OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 33 Explosives Safety

Section 470 Canadian guidelines

To avoid unnecessary duplication of requirements among provincial and federal regulations, this section refers to federal guidelines and standards rather than restating their requirements. The referenced publications are available from:

Explosives Regulatory Division
Natural Resources Canada
Unit 224, 755 Lake Bonavista Drive SE
Calgary AB T2J 0N3
Phone: 403-292-4766

Explosives Regulatory Division
Mineral and Metals Sector
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 0E4
Phone: 613-995-8415

The revised Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives as published by Natural Resources Canada came into force on May 31, 2001. The Standards update and supercede the Revised 1982 Magazine Standards for Blasting Explosives and Detonators.

The Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) of Natural Resources Canada, in conjunction with the RCMP, has developed and adopted a redesign of the walk-in magazine door to ensure a higher degree of security. This new standard makes the laminated door mandatory for walk-in-type magazines and introduces many barriers to prevent a break-in. The new door concept referred to in this document was adopted on all new walk-in magazines immediately upon introduction of the standard on May 31, 2001. For existing magazine installations, it is to be phased in over the next 5 to 10 years as a replacement, with particular emphasis in areas prone to break and enters (B&E) or attempted break-ins.

In the interest of security, ERD has, on the advice of the RCMP, moved from heavy-duty locks to high-security locking hardware and emphasized better key control for magazines. There will be no grandfathering on locking hardware and, thus, licensees will have from three to five years from May 31, 2001, to upgrade to the newer, higher security standards.

Recent ballistic threat assessment tests using readily available ammunition for hunting have resulted in upgrading the wall thickness, particularly for the new Type 4 magazine standards, from 5 centimetres (2 inches) to 7.6 centimetres (3 inches) for washed hard crushed gravel and to 15 centimetres (6 inches) for sand. In most cases, existing magazine wall construction will be grandfathered.

With the publication of this standard, Type 2, 3, 5 and 7 magazines will no longer be permitted as an option for new magazines built after May 31, 2001, due to inherent weaknesses and duplication in the case of Type 7. Existing magazines built to the above designs will need to be replaced with an appropriate magazine over the next 5 to 10 years depending on the risk as determined in consultation with the RCMP Bomb Data Centre and other police authorities.

Type 9 magazines, as known now, will be phased out over a five-year period and be replaced with an updated design with many similarities to a Type 4 magazine.

Type 11 magazine standards have been revised and use an ISO container commonly known as a “seacan”, which has been upgraded to include the newer door concept with ballistic materials in the walls. This bullet-resistant structure has many of the attributes of the former Type 5 magazine standard plus metal studs in the walls. Magazines built to this standard will have limited use as they are not considered an equivalent replacement for a Type 4 or 4S steel magazine. This standard has been upgraded to reflect the higher sensitivity of UN 1.1D classified explosives stored in northern regions, but may also be considered for use in other parts of Canada to meet particular circumstances.

Type 12 magazine standards have been reworded to allow more flexibility for novel designs related to particular circumstances.

ERD has taken a fresh approach to the electrical classification for magazines, particularly for interior lighting and recognizes the minimal hazards associated with finished packaged products. Along the same lines, heating guidelines have been included as has the referencing of Electronic Intrusion Alarm Systems for Magazines (ERD Bulletin Number 45).

In the past, it has been customary for any welding shop to build a walk-in type magazine from the published magazine standards. With the publication of these revised standards, the intimate details of the door design will be controlled and issued to “approved” shops or facilities across Canada to maintain consistent quality of construction and to limit the design details to those who have a “need to know.” As has been the case in the past, any welding shop will be able to construct the balance of the magazine if it so wishes.

Each magazine will now have a unique code composed of numbers/letters with a corresponding tag installed in the magazine and noted on the licence.