OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
Bookmark this page

Part 36 Mining

Section 622 Vehicle requirements

Transporting explosives at a mine site introduces a number of hazards that must be controlled. The employer is responsible for ensuring that any explosive-carrying vehicle is properly maintained. Once appointed or designated by the employer, the mine blaster also takes on some responsibility under this section. In particular, under subsection 622(2), a vehicle used to transport explosives can only be operated by a mine blaster or a worker authorized by the mine blaster.

Subsection 622(1)

This subsection lists some of the characteristics that a vehicle transporting explosives must meet. In summary, the vehicle must be in reasonable operating condition and must be serviced and fully fuelled prior to being loaded with explosives. These precautions are intended to reduce the potential for premature initiation of the explosives as a result of equipment defects or a source of ignition provided by the servicing and fuelling activity e.g. sparks, static electricity, fire resulting from hydrocarbon fumes, etc.

Design and construction of the vehicle’s explosive-containing compartments must be such that detonators and other explosives can be kept separated from each other. Further, the on-board storage compartments must be constructed to ensure that the explosives cannot inadvertently fall from the vehicle. Additional criteria related to storage compartment design are provided in subsection 625(1).

Subsection 622(2)

Only the mine blaster or a worker authorized by the mine blaster can operate a vehicle that is used to transport explosives. The intent here is to ensure that only a competent worker, familiar with the hazards of explosives, is allowed to operate the vehicle. Given the hazards associated with handling and transporting explosives, a well-intended, non-competent worker could inadvertently place himself or herself at risk without even realizing it.

Subsection 622(3)

Since fire is an ever-constant risk due to the presence of hydrocarbon fuels and the explosives, any vehicle that transports explosives must be equipped with at least two 9 kilogram ABC type fire extinguishers. By having the means to quickly respond to a fire, the vehicle operator can take immediate action to significantly reduce the potential for an unplanned initiation of the explosives.

Subsection 622(4)

Highly visible signage is required on a vehicle transporting more than 25 kilograms of explosives to alert workers of the hazard. An orange-coloured, diamond-shaped placard containing lettering that is at least 150 millimetres (6 inches) high is the recommended standard. The placard must be clearly marked with the word “Explosives”. Vehicles transporting a lesser quantity of explosives should also be placarded.