General explosive licence and security clearance conditions under the NSW Explosives Act and Regulation

September 2013

From 1 September 2013, the General Explosive Conditions 2005 cease to operate and are replaced by these General Explosives Conditions 2013.

About this document

The General explosive licence and security clearance conditions under the NSW Explosives Act and Regulation (catalogue no. WC04685) (General Explosive Conditions 2013) establish the conditions for explosive licences and security clearances issued under the NSW Explosives Act and the NSW Explosives Regulation.

The General Explosive Conditions 2013 should be read in conjunction with the NSW Explosives Act and the NSW Explosives Regulation. Where there is any inconsistency between the Conditions document and the Explosives legislation, the legislation takes precedence.

The General Explosive Conditions 2013 replace the previous conditions document – General explosive licence and security clearance conditions under the NSW Explosives Act and Regulation (catalogue no. WC04685) (General Explosive Conditions 2005).

To assist explosive licence and security clearance holders comply with their regulatory obligations, the General Explosive Conditions 2013 have been set out in broad licence categories.

Background

The NSW Explosives Act and the NSW Explosives Regulation set out safety and security requirements for handling explosives and explosive pre-cursors. Explosives are prescribed in clause 4 of the NSW Explosives Regulation and explosive pre-cursors are prescribed as security sensitive dangerous substances (SSDS) in schedule 1 of NSW Explosives Regulation. The legislation establishes a cradle to grave licensing regime throughout the supply chain. A person must not handle an explosive or an explosive pre-cursor unless authorised by licence issued by WorkCover NSW.

Licences and security clearances issued by WorkCover may be subject to conditions. Failure by a licence or security clearance holder to comply with a condition set out in this document may result in a penalty and the suspension or cancellation of the licence or security clearance.

The NSW Explosives Regulation refers to the following documents with which the licence or security clearance holder must also comply:

  • AS2187 – Explosives: Storage, transport and use
  • AS4326 – The storage and handling of oxidizing agents
  • The Australian Explosives Code (titled Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail)
  • The Australian Dangerous Goods Code.

The NSW Explosives Regulation requires that all activities involving the handling of explosives and explosive precursors are carried out in accordance with these documents. In the event of any conflicting requirements, the NSW Explosives Regulation prevails over the Standards or Codes.

Queries should be directed to the WorkCover Customer Service Centre on 13 10 50 or the WorkCover website at workcover.nsw.gov.au

General Explosive Conditions 2013

The following Conditions (64–95) commence from 1 September 2013, and replace the previous General Explosive Conditions 2005 (1-63).

The licence or security clearance holder must also ensure they are familiar, and comply, with all requirements as outlined in the NSW Explosives Act and NSW Explosives Regulation.

Security clearance holders

A security clearance was previously called an Unsupervised Handling Licence (UHL). Persons who hold a current UHL in NSW are considered to hold a current security clearance under the Explosives Regulation 2013.

Condition 64: Notification to WorkCover

It is a condition of each security clearance that the holder of a security clearance must notify WorkCover within 14 days of any change in address, employer, or any other details as provided in the application for security clearance.

All licence holders

The licence holder must at all times remain a person who, if applying for that licence for the first time, would be eligible to be granted that licence by the regulatory authority.

Condition 65: Notification to WorkCover

It is a condition of each licence that the licence holder must notify WorkCover within 14 days of any change in address, employer or other details provided in the application for licence.

Condition 66: Safe handling

It is a condition of each licence that all activities involving explosives or explosive precursors must be carried out in a manner that ensures the safety and security of all persons and the integrity of all property exposed to risks arising from the storage, handling, use and transport process.

Condition 67: Training

All persons under the direction and control of the licensee who are engaged in the handling or transport of explosives or explosive precursors must be adequately trained and instructed in the safe handling of the explosives or explosive precursors.

Licence to manufacture

Condition 68: Display of notice

It is a condition of the licence to manufacture that inside every process building, a clearly legible notice setting out the maximum amount of explosives authorised to be in the process building and the maximum number of persons allowed in the process building is at all times prominently displayed.

