Purpose of blast plans
The Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 require the preparation of a blast plan and written blast records before an explosive is used to blast rock or similar solid material, or to damage, destroy or demolish anything, whether on or under land or water.
The purpose of a blast plan is to:
- detail the objectives of the project or task
- identify risks, hazards and controls
- identify site-specific requirements
- introduce blasting as part of the overall task
- control the blast process from design to initiation, evaluation and misfire treatment
- implement a review process to ensure the objectives are met
- assure the safety of the public, site personnel and surrounding properties.
By maintaining written records of the use of explosives as part of the blast plan, details of the conduct of the blast and post-blast analysis are properly documented. This could be important if there is an incident or complaint in relation to the blast.
Who is responsible for preparing a blast plan?
The following people must prepare a blast plan or ensure that one is prepared:
- person for whom the shotfirer is working
- person who has control and management of the work that necessitates the use of the explosive
- person who has the control and management of the place where the explosive is used.
The shotfirer licence holder must make a proper written record of the blast within seven days of the use of an explosive.
Refer to r. 129 Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007.
Important note: In a mining context, it is the responsibility of the mine manager and principal employer to ensure relevant legislative requirements are met under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 and Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007.
Keeping a record of the blast plan
The following persons need to keep a written record of the use of an explosive for two years after its use:
- the holder of a shotfirer licence (unless the holder was employed under a contract of service when using the explosive)
- the person for whom the shotfirer was working when using the explosive, whether under a contract for services or a contract of service
- the person who has the control and management of the work that necessitated the explosion.
A record must be kept as an inspector of mines may require the document to be produced at any time, or the department’s Chief Officer under the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 may, at any time, make a written request for a copy before a specified date.
In mining operations, the manager of the mine or the principal employer at the mine would be required to hold copies or originals.
A guide and templates are available to assist the mining industry and other blasting operations to prepare a blast plan and records about the blast that address the key requirements of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007.
The guide below is based on sections A2 and A3 of Australian Standard AS 2187.2 Explosives – Storage and use – Use of explosives.
Australian Standard AS 2187.2 Explosives – Storage and use – Use of explosives is available from Standards Australia.
Refer to rr. 129, 130 and 134 Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007
Use of the blast plan templates is not mandatory and organisations may already have a blast plan that complies with the relevant regulations. However, familiarity with this guide and templates will ensure awareness of the statutory obligations and assist in determining the type and level of information required.
Template for use of explosives in general blasting operations
Templates for use of explosives in mining
Mining blast plans are a requirement of both the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 and Mines Safety and Inspections Act 1994 (available below).
The Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 are invoked in r. 8.1A of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 (available below).