On 14 September 2018, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, amended Chapter 4 and Chapter 22 of the Regulations under s8(1) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act, No 29 of 1996) (MHSA)
Chapter 4 of the Regulations to the MHSA deals with explosives. In particular, regulation 4.4 (1) dictates that a competent person should be appointed to be a custodian of explosives and blasting procedures.
With the promulgation of these amendments, the MHSA regulations now prescribe the form and manner of appointment(s) of a competent person(s) who work with explosives.
Chapter 22.4 of the regulations has been amended and it provides as follows:
“22.4 Competent persons for explosives
22.4.1 For purposes of regulation 4.4(1) “competent person” means a person who is a holder of the following certificates recognized by the Department for this purpose, valid for the class of mine to which the mine belongs:
(a) Blasting certificate issued by the Department until 30 June 2009; or
(b) Rock breaker or equivalent certificate issued by the Mining Qualifications Authority from 1 July 2009 to 31 May 2017; or
(c) Blasting certificate issued by the Department with effect from 1 June 2017.”
“22.4.2 For the purposes of regulation 4.4(3) “competent person” means a person who:
(a) has been assessed and found competent against a skills programme issued by the Mining Qualifications Authority for this purpose; or
(b) is qualified by:
(i) virtue of his/her knowledge, training, skills and experience to perform the activities contemplated in regulation 4.4(3);
(ii) being familiar with the provisions of regulation 4 which apply to the work to be performed by such person; and
(iii) being trained to recognise any potential or actual danger to health or safety that may arise from the work to be performed by such person.”
Chapter 4 of the Regulations in the MHSA sets out the various obligations and responsibilities on employers when it comes to explosives, which include inter alia the following:
- what security steps an employer must take when it comes to explosives and the accessibility of explosives;
- employer’s obligations in relation to the receipt storage and transportation of explosives as well as how to dispose explosives upon mine closure;
- approved explosives and usage of explosives at mines; and
- individuals competent to perform blasting and the management control over explosives;
- certification of blasting equipment.
These amendments will take effect three months after publication (ie on 14 December 2018).