USGS Home Page

U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 38

Blasting Safety

38.1  Purpose and Scope.

A.  To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health Program (Program) requirements for the Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS) blasting safety requirements.

B.  This chapter covers all USGS personnel who use, transport, or store explosives or blasting materials as recognized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms or the Department of Transportation (DOT).

C.  This chapter supplements those requirements established for occupational use and storage of explosives by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.109) and transportation of explosives by DOT (49 CFR 173, Subpart C).

38.2  Authorities/References.

A.  29 CFR 1910.109, Explosives and Blasting Agents.

B.  445-1-H Chapter 20, Explosives, USGS Safety and Environmental Health Handbook.

38.3  Requirements.

A.  The transporting, handling, storage, and use of explosives, blasting agents, and blasting equipment shall be directed and supervised by a qualified Blast Officer. The Blast Officer shall be a person knowledgeable and with proven experience and ability in blasting operations.

B.  All personnel who participate in blasting operations shall receive initial training in basic explosives safety. Individuals shall receive additional training in explosives safety commensurate with their assigned responsibilities. Refresher training shall be provided every three years for persons who regularly participate in blasting operations.

C.  Prior to the use, storage, or handling of explosives covered under the scope of this chapter, a blasting plan shall be prepared by a competent individual with proven experience and ability in blasting operations.

D.  The blasting plan shall be site specific and shall at minimum address the following:

(1)  Designation of a qualified individual as Blast Officer who has authority over all actions and operations related to blasting. List the names, qualifications, and detail responsibilities for all personnel involved with the blasting or who will otherwise be responsible for transporting, handling, or storing the explosives. In addition, list all incidental personnel and other personnel authorized to be within the danger zone during blasting operations.

(2)  Dates and location of blasting.

(3)  Type and quantity of explosives and detonating or initiating devices to be used at the site. In addition, a running inventory of explosives and blasting agents stored at the site shall be maintained.

(4)  Means of transporting explosives and provisions for storing and securing explosives on site.

(5)  Ensure that all applicable permits and licenses have been obtained.

(6)  Minimum acceptable weather and static conditions and considerations for stray radio frequency energy and electrical currents where electrical initiation will be used.

(7)  Standard procedures for handling, setting, wiring, and firing explosive charges.

(8)  List of required PPE.

(9)  Minimum standoff distances/means for clearing/controlling access to blast danger areas.

(10)  Procedures for handling misfires and other unusual occurrences.

(11)  Emergency action plan, including the following:

(a)  Phone numbers of local emergency response organizations (rescue, ambulance, fire department, police).

(b)  Location and phone number of nearest medical services facility.

(c)  Actions to be taken when a person is injured.

(d)  A copy of a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each explosive or other hazardous material expected to be used.

(e)  Personnel not listed on the blasting plan shall not be allowed on site without approval of the blast officer. All personnel shall receive a safety brief prior to entering the blast area. A roster shall be maintained of all personnel within the blast area.

(f)  A copy of the blasting plan shall be maintained at the blasting site(s) and office locations.

38.4  Responsibilities.

A.  Bureau Safety Manager.

(1)  Develops appropriate policy, procedures, and plans and provide Bureau-wide program oversight and direction.

(2)  Conducts periodic evaluations of Regional Headquarters and sampling of regional science programs to determine the effectiveness and degree of blasting program administration and implementation and makes recommendations for improvements as appropriate.

(3)  Develops template products to assist the field in meeting blasting plan and other chapter requirements.

B.  Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Provide regional program oversight and direction.

(2)  Provide technical assistance to Regional Safety Officers and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s), supervisors, and managers in identifying, developing, and approving blast safety training programs.

(3)  Conduct reviews of blasting programs during regional science program reviews and inspectionsto determine the effectiveness and degree of confined space entry program administration and implementation and make recommendations for improvements, as appropriate.

C.  Regional Safety Officers.

(1)  Assist regional science program CDSPC’s, supervisors and managers in identifying, developing, and approving blast safety training programs.

(2)  Conduct reviews of blasting programs during regional field location program reviews and inspections.

D.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s).

(1)  Assist supervisors and managers in identifying, developing, and approving blast safety training programs.

(2)  Conduct reviews of blasting programs during organizational program reviews and inspections.

E.  Organizational Managers and Supervisors.

(1)  Oversee the development of an approved blasting plan by an individual of proven ability and experience in blasting operations that meets the minimum requirements of this chapter.

(2)  Provide training in explosive use for personnel using and handling explosives to include information contained in the blasting plan.

(3)  Provide immediate supervision and direction of an individual of proven ability and experience in blasting operations for personnel that do not have sufficient training and experience to perform explosive work alone.

(4)  Verify that at least two employees on any blasting project are trained in basic first-aid and CPR.

(5)  Verify that any employee required to operate a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting explosives is qualified and trained. Should the vehicle be required to be placarded based on the quantity or hazardous nature of its contents, the operator of the vehicle shall have a valid State commercial driver’s license.

F.  Blast Officer.

(1)  Directs and supervises the transport, handling, storage, and use of explosives, blasting agents, and blasting equipment.

(2)  Provides all personnel who participate in blasting operations initial and refresher training in basic explosives safety commensurate with their assigned responsibilities.

(3)  Prepares a blasting plan for the use, storage, or handling of explosives including the elements covered under the scope of this chapter.

(4)  Maintains secure storage and inventory of type/quantity of explosives and detonating or initiating devices used.

(5)  Provides for safe means of transporting explosives and provisions for storing and securing explosives on site.

(6)  Obtains all applicable permits and licenses.

(7)  Assures minimum standoff distances/means for clearing/controlling access to blast danger areas and establishes procedures for handling misfires and other unusual occurrences.

(8)  Develops an emergency action plan for each site operation.

(9)  Provides a safety briefing prior to entering blast area and restrict site access to only personnel listed on the blasting plan.

(10)  Maintains a roster of all personnel within the blast area.

(11)  Maintains a copy of the blasting plan at the blasting site(s) and office locations.

G.  Personnel.

(1)  Adhere to all basic explosives safety procedures and to all additional safety procedures described in the blasting plan.

(2)  Attend required blasting or explosives safety training programs.

(3)  Assist supervisors in developing the blasting plan.

38.5  Additional Resources.

A.  Institute of Makers of Explosives, http://www.ime.org/

B.  Hazardous Materials Classification Placards (Explosives), http://klbproductions.com/yogi/hazmat/placards/

C.  Department of Treasury List of Explosives, http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explor_pub/listofexp.htm

D.  Public Law 91-452


SM 445-2-H Table of Contents || Handbooks || Survey Manual Home Page
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/445-2-h/ch38.html
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Content Information Contact: wrmiller@usgs.gov
Last modification: 14-Jan-2005@14:12 (kk)