OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 33 Explosives Safety

Section 503 Radiofrequency transmitters

Subsection 503(1)

Table 2 of Schedule 10 presents minimum separation distances between explosives and fixed radiofrequency transmitters based on transmitter power. Table 3 presents minimum separation distances between explosives and mobile radiofrequency transmitters and cellular telephones. Both tables are based on information appearing in the Safety Guide for the Prevention of Radio Frequency Radiation Hazards in the Use of Commercial Electric Detonators (Safety Library Publication No. 20), July 2001, published by the Institute of Makers of Explosives (http://www.ime.org/).

Subsection 503(2)

Safety is best assured when detonators are shunted. Communications transmissions are permitted within the minimum separation distance limits specified by Table 2 or Table 3 of Schedule 10 as long as the detonator leg wires are shunted.

Subsections 503(3) and 503(4)

These requirements recognize that
(a) cellular telephones present a potential hazard as the radiofrequency energy they transmit may cause unexpected detonation of electric blasting detonators, and
(b) cellular telephones transmit signals at periodic intervals to their network, even when on one is speaking into the telephone. In contrast, portable two-way radios transmit only when the push-to-talk button is depressed.