Name: Address:

Phone: Mobile:

Fax: Email:

COPYRIGHT All rights reserved. This work is copyright and available only from the SkillsOnline website under license to NSW DET. Permission is given to trainers and teachers to make copies by photocopying or other duplicating processes for use within their own training organisations, or in a workplace where training is being conducted. The onus rests on you as user to ensure compliance with licensing arrangements. The Licensing Agreement stipulates the extent to which you can copy this material. If you use any portion of the material, you must acknowledge NSW DET as the copyright owner. If you develop enhancements of the material, you must ensure that NSW DET is appropriately acknowledged as the original copyright owner. You may not make it available for hire or re-sale with financial gain other than at a cost recovery fee for distribution and within the extent allowed by your Licensing Agreement. Outside these guidelines, all material is subject to copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth) and permission must be obtained in writing from the NSW DET. Acknowledgement This work has been produced initially with the assistance of funding provided by the NSW Department of Education and Training, Industry Programs, through the Industry and Enterprise Skills Program with advice from the Project Steering Committee. These resources have been developed by SkillsDMC in conjunction with industry stakeholders. SkillsDMC wish to thank Graham Terrey and TAFE NSW for their work on this project. Disclaimer The views expressed in this work do not necessarily represent the views of the NSW Department of Education and Training. The NSW Department of Education and Training do not give warranty or accept any liability in relation to the content of this work.

PROJECT TEAM NSW DET would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the many people who generously gave of their time and ideas and contributed to the development of these resources by providing information, an industry perspective and review of the project materials. Name Allan Shoesmith Bill Brooks Bruce McGeachie Cherie Chen Claire Cappe Craig Parker David Barker Graham Cowan Graham Hogg Lawrence Buswell Leanne Parker Lorenzo Laguna Mihai Leonte Michael Creese Developed By: Graham Terrey Developer Team: Danny Duke David Chapman Dorothy Rao Giselle Mawer Robin Bishop Organisation Centennial Coal WorkCover NSW Xstrata Coal DET NSW DET NSW Pybar WorkCover NSW DPI Downer EDI Barrick Gold Hanson Rio Tinto, Northparkes NSW DPI Newcrest, Cadia Valley Operations Mine Resilience Australia Duke Consulting 2nd Project Coordinator TAFE NSW SkillsDMC Giselle Mawer & Associates Robin Bishop & Associates 1st Project Coordinator

Further copies of this resource are available from Website: For further information contact: Email: Or visit SkillsDMC on:

2 | LR4

V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training |

ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION: MODULE 4 – Blast Planning & Reporting
This Module (this ‘manual’ or LEARNERS RESOURCE, with its associated WORKBOOK) is designed to lead you on from Modules 1, 2 and 3. It makes assumptions about your knowledge and skill in storing, handling and transporting explosives, charging shotholes, and firing shots. It assumes you have the knowledge and experience to establish, implement & maintain blast plans and reports, and to become a shotfirer. It is also designed to consolidate your progress along a career path to becoming a shotfirer.

Work through Module 1 Commence work involving explosives “Supporting Shotfiring – Storing, handling & transporting explosives” Be assessed for your relevant competencies

Continue to store, handle and transport explosives safely & well

Be assessed for ‘prior learning’ with explosives storing, handling & transporting

Work through Module 2 “Charging Shotholes”

Be assessed for your relevant competencies

Continue to support the shot crew and charge shotholes properly

Be assessed for ‘prior learning’ with charging shotholes

Work through Module 3 “Firing Shots”

Be assessed for your relevant competencies

Continue to connect sequences of shotholes and fire shots safely & well

Be assessed for ‘prior learning’ with firing shots

Work through Module 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”

Be assessed for your relevant competencies

Continue as a shotfirer who supervises blasting

Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting - In Underground Coal Mines

LR4 | 3

If you have followed through Modules 1, 2 and 3, you will be familiar with these steps. This page is to help those who have dropped into the course in Module 4.

Decide to take an active role in your training and future

The material in this RESOURCE and in the WORKBOOK has been developed with countless years of combined practical experience and we hope you will find it both useful and rewarding.

