OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 33 Explosives Safety

Section 473 Transporting explosives

Subsection 473(1)

The transportation of explosives is a federal matter. Alberta Human Services does not regulate the transportation of explosives.

Subsection 473(2)

Limiting the number of persons travelling in a vehicle that is transporting explosives and detonators reduces the number of persons at risk of serious injury in the event of an accidental detonation.

Subsection 473(3)

Electric detonators are safest to handle when their leg wires are twisted together and shunted or grounded. Doing so prevents accidental premature ignition. The wires are to remain shunted until the detonators are ready to be connected to the blasting circuit.

Subsection 473(4)

In the event of a fire, fire extinguishers are to be used to prevent the fire from reaching the explosives. Fire extinguishers are not intended to be used to fight a fire directly involving the explosives. Vehicles transporting less than 25 kilograms of explosives must be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher.

A vehicle transporting 25 to 2000 kilograms of explosives must be equipped with at least one 10 BC fire extinguisher (the federal Explosives Act (Canada) requires one 5 BC fire extinguisher). The increased rating for Alberta complements the new requirement for a fire extinguisher when transporting small quantities of explosives and reflects the greater quantity of explosives being transported. The requirement for two 10 BC fire extinguishers when transporting more than 2000 kg of explosives is consistent with the Explosives Act (Canada). The requirements for fire extinguishers appear in Schedule 10 of the OHS Code, shown below as Table 33.1.

Table 33.1 Fire extinguisher requirements (appears as Schedule 10 in the OHS Code)

Quantity of Explosive

Quantity and Type of Fire Extinguisher Required

< 25 kilograms 1 – 5 BC fire extinguisher required
25 kg to 2,000 kilograms 1 (minimum) – 10 BC fire extinguisher
> 2,000 kilograms 2 (minimum) – 10 BC fire extinguishers