Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/1/2022

Part 850. Training, Examination, and Certification of Blasters

4VAC25-130-850.1. Scope.

This Part establishes the procedures for training, examination and certification of persons engaged in or directly responsible for the use of explosives in surface coal mining operations (as defined in 4VAC25-130-700.5).

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.1, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

4VAC25-130-850.5. Definition.

As used in this Part, "Blaster" means a person directly responsible for the use of explosives in surface coal mining operations who is certified under this Part.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.5, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

4VAC25-130-850.12. Effective date.

Not later than 12 months following the approval by the Secretary of this Subchapter, all blasting operations shall be conducted under the direction of a certified blaster. Before that time, all such blasting operations shall be conducted by competent, experienced persons who understand the hazards involved, and who are certified by the Division of Mines (DM).

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.12, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

4VAC25-130-850.13. Training.

(a) Persons seeking to become certified as blasters may receive training by contacting the DM office in Big Stone Gap. The training includes, but is not limited to, the technical aspects of blasting operations and State and Federal laws governing the storage, transportation, and use of explosives; and

(b) Persons who are not certified and who are assigned to a blasting crew or assist in the use of explosives shall receive direction and on-the-job training from a blaster.

(c) The DM course shall provide training and discuss practical applications of:

(1) Explosives, including:

(i) Selection of the type of explosive to be used;

(ii) Determination of the properties of explosives which will produce desired results at an acceptable level of risk; and

(iii) Handling, transportation, and storage;

(2) Blast designs, including:

(i) Geologic and topographic considerations;

(ii) Design of a blast hole, with critical dimensions;

(iii) Pattern design, field layout, and timing of blast holes; and

(iv) Field applications;

(3) Loading blast holes, including priming and boostering;

(4) Initiation systems and blasting machines;

(5) Blasting vibrations, airblasts and flyrock, including:

(i) Monitoring techniques, and

(ii) Methods to control adverse affects;

(6) Secondary blasting applications;

(7) Current Federal and State rules applicable to the use of explosives;

(8) Blast records;

(9) Schedules;

(10) Preblasting surveys, including:

(i) Availability,

(ii) Coverage, and

(iii) Use of in-blast designs;

(11) Blast plan requirements;

(12) Certification and training;

(13) Signs, warning signals, and site control;

(14) Unpredictable hazards, including:

(i) Lightning,

(ii) Stray currents,

(iii) Radio waves, and

(iv) Misfires.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.13, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

4VAC25-130-850.14. Examination.

(a) The division shall insure that candidates for blaster certification are examined by reviewing and verifying:

(1) The person has passed the DM written examination covering blasting practices, transportation and storage of explosives, DM rules and regulations, and blast controls; and

(2) The person has also passed the division's Blaster's Coal Surface Mining Endorsement Test covering Part 850, 4VAC25-130-816.61 through 4VAC25-130-816.68 and 4VAC25-130-817.61 through 4VAC25-130-817.68; and

(3) The person must file an application and furnish proof of experience to the DM's Board of Mine Examiners. The minimum experience shall be at least one year of practical blasting field experience.

(b) Applicants for blasters certification shall be examined, by both the division and DM at a minimum, in the topics set forth in 4VAC25-130-850.13(c).

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.14, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

4VAC25-130-850.15. Certification.

(a) The division shall issue the blaster's coal surface mining endorsement for a period of five years to those candidates examined and found to be competent and has met the requirements as described in 4VAC25-130-850.13 and 4VAC25-130-850.14.

(b) Suspension and revocation:

(1) The division, when practicable, following written notice and opportunity for a hearing may, and upon a finding of willful conduct by the DM Board of Coal Mine Examiners, shall suspend or revoke the blaster's coal surface mining endorsement certification during the term of the certification or take other necessary action for any of the following reasons:

(i) Non-compliance with any blasting related order issued by the division or DM;

(ii) Unlawful use in the work place of, or current addiction to, alcohol, narcotics, or other dangerous drugs;

(iii) Violation of any provision of the State or Federal explosives laws or regulations;

(iv) Providing false information or a misrepresentation to obtain certification.

(2) If advance notice and opportunity for a hearing cannot be provided, an opportunity for a hearing shall be provided as soon as practical following the suspension, revocation, or other adverse action.

(c) Recertification. Any person certified as a blaster must be recertified every five years by:

(1) Presenting written proof that the individual has worked in a capacity which demonstrates the blaster's competency during two of the last three years immediately preceding the expiration date; or

(2) Retaking the division's endorsement exam and achieving the required score on the exam. Anyone who fails to achieve the required score on the exam must take or retake the training prior to retaking both the division's and DM's exam.

(d) Protection of certification. Certified blasters shall take every reasonable precaution to protect their certificates from loss, theft, or unauthorized duplication. Any such occurrence shall be reported immediately to the division.

(e) Conditions:

(1) A blaster shall immediately exhibit upon request his or her certificate to any authorized representative of the division, DM, or the Office of Surface Mining.

(2) Blaster's certification shall not be assigned or transferred.

(3) Blasters shall not delegate their responsibility to any individual who is not a certified blaster.

(f) Petitions for recertification.

An individual whose certification has been revoked may petition the DMLR for recertification. The DMLR shall not accept a petition for recertification any sooner than one year from the effective date of revocation. Such petitions shall show valid reasons why the division should consider the request for recertification. The division may require retesting prior to recertification.

(g) Appeals procedures.

Appeals for review of certification including suspension and revocation decisions shall be made to the DMLR. Appeals not resolved by the DMLR may be heard pursuant to the provisions for administrative and judicial review under Chapter 10 ( § 45.2-1000 et seq.) of Title 45.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 850.5, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

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