Condition 69: Manufacturing requirements

It is a condition of the licence to manufacture that:

  1. Buildings or areas where explosives are being prepared for manufacture or are manufactured must be located as if they were magazines storing the maximum quantity of explosives in that building or area. The separation distances required for a magazine in AS 2187.1 are the minimum distances.
  2. Buildings or areas where explosives are being prepared for manufacture or are manufactured are protected from lightning strike as described by AS 1768.
  3. Explosives must not be prepared for manufacture or manufactured in a manner that may ignite the explosive or any other substance or material in the area.
  4. Measures are implemented to minimise the risk of ignition from the effects of heat, impact, friction, compression or discharge of static electricity in the manufacturing process.
  5. The quantity of substances or materials kept for immediate use in the manufacture of explosives must be minimised and any substances or materials that are not required in the manufacture must be removed from the area and placed in a safe and secure area.
  6. All explosives are removed from a building or area used for preparing explosives for manufacture or manufacturing explosives prior to any work being done in that area that is not related to the manufacture of explosives.
  7. Explosives are not prepared for manufacture or manufactured before or during a thunderstorm and that procedures are in place to safely shut down the manufacturing process and to safely evacuate people while the thunderstorm is imminent.
  8. The number of people in areas where explosives are being prepared for manufacture or are manufactured are limited to those essential for the preparation or manufacture.
  9. Section 4.3 of AS 2187.1 regarding housekeeping is applied to process buildings.

Condition 70: Repairs and maintenance

Repairs and maintenance of process buildings must reflect safety requirements as would apply to a maintenance of an explosive storage facility.

Condition 71: AEISG Code of Practice for Mobile Processing Units

It is a condition of a licence to manufacture that a person using a mobile processing unit (MPU) to manufacture explosives must ensure that the MPU complies with the requirements of the AEISG Code of Practice for Mobile Processing Units (MPU) as is in force from time to time.

Condition 72: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to manufacture must comply with the conditions for licences to supply, store and transport, where applicable.

Licence to import

Condition 73: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to import must comply with the conditions for licences to supply and store, where applicable.

Licence to supply

Condition 74: Display and advertising

  1. It is a condition of each licence to supply that the licensee must not:
    • display for sale any explosive on any shelf or counter or in any window or other place that is visible to the public, or
    • sell any explosive:
      • on a road or a road related area
      • ii. at a market, fair or agricultural or other show, or
      • iii. in any other public place.

        The taking of sale orders is permissible.
  2. The restrictions in (a) and (b) do not apply to the following:
    • power device cartridges
    • distress signals
    • ammunition (but only if the licensee is a licenced firearms dealer under the Firearms Act 1996)
    • life-saving appliances, including air bag inflators and seat beat pre-tensioners
    • toy fireworks.

Condition 75: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to supply must comply with the conditions for a licence to store, where applicable.

Licence to transport by vehicle

Condition 76: Display licence details by metal plate

It is a condition of a licence that a metal plate must be permanently attached to the vehicles used to transport explosives, displaying:

  • the explosives load risk category 2 or 3, described by table 2.1 of the Australian Explosives Code
  • the licence number under which the vehicle operates.

Condition 77: Vehicle compliance

It is a condition of a licence to transport by vehicle that the licensee advises WorkCover of changes to the security plan if vehicles on the plan are modified, or if vehicles are added to it. The licensee must provide a statement that such vehicles comply with the Australian Explosives Code.

Condition 78: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to transport by vehicle must comply with the conditions for a licence to store, where applicable.

Licence to transport by vessel

Condition 79: Display licence details by metal plate

It is a condition of a licence that a metal plate must be permanently attached to the vessels used to transport explosives, displaying

  • the explosives load risk category 2 or 3, described by table 2.1 of the Australian Explosives Code
  • the licence number under which the vessel operates.

Condition 80: Vessel compliance

It is a condition of licence that the licensee advises WorkCover of changes to the security plan if vessels on the plan are modified, or if vessels are added to it. The licensee must provide a statement that such vessels comply with the Australian Explosives Code.

Condition 81: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to transport by vessel must comply with the conditions for a licence to store, where applicable.