Look at the ‘Contents’ of this LEARNERS RESOURCE and its associated WORKBOOK

Look in your Workbook at the Competency Units being covered, and, in particular, the Evidence Guide with its list of skills that you will be required to demonstrate (Demonstrated Ability) and the background knowledge (Required Knowledge).

Plan your training with your trainer / supervisor / manager

Your trainer will help you decide what you need to learn and help you design your training program. Your trainer will discuss with you how you might progress with this Module and/or progress to other Modules.

Start your learning and, at the points indicated throughout this RESOURCE, go to the WORKBOOK to complete your ‘Knowledge Questions’ and ‘Learning & Assessment Tasks’

Successful completion of Knowledge Questions and Learning & Assessment Tasks is a great opportunity to gather evidence towards your assessment. At the end of each of these activities, ask your trainer for feedback – your trainer is there to help you, and to keep you heading in the right direction.

Record your progress and get ready for your competency assessment

Use the checklist in your WORKBOOK to keep a record of your completed work. Raise any uncertainty with your trainer.

Jot down anything you come across during your work that: We’d appreciate any feedback to help make this material even better for future trainees 1. was particularly valuable, or 2. could be made better and discuss it with your trainer, who will pass your comments back to us.

4 | LR4

V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training |

Controlling variables. c. and fire shots. Designing & surveying a blast. Understanding what happens in a blast. b. Monitor environmental impacts: a. d. d. Reporting. and.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 5 . 5. b. b. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . by knowing how much explosives is being used: 3. Maintaining various records. who can charge shotholes. Thinking about the tightness of the shot and environmental consequences. Calculating the burden & spacing of shotholes. Adjusting your ‘rule of thumb’ for site experience. c. Designing a range of blasting applications. Taking a systematic approach. Identifying problems and possible solutions. f. Complying with legal obligations 7. c. Being aware of environmental disturbances. Planning the blast delay. Improving community awareness. b. Thinking about the basic factors involved in a blast design. Maintain documents & Report: a. and. Reducing ‘noise’. Calculating the quantities of explosives required: a. and. b. Reducing flyrock risk. c. Knowing where and how you’re going to blast. Calculating the explosive usage. Minimising ground vibration 6. Selecting a shothole pattern. Dispose of unwanted explosives: a. Selecting a suitable powder factor. e. Reduce blast impacts: a. Design & survey blasts: a. Destroying explosives. g. Collecting and removing them. and. And. Remembering public safety too. and now want to consolidate those skills and knowledge into becoming a shotfirer. b. Identifying causes of disturbance.‘Required KNOWLEDGE’ COVERED This publication is for people who are able to store. Identify the ‘Maximum Instantaneous Charge’: a. c. handle & transport explosives. d. 4. c. Knowing any restrictions. having designed a blast. Then. c. b. specifically to: 1. to: 2. e.




