WorkCover NSW: Changes to Explosives Regulation

Source: WorkCover News September 2013

The NSW Explosives Act and Regulation, a range of australian standards, codes and a licensing and notification system, work together to regulate explosives, certain explosive precursors and fireworks throughout the supply chain.

From 1 September 2013, the NSW Explosives Regulation replaces the Explosives Regulation 2005. The changes to licensing of explosives and fireworks are:

  • you do not need a licence to learn blasting
  • you do not need an explosives licence if you store up to 12kg of propellant powder for reloading purposes - and hold a licence under the Firearms Act 1996.
  • you can get a single-use fireworks licence up to four times a year.
  • there are changes to licence conditions (ie explosive licensing conditions and conditions applying to pyrotechnician and fireworks (single use) licences) licence fees have changed. Refer to the WorkCover NSW fees schedule.
  • an unsupervised handling licence has been abolished and replaced with a security clearance.

Changes from 1 March 2014:

  • you need a safety management plan to hold a manufacturing licence
  • you must notify WorkCover at least seven days before using explosives (except for coal and mining workplaces).

The Explosives Regulation requires all activities involving the handling of explosives and fireworks to be carried out in accordance with the licensing conditions and:

  • Australian standard 2187 - explosives: storage, transport and use
  • Australian code for the transport of explosives by road and rail.

In relation to explosive precursors, activities must be carried out in accordance with the:

  • Australian dangerous goods code
  • Australian standard AS 4326: storage and handling of oxidizing agents.

Applicants and licence holders should also refer to the Guide for the secure and safe handling of explosives and security sensitive dangerous substances.

WorkCover licences specific activities related to explosives, certain explosive precursors and fireworks including:

It is an offence to be in possession of or have unsupervised access to explosives, explosive precursors or fireworks without the appropriate security clearance and licence issued by WorkCover (with exceptions such as marine distress signals for boating use etc).

Licence applicants will need to satisfy WorkCover's licensing criteria and receive a favourable national probity assessment from NSW and Commonwealth police and security agencies.

WorkCover may suspend, cancel or impose penalties on licence holders who do not comply with the conditions of the licence or security clearance or requirements of the legislation.

Call 13 10 50 for more information.