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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 40. Safety and Health Regulations for Mineral Mining
11/27/2021

4VAC25-40-800. Use of explosives.

A. A certified blaster shall be in direct charge of blasting activities.

B. Persons who assist in blasting activities shall be under the direct supervision of the certified blaster in charge and shall be alerted to the hazards involved.

C. Black powder or safety fuse shall not be used without approval from the director. Special approvals shall specify use restrictions and procedures necessary for safe storage, transportation, and use.

D. The design and loading of a blast shall provide sufficient burden, spacing, and stemming to prevent flyrock or other dangerous effects. Flyrock incidents shall be reported to the division immediately and details noted in the blast record.

E. Boreholes shall not be drilled where there is a danger of intersecting a loaded or misfired hole.

F. No person shall smoke or use an open flame within 50 feet of explosives or detonators.

G. Prior to bringing explosives and detonators to the blast site, the certified blaster in charge shall:

1. Monitor weather conditions to ensure safe loading and firing;

2. Inspect the blast site for hazards;

3. Inspect and clear the boreholes of obstructions; and

4. Remove personnel and equipment, except those used in loading the shot, from the blast site.

H. The certified blaster in charge shall review the drill logs to determine specific downhole conditions prior to loading the shot.

I. Boreholes to be blasted shall be loaded as near to the blasting time as practical. Loaded shots shall be blasted as soon as possible upon completion of loading and connection to the initiation device. Surface blasting shall be conducted during daylight hours only.

J. Explosives shall be kept a safe distance from detonators until they are made into a primer.

K. Primers shall not be made up or assembled in advance of the borehole being loaded.

L. Only wooden or other nonsparking implements shall be used to punch holes in an explosive cartridge.

M. Detonators shall be inserted completely and securely into explosive cartridges used as primers. Priming shall be sufficient to detonate the explosive column in the borehole.

N. Primers shall be inserted into the borehole slowly to prevent accidental detonation from impact, and tamping shall not be done directly on the primer.

O. Tamping poles shall be constructed of wood or nonsparking materials.

P. Unused explosives, detonators, and blasting agents shall be returned to the magazine or storage facility upon completion of loading activities and prior to firing the blast.

Q. Equipment and machinery used to load or stem boreholes shall not be operated over loaded boreholes for any reason. Areas containing loaded boreholes shall be guarded or barricaded and posted to prevent unauthorized entry.

R. Blast warning signals shall be established and posted at the mine. Audible warning signals shall be given prior to firing a blast and shall be loud enough to be heard within the entire blast area.

S. All personnel shall be removed from the blast area prior to connection to the initiation device and the firing of a blast.

T. Blasting personnel shall fire shots from a safe location.

U. A post-blast examination of the blast area shall be made by the certified blaster in charge. Other personnel shall not return to the blasting area until an all clear signal is received from the certified blaster in charge.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3, 45.1-161.294, and 45.1-161.305 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-1.2 § 6.3, eff. July 19, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 17, eff. July 1, 1998; Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. July 8, 2009; Volume 35, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2018.

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