Licence to store

Condition 82: Storage and transport requirements

Handling of explosives or explosive precursors must comply with the following:

  1. All explosives or explosive precursors received into the premises where they are to be stored and not required for immediate use must, as soon as practicable (but within 12 hours), be conveyed into the place in which they are to be stored in or on the premises.
  2. All explosives or explosive precursors loaded on a vehicle for despatch from the premises must, as soon as practicable (but within 12 hours), be removed from the premises.
  3. Explosives or explosive precursors must not be transported within the premises where they are stored except in closed containers or by means of pipes so constructed that the explosives or explosive precursors cannot escape during transport.
  4. A packaging containing explosives or explosive precursors when opened must:
    • be left open only for the time necessary for that removal, and then immediately closed
    • if explosives or explosive precursors remain in the packaging and it is outside a magazine the packaging must be immediately placed in a magazine
    • if no explosives or explosive precursors remain in the packaging, the packaging must immediately be removed to a place authorised by the licensee for the storage of contaminated waste.
  5. All practicable precautions must be taken to prevent the escape of explosives or explosive precursors, or vapour from explosives or explosive precursors, from a packaging, a tank or any other container.
  6. After packagings are received into the premises where they are to be stored they must be examined to determine if they are damaged, leaking or otherwise defective and if necessary they must be immediately repacked into sound packagings of at least equivalent structural integrity as the original packaging.

Condition 83: Licence amendments

It is a condition of a licence to store that the licensee amends the licence, on the appropriate form, when the circumstances of storage, such as the addition of a store, or increase in the quantity of explosives or explosive precursors in a store, occurs at a premises.

Condition 84: Internal magazines

  1. It is a condition of a licence to store that if internal magazines are used for storage of explosives in the same building, the total quantities of explosives for that building must not exceed:
    • a. 50 kilograms of Class 1.1, not being detonators
    • b. 20,000 detonators
    • c. 200 kilograms of Class 1.3
    • d. 200 kilograms of Class 1.4.
  2. If two or more internal magazines are in the same building they must be separated from each other:
    • a. by an effective means of segregation demonstrated to prevent communication of an explosion from magazines containing more sensitive explosives (for example, detonators) to other less sensitive explosives, or
    • b. by a distance, in a straight line, of at least 10 metres.
  3. Detonators must not be stored in a magazine containing any other type of explosive.

Condition 85: AEISG Code of Practice for ANEs

It is a condition of licence to store that a person storing explosive precursors must comply with the AEISG Code of Practice for Ammonium nitrate emulsions, suspensions or gels – ANEs (UN3375).

This condition does not commence until 1 March 2014.

Blasting explosives user's licence

Condition 86: Explosives quantity restrictions

The holder of a blasting explosives user's licence must not possess or use in any one day, whether purchased, manufactured or stored, in excess of the following total quantities of explosives and explosive precursors:

  1. Blasting explosives, including boosters – 50kg
  2. Detonators – 500
  3. Detonating cord – 10kg NEQ (eg 1000 metres of 10g/m detonating cord equates to 10kg NEQ)
  4. dSecurity sensitive ammonium nitrate – 100kg.

Note: The above quantity restrictions do not apply when the holder of a blasting explosives user's licence is operating under the direction of an appropriately licenced coal workplace or mining workplace operator.

Note: A licence to store or supply is required if a person needs to store explosives in excess of the above quantities.

Condition 87: Overnight explosives quantity restrictions

It is a condition of a blasting explosive user's licence that the holder can only store and keep overnight unused explosives or explosive precursors from the day's activity of the following amounts:

  1. Blasting explosives, including boosters – 2.5kg
  2. Detonators – 125
  3. Detonating cord – 5kg NEQ (eg 500 metres of 10 g/m detonating cord equates to 5kg NEQ)
  4. Security sensitive ammonium nitrate – 50kg.

Note: A licence to store or supply is required if a person needs to store explosives in excess of the above quantities.

Condition 88: Roving magazine separation distances

  1. If a roving magazine is used as an internal magazine, the separation distances for an internal magazine are to apply (refer to Condition 84).
  2. If a roving magazine is used as an external magazine, the separation distances in AS 2187.1 are to apply.

Condition 89: Purchase and manufacture of explosives

It is a condition of the blasting explosive user's licence that the holder must only use commercially available explosives or explosive precursors applicable to the nature of work for which the holder is licensed and must only manufacture ANFO as described by clause 3.4 of Australian Standard AS 2187.2.

Condition 90: Notification requirements

When planning to use explosives, the licence holder is required to notify WorkCover, at least seven working days prior to the use of explosives. The notification to WorkCover must be made using the appropriate form.

  1. Where the holder of a blasting explosive user's licence is holding more than one organised use of explosives at the same location (for a maximum of three months), one notification is sufficient.
  2. (this condition) does not apply to:
    • The use of explosives at a coal workplace or a mining workplace within the meaning of the NSW Explosives Regulation.
    • The use of explosives by police explosives technicians, inspectors and other authorised officers within the meaning of the NSW Explosives Regulation.
    • The use of explosives on a rural or farming property owned by the holder of a blasting explosives user's licence.

