From 10 October 2015, mining companies using explosives must comply with the new Explosives Regulations promulgated in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 ("MHSA").
The new Regulations are much more prescriptive than the existing version and introduce various additions to the current Regulations, including:
- new definitions;
- more detailed requirements on what must be contained in a mine's written procedure in relation to receiving, storing, transporting, using and destroying explosives;
- an obligation on a competent person to report to the employer, each and every explosives delivery received at a mine;
- measures to be put in place when destroying explosives;
- detailed regulations for drilling and blasting;
- safety procedures for sleep-over blasts;
- safety procedures when destroying explosives; and
- safety procedures for secondary blasting.
Of particular importance is the following:
- The new requirement that the competent person responsible for primary and secondary blasting is appointed for that purpose in writing.
- A competent person must, for the purposes of primary and secondary blasting, be a "person who is in charge of workmen in a working place at the mine and who is the holder of a certificate or qualification recognised by the Department for this purpose, valid for the class of mine to which the mine belongs."
- This new requirement will add to the already long list of written legal appointments which must be made in terms of the MHSA and its Regulations.
- Employers will also be required to revise and update their written safety procedures in relation to explosives. These procedures must:
- include the matters as listed in the new Regulations, and
- be prepared in consultation with the explosives manufacturer or supplier.
The DMR's safety inspectors are likely to enforce strict compliance, so companies should ensure that they are familiar with the new Regulations and implement the necessary controls before 10 October 2015.
For a link to the new Explosives Regulations, please click here: