven theoretical knowledge of this type of explosive work and at least two years’ professional experience Professional experience means experience as a charger, rock driller or experience from other professions closely related to explosive work.
Explosives workers need to have a good knowledge of the risks and how to avoid them. The requirement stipulating that theoretical knowledge must be documented can be met by a certificate from the training provider. One way of documenting knowledge is by means of a ‘blast card’.
In addition to those who detonate and manage the blasting work, appropriate knowledge of blasting and rock work is required for those who:
- drill into rock;
- carry out various rock works (e.g. rock clearing, rock reinforcement);
- handle, store and transport explosives;
- are machine operators for rock and blasting work;
- project-manage and coordinate rock work.
Permit required for work within a detailed planned area, during transport and storage
In order to carry out blasting work within a detailed planned area, a special permit is also required from the police. The transport and storage of explosives is also subject to authorisation.
Blasting work in the health and safety plan for construction work
If explosive work is carried out as part of building and construction work, it must be described and included in the health and safety plan.
Last updated 2020-12-30