Note:

  1. This condition does not commence until 1 March 2014.
  2. Rural or farming property means a farm, orchard, pastoral holding or other agricultural or rural holding. (s5 Rural Workers Act 1969).

Condition 91: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a blasting explosives user's licence must comply with the conditions for licences to store and transport, where applicable.

Licence to use security sensitive dangerous substances

Condition 92: Transport restrictions

The holder of a licence to use security sensitive dangerous substances may transport up to five tonnes of security sensitive ammonium nitrate when transported in a single direct journey between supply and the worksite, and when the ammonium nitrate is used for purposes other than explosive or explosive precursor manufacture, such as agriculture.

Condition 93: Compliance with other conditions

The holder of a licence to use security sensitive dangerous substances must comply with the conditions for licences to store and transport, where applicable.

Pyrotechnician's licence

Condition 94: Compliance with Operational Conditions – Fireworks

It is a condition of a pyrotechniocian's licence that the holder fully complies with the WorkCover publication titled Operational conditions fireworks for pyrotechnics and fireworks single use licence holders (catalogue no. WC05659).

Fireworks (single use) licence

Condition 95: Compliance with Operational Conditions – Fireworks

It is a condition of the fireworks single use licence that the holder fully complies with the WorkCover publication titled Operational conditions fireworks for pyrotechnics and fireworks single use licence holders (catalogue no. WC05659).

Additional requirements for licence and/or security clearance holders in the Explosives Regulation 2013:

Part 5, Division 3:

Part 5, Division 3 of the NSW Explosives Regulation sets out specific requirements in relation to the manufacture, supply and import of explosives including:

  • manufacture building design
  • supply receiver and record keeping
  • packaging and marking
  • consignment
  • distress signals, power device cartridges and ammunition
  • notification of import/export to WorkCover.

Manufacture, supply and import licence holders must notify WorkCover at least five business days before importing explosives or explosive precursors as per clause 81 of the NSW Explosives Regulation, or when exporting explosives or explosive precursors as per clause 80 of the NSW Explosives Regulation, using the Notification of import/export of explosives by vessel or aircraft form (catalogue no. WC00900).

Holders of these licence types must ensure they are aware of, and comply with, all regulatory requirements.

Part 5, Division 4:

Part 5, Division 4 of the NSW Explosives Regulation sets out specific requirements in relation to the storage and transport of explosives including:

  • storing in a secure magazine or store
  • storage of explosives that have been prepared for use
  • storage in rail yards, sidings and stationary vehicles
  • transport by vehicles in certain areas
  • explosive or explosive pre-cursor driver requirements
  • emergency plan.

A licence holder who stores more than 50kg NEQ of explosives, or more than 50 tonnes of security sensitive dangerous substances, or both, at premises must ensure they have an emergency plan in place as per clause 90.

Holders of these licence types must ensure they are aware of, and comply with, all regulatory requirements.

Part 5, Division 5:

Part 5, Divisions 5 of the NSW Explosives Regulation provides requirements in relation to the use of explosives and explosive precursors including:

  • setting of explosives
  • use of distress signals.
Part 5, Division 6:

Part 5, Division 6 of the NSW Explosives Regulation provides requirements for the disposal of explosives and explosive precursors, including:

  • disposal under blasting explosives user's licence
  • disposal requirements.
Part 5, Division 7:

Part 5, Division 7 of the NSW Explosives Regulation provides requirements for safety and security measures for explosives and explosive precursors, including:

  • access by unauthorised persons
  • notification of loss or theft or serious incidents
  • entry where explosives or explosive precursors are manufactured or stored
  • fire hazards and interference with signs and labels.

 


Disclaimer

This publication may contain work health and safety and workers compensation information. It may include some of your obligations under the various legislations that WorkCover NSW administers. To ensure you comply with your legal obligations you must refer to the appropriate legislation.

Information on the latest laws can be checked by visiting the NSW legislation website legislation.nsw.gov.au

This publication does not represent a comprehensive statement of the law as it applies to particular problems or to individuals or as a substitute for legal advice. You should seek independent legal advice if you need assistance on the application of the law to your situation.

© WorkCover NSW

Catalogue No. WC04685 WorkCover Publications Hotline 1300 799 003
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Website workcover.nsw.gov.au

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