Standards and Codes by implementing risk management & procedures 2. Firing Shots 4. responsibilities and requirements of those who are involved in shotfiring. Storing. & Transporting Explosives 1. The four modules are: 1. Blast Planning & Reporting This structure allows flexibility in the delivery of the training to accommodate differing roles. Clean-up & Report Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Handling. which has been structured as a series of four modules each with a Learner Resource and Learner Workbook. and Transporting Explosives 2. Prime shotholes 4. Charging Blast Holes 3. Access & maintain storage and security of explosives 3. Regulations.WELCOME TO MODULE 4 BLAST PLANNING & REPORTING Welcome to Module 4 of the Shotfiring Course. Load explosives 5.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 9 . Identify explosives & associated hazards and comply with Acts. Prepare for charging. including safety requirements and checking blast area and shotholes 2. Mix / manufacture explosives 3. Handling. Topics covered in each of the modules Module 1 Storing. Transport explosives including defective explosives & emergency plans & response Module 2 Charging Blast Holes 1. c. c. Identifying causes of disturbance. Destroying explosives and detonators. and specifically to: 1. Controlling variables. e. Reducing flyrock risk. b. Monitor environmental impacts: a. Clear/isolate the area affected by the blast 3. Fire the shot 4. 3. b. and firing shots. Knowing whether you are restricted in the amount of explosives fired on one delay. c. b. f. Understanding what happens during a blast. Blast planning and reporting is a necessary part of being a shotfirer. 4. Thinking about the basic factors involved in a blast design. Reducing ‘noise’ or airblast overpressure. Calculate quantities of explosives required 3. Monitor environmental impacts 5. d. Design / survey blasts: a. b. Report . Identify the Maximum Instantaneous Charge & delays: a. Designing & surveying a blast. 10 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. c. Handle misfires 2. b. Identify the Maximum Instantaneous Charge 4. Module 4 Blast Planning & Reporting 1. Improving community awareness. Calculating the burden & spacing of shotholes. Adjusting your rule of thumb for site experience e. Reduce blast impacts 6. Reducing dust. d. d. Return surplus explosives 7. Identifying problems & possible solutions. Knowing where and how you’re going to blast. testing against the real situation. smooth-wall blasting.Module 3 Firing Shots 1. Dispose of explosives: a. b. Design / survey blasts 2. Thinking about the tightness of the shot & environmental consequences. Selecting the shothole pattern. d. Planning the blast delay. who is accountable for conducting safe and efficient blasts and maintaining records. e. Complying with legal obligations. charging shotholes. 5. Conduct post-blast checks 5. Minimising ground vibration. c. Report This publication is for people who are already familiar with storing. sinking a shaft or well. Collecting and removing explosives. f. c. Being aware of environmental disturbances. Dispose of explosives 7. handling & transporting explosives. g. Reduce blast impacts: a.skillsonline. Remembering public safety too. calculating explosives requirements. Hook up and test 2. Calculate quantities of explosives required: a. Managing special conditions.

or enforcing rules & standards. k. Explosives use is a team effort and everyone must do the same job the same way every time so anything out of the ordinary is easier to spot. Continually watch the amount of explosive in a shothole. Now. Always check the blast plan and the quality and accuracy of shotholes as one of the key steps in preparing to use explosives. environment & community relations performance. Maintaining equipment & facilities.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 11 . Complying with. production. i. including reporting in relation to blasting. Documenting procedures. f. e. handling and transport of explosives. Preparation for blasting and thinking about blast survey and design requirements is the key to blasting efficiency and safety at work. Blasts must be recorded. There is little room for error. and can be very dangerous to make changes. Do this well before the charging and you’ll have the opportunity to refine your blasting or to take account of factors such as geology and perimeter (eg rib. In Module 3 you learned that. they must be adequately trained in explosive-handling procedures and the blasting plan. you are going to consolidate the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired – to improve your efficiency and effectiveness in using explosives – by helping you to fulfil blast management plan issues. Maintain documentation & Report: a. Maintaining site security. In doing this you must take care to avoid any cut-off risk. Also always calculate the amount of explosive to be loaded into each hole. Being accountable & responsible for records. Giving commitment to your safety policy – including having a blast management plan. while Module 2 covered charging shotholes. Supervising & maintaining shift records. d. Keeping risk management records. handling and transport right the first time. j. work may return to normal. Think about the impact of the blast on the local community. g. so some basic checks are required. lines or leads the same way every time. h. so the person who is responsible for the shot will want to be very certain that the whole team follows the charging procedure. Every blast crew must follow a regular discipline in connecting primers from different holes. you learned to treat explosives with respect. If a change is required the team should discuss the change and all agree that it’s best to make the change. PREVIEW Welcome to Module 4 in Shotfiring. In Module 1. and there are no frustrations. you then connect the individual shots into a firing sequence.7. quarrying and civil construction industry. too. so it is vital to get their storage. so that everyone does the job the right way the first time. Once the all-clear has been given. and charging and firing practices. In Module 2 you learned that once a shot is charged it is very hard. roof) control that are easily forgotten to your regret. This helps refine a blast so that people not involved in the blasting can be protected. These activities were performed as a member of a shot crew. following the charging of shotholes with explosives. These are essential for fine-tuning of explosives use. Fragmentation is an important post-blast check but it is not the only check and a competent shotfirer will look at many things – from the throw of the blast to over-break and so on. You learned that explosives contain large and powerful chemical energies. you must also make sure no person or property is damaged. They are also very useful in dealing with any complaint or legal challenge. All blast design commences with ensuring protection against harm to people and property and meeting environmental restrictions. Remember that explosives contain large amounts of energy that sometimes don’t give you a second chance. b. The first Module covered storage. Monitoring safety & health. Each member of the blast crew must connect the Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Of course. induction & access. The driller should have reported on any cavities in rock and any drilling irregularities. Training & records. Firing shots must be done carefully and in accordance with legal obligations. c. Make sure everyone knows what to do and how to do it. They can be very unforgiving if mistreated but they are manufactured to deliver their energies in special ways in the robust environment of the mining. flyrock or misfire. There are some key steps to take before the shot is fired and before anyone re-enters the area. and Module 3 discussed connecting and firing shots. Taking a systematic approach to the management of explosives usage & risks.

Maintain records and manage risks associated with explosive use. The reaction proceeds very rapidly. With the development of heat and high pressure. Blast planning and reporting must be done carefully and in accordance with legal obligations. Select the most appropriate powder factor. AS2187. as it follows and consumes its own available fuel. Dispose of unwanted explosives safely and legally with a view also to sharing information with other shotfirers/explosive users. Other units of competency are also required for a shotfirer’s licence It is important that you check the requirements in your state/territory as requirements may differ for different types of shotfiring and in each state/territory. Blast records are important in the event of a complaint. Alternatively you will be able to work back from a powder factor to work out the hole separation distances. Part 0 is a glossary of terms or definitions. 5. These are some of the considerations you make when using explosives and this Module expands on these issues. which is the amount of explosive you will need to break every cubic metre of rock under different situations. which when initiated. AS2187 comprises three parts of particular interest to shotfirers. and is selfsustained.0 Use of Explosives. 4. 7. AS2187. On completion of this Module you should be able to: 1. Glossary. 2. Restrict the amount of explosive going off on any one delay during the shot in order to comply with statutory limits or to improve the efficiency of your blast. while Part 2 deals with actual usage or explosives practice). Being able to demonstrate competency in the firing shots is necessary as part of the requirements to obtain a shotfirer’s Occasionally a misfire will happen so this was discussed in Module 3. Monitor the environmental impacts from blasting to avoid undesirable disturbance for your neighbours or to help fine-tune your blasting method.2 Use of Explosives An explosive is any material or mixture of materials. 3.2 contains valuable information in addition to this Resource manual. This resource deals only with commercially available explosives that have been approved by the Competent Regulatory Authority. too. Control environmental impacts in different .Be prepared for the worst so it doesn’t happen. undergoes a rapid chemical change with the development of heat and high pressure (see Australian Standard AS 2187. Always check the blast for misfires before people are allowed to return to their work. Part 1 deals with ‘Storage’.skillsonline. this reaction produces other more stable and largely gaseous substances. Keep records to make these improvements. 6. but always check the blast for potential improvements and to refine the blast planning. Estimate hole separation distances (the burden and spacing) for different blasts and work out how much explosive you will need for the shot and for each shothole. 12 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. You will also be able to calculate the powder factor by knowing the burden and spacing.

both operations produce rock products for further treatment and sale. Attendance at start-up meetings. even if it is often of a smaller scale. One day you might want to extend you underground experience to the surface. Trenching is much the same. You must know how much you’re blasting and check powder factors whether you’re working in an above– ground mine or working underground . Trenching varies somewhere in between depending on trench dimensions. pre-shift briefings or toolbox talks is vital to understand how your work will fit in with others and what sort of coordination is needed on the day. The pre-work meetings provide an opportunity to sort out any difficulties before a problem arises. You probably won’t get a good feel for smoothwall blasting while firing underground coal mine shots unless you do some ripping of the roof and you need to produce a smooth perimeter overhead for safety’s sake. In typical quarrying shots and large stopes underground the rock throws perpendicular to the shotholes. whether this is in a road cutting. Smooth–wall blasting is used to minimise ground disturbance. while cutting the excavation. but you should understand the difference.1 KNOWING WHERE AND HOW YOU’RE GOING TO BLAST A good system helps you to be organised so that it is easy to work with the changes that occur daily. the shattering shock wave is less influential in coal than it is in stone. while in a tunnel the rock commonly throws parallel to the drill hole.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 13 . The construction of a road through rock is similar to mine or quarry blasts. In the case of underground coal mining. You have to know where you’re going and what the result will be. and enhance the long–term stability of the free rock faces.01 1. You will need to clarify where you are working and whether there are any others who might be affected by your work. ground conditions and your drilling DESIGN & SURVEY BLASTS Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Explosives contain energy that works in two ways – sending out a shattering shock wave and exerting gas pressure to work on the shattering cracks and heave the ground apart. for the final pit wall or in an underground crusher chamber. in road cuttings you follow surveyed design lines and produce a certain volume of fragmented rock for filling. but the heave is more effective in coal than in stone. The thing that will change most is the direction of the throw of the rock in relation to shotholes.

Connect the initiation system. but the hole layout needs to be fairly accurate with measurements of separation distances between holes and the face(s). In shooting coal underground you will mostly be shooting the coal at right angles to the shothole. Limit the charge or reduce the charge in each shothole according to the burden. 7. Select or check the powder factor suitable for the job. Locate the primers at the bottom of each shothole based on a planned delay sequence. Move everyone affected to a safe place and secure the area. In all cases. 4. ensuring they are of correct depth. Drill all holes according to a design / pattern. 17. Design a blast using standard calculations using rules of thumb and/or mathematical formulae. Decide which are the blast’s free faces and think about the geology and perimeter control required of the blast. 1. thinking twice about the hardness of . breaks in coal and water in holes. In the case of underground roadways there will be a standard drawing so it will simply be a case of marking up the face and proceeding with drilling. Check for misfires. and in accordance with limits for the amount of explosive in each shothole. Return to the site after the dust and fumes have cleared. 11. 14. Important Good site planning and organisation are integral to safe blasting.2 DESIGNING & SURVEYING A BLAST Common steps in blasting are to: 1. 13. Commence the usual warning sequence. and ends in a factual analysis of the result so that you can make on-going improvements. Use a tamping stick. As a general rule. 10. Measure up the area to be blasted and establish the corners of the blast site and establish at least three reference points outside the blast area to know how far you are from cutthroughs or other structures / features. various stone bands. 8. 3. 5. 14 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. A fairly simple plan drawing is far better than no drawing. Mark the boundary limits of the blast. initiate the blast. a shotfirer must be able to produce the volume and fragmentation of rock required for the project. Clean the area where you will be working and set it up properly. or other method to check the direction and inclination of each hole and move all drilling equipment away from the blast site. A plan of the blast site is essential and there are many ways to produce such a plan. All explosives should be stacked on-the-job away from detonators and for preference in proper day storage boxes. Give the “ALL CLEAR” signal. the stemming length should be greater than or equal to the burden and be at least 600mm in coal to keep the flame in the shothole. or other key factor such as when smooth-wall blasting in stone is to incorporated. 2. Important All blast design commences with ensuring personal and public safety and meeting environmental restrictions. For underground coal shooting a plan does not need to be This will require a blasting plan.skillsonline. Stem each shothole adequately. and the skills to prepare and confidently initiate the blast. if satisfactory. Conduct necessary tests and inspections and. Check the length and direction of the shotholes. 15. 16. 12. 18. Inaccurate drilling can reduce the actual burden and may cause a blow-out and flyrock. This will help you decide on a suitable ratio or rule of thumb for your drillholes and their burden and spacing. 9. while in shooting stone you will probably be shooting more like a standard tunnel where much of the rock travels somewhat parallel to the shotholes. Fill each hole with explosive to stemming height. 6. inclination and location. the scheduling of

or 0. 1. they are rapidly and violently converted into gases at very high temperatures and pressures. This is called the powder factor. and you must think about how important a role each plays in a blast – it varies between coal and stone shots. the rock will fragment according to the: • strength of the rock • strength of the explosive • presence of geological features such as joints. and initiates radial cracks. the detonation of any high explosive sets up. and with the condition of the ground. ruptured or penetrated.5kg/m3. When a hole is charged and the energy is transmitted through rock. The expanded gases remain confined in the shothole and radial cracks. The detonation creates both a shock wave and gas pressure. provided the rock is intact. which really only help the initial holes work to a free face at right angles to the shothole and give some room to expand. the top of the ripple is the compression wave in action. when high explosives are properly detonated. To have the right sort of cracks develop there must be the right amount of explosive per cubic metre of rock. 4 UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENS DURING A BLAST 1. extent and formation of the rock. and • geometry of the blast. which radiate from the drill-hole and into the surrounding rock as a compression wave. For example. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . for any material to be broken. The extremely high pressure compresses the rock adjacent to the charge. Very quickly this room is filled and there is nowhere for the rock to go except back along the tunnel – and parallel to the shotholes. Geology plays an important role because. while in coal you will have very little shattering effect or shock so you will be relying on gas pressure. so little rock disturbance occurs during that phase. These stress waves (compressive waves) move equally in all directions through the rock.4.3 THINKING ABOUT THE BASIC FACTORS INVOLVED IN A BLAST DESIGN To design a blast it is important to understand the mechanisms of fracturing in-situ rock or other materials using explosives. In coal the powder factor has more to do with the lack of explosive efficiency caused by the softer nature of coal – meaning that you only have gas pressure to help you.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 15 . in the case of stone. just like the ripple in the pond decreases in size the further out it goes. and this higher amount of explosive for every cubic metre of rock is due. Stone blasting takes advantage of both shock and gas pressure. Rock is strong in compression (and much weaker in tension). the powder factor for a quarry or open stope shot is typically 0. to the tightness of the shot – where the rock moves mostly parallel to the shothole even though you may have a drag round or reamed cut holes.1. the explosive strength must be greater than the material strength.5kg of explosive for every cubic metre of rock. This is just like dropping a rock into a pond and watching the ripple spread out from there. In underground coal shots a typical powder factor is 2kg/ m3.1 Stage 1 – Shock waves create micro-cracks in the rock Initially. As discussed in Module 1. Basically. shock waves won’t cross very well any joints that are pronounced in the rock mass. This is where the rock moves at right angles to the shothole. provided the stemming has not been ejected. The stress wave reduces in intensity with increasing distance. shock (or stress) waves. fault planes • composition. We refer to this rapid conversion as detonation. except near the hole. natural cracks in rock interfere with energy transmission. almost instantaneously. for example.

5 CALCULATING THE BURDEN AND SPACING OF ShotholeS The following discussion aims to help you get a good feel for the differences in shooting stone and coal. displacement and loosening of the surrounding rock. The tightness of the shot (as well as selecting suitable sequencing of shotholes) need to be considered when determining what powder factors are used. Larger diameter drill holes are generally cheaper to drill so the temptation is to drill larger diameter holes. Stemming placed in the shothole with the explosive provides a gas-tight seal and improves performance. 1. The right design puts the explosive at the right distance from the free face to result in good fragmentation – the distance to the nearest free face is called the burden. the shockwave emphasises the compression and consequently the tension that acts at right angles to crack the rock apart between the shotholes (Note that in pre-splitting. which is the easiest path for the gas to push the rock after it has been micro-fractured by the shock wave. fragmentation and rock movement occur through the paths of least resistance. the gas pressure will cause the free rock in front of the drill-hole to yield. the explosive gases work much slower than the shock wave travels through the rock. and move forward. The fractures caused by the primary radial cracks. The cracks are very fine. High and wide free faces will reduce a powder factor while narrower and deeper shots require higher powder factors. and the reflected tensile wave. so there is limit to how far you can stretch the holes apart. require longer stemming and can result in oversize rocks in the muckpile coming from the