For more information on this topic, see COMPLIANCE 101: 7 Key Elements of the Explosives Requirements
KNOW THE LAWS: Who’s Permitted to Work with Explosives
Here’s what the OHS regulations in each jurisdiction say about who’s permitted to work with, handle or otherwise use explosives:
|FED||Canada OHS Regulations:
1. All blasting using dynamite or other explosives must be done by a qualified person who, where required under the laws of the province in which the blasting is carried out, holds a blasting certificate or such other authorization as may be required under those laws [Sec. 10.25].
|AB||OHS Code 2009:
1. An employer must ensure that a worker who handles, prepares, loads, fires, burns or destroys an explosive is:
a. a blaster (defined as a worker who holds a valid blaster’s permit issued under the
OHS Regulation); or
b. under the direct supervision of a blaster [Sec. 468(1)].
1. Only the holder of a valid blaster’s certificate issued by the Board or acceptable to the Board is permitted to conduct or direct a blasting operation, and then only if the work involved is within the scope of that certificate [Sec. 21.5(1)].
2. A blaster may be assisted by persons who don’t hold blaster’s certificates, but the blaster must have authority over the assistants and must exercise visual supervision over them and be responsible for their work during explosive loading, priming, fixing or firing [Sec. 21.5(3)].
|MB||Workplace Safety and Health Regulation:
1. An employer must not authorize or permit a charge to be prepared, fixed or fired, or a misfire to be handled, by anyone other than:
a. a blaster (defined as a person who holds a valid blaster’s certificate issued under Part 34 (Explosives)); or
b. a person who is:
i. working under the direct personal supervision of a blaster, and
ii. undergoing training to obtain a blaster’s certificate. [Sec. 34.11(1)].
2. If a blaster is assisted by a person who isn’t a blaster, the blaster must ensure that all work carried out by the person is done under the direct personal supervision of the blaster [Sec. 34.12(2)].
1. An employer must ensure that a blasting operation is conducted by a blaster, who holds an appropriate certificate of qualification issued under the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Act for the work involved [Sec. 147(1)].
2. No person other than a blaster with the appropriate certificate of qualification may conduct or supervise a blasting operation [Sec. 148(1)].
|NL||OHS Regulations, 2012:
1. Blasting must be performed under the direct supervision of a blaster who’s present at the project and who holds a valid blaster’s certificate, which authorizes the performance of the particular type of work that the blaster is to conduct or supervise [Sec. 419(1)].
2. A person, other than a blaster, may not:
a. prime a charge;
b. make a connection which leads or which may lead from the explosive charge to a blasting machine, a blasting switch, safety fuse or a shock tube initiating system including a NONEL;
c. connect a delay or sequencing device or program the delay or sequence for the blast; or
d. fire an explosive charge [Sec. 419(5)].
|NT/NU||Explosives Use Act:
1. No person may explode or cause to be exploded any explosives in the Territories unless he or she is the holder of a permit issued under this Act [Sec. 2].
2. No person, other than the holder of a permit or a person under the supervision and control of a holder of a permit, may handle or place an explosive for the purpose of arranging, preparing or causing an explosion [Sec. 3].
|NS||Blasting Safety Regulations:
1. An employer must ensure that a blasting operation is under the direction and control of a blaster [Sec. 6(1)].
2. Only a blaster, a blaster apprentice working under the close visual supervision of a blaster, or a blaster assistant working under the close visual supervision of a blaster may do any of the following:
a. prime a charge;
b. make a connection that leads from a charge to a blasting machine, a blasting switch, a safety fuse, or a shock tube initiating system;
c. connect a delay or sequencing device for a blast;
d. program a delay for a blast; or
e. fire a charge [Sec. 17].
3. “Blaster” means any of the following:
a. a person who holds a blaster certificate;
b. a person who conducts a blast in a specialized blasting operation; or
c. a person who conducts a special case blast, as defined in Sec. 23 [Sec. 3(b)].
|ON||Construction Projects Regulation:
1. If explosives are to be used on a project, the employer responsible for blasting must designate a competent worker to be in charge of blasting operations [Sec. 196(1)].
2. Only a competent worker or a worker who’s working under the direct personal supervision of a competent worker may handle, transport, prepare and use explosives on a project [Sec. 197].
1. Where work is being carried out and explosives are to be used, a competent person must be appointed to be in charge of and personally present at all blasting operations, and that person must enforce his orders and directions, and must supervise the fixing of all charges and other blasting operations [Sec. 26.2(a)].
2. No person inexperienced in handling dynamite or other high explosives may handle, transport, prepare or use dynamite or other high explosives unless the inexperienced person works under the personal supervision of a competent person [Sec. 26.2(c)].
|QC||Regulation respecting occupational health and safety:
1. Every person who carries out blasting operations or any work requiring the use of explosives must hold a valid shot-firer’s certificate issued by the CSST or by an agency recognized by the latter [Sec. 292].
2. A shot-firer may not be assisted by more than two assistants who don’t hold the shot-firer’s certificate referred to above. Assistants can help the shot-firer in his work, with the exception of setting off the blast, which must be done by the shot-firer himself. The shot-firer must supervise and co-ordinate the work of his assistants [Sec. 293].
1. An employer or contractor who plans to conduct blasting activities must ensure that a worker who’s to undertake a blasting operation:
a. has been thoroughly trained in:
i. the estimation of the amount of explosives required, and in placing, priming and initiating the charge;
ii. the appropriate procedures to be followed to ensure the safety of other workers;
iii. the procedures to be followed in the event of a misfire; and
iv. the examination of the site after blasting to ensure that it’d safe to return to the site;
b. has demonstrated competence to carry out the procedures mentioned above;
c. has a thorough knowledge of all federal and provincial statutes, regulations and codes of practice pertaining to the safe use of explosives that are relevant to the blasting operation in question; and
d. holds a written authorization to blast signed by the worker’s employer [Sec. 376(1)].
2. A worker may not undertake a blasting activity until the worker possesses written authorization to blast signed by the worker’s employer [Sec. 376(2)].
1. No person may conduct, or be permitted to conduct, a blasting operation unless:
a. the person holds a valid blaster’s permit or temporary blaster’s permit issued
under these Regulations;
b. the work involved is under the scope of their permit; and
c. the details of the blaster’s permit have been recorded and verified by the employer [Sec. 14.03].
2. A worker who assists a blaster to prepare, fix or fire charges and handle misfires must:
a. be a qualified person, instructed in the safe handling of explosives;
b. remain under the full and direct control of the blaster; and
c. be continuously visually monitored by the blaster who’s responsible for the assistant’s work [Sec. 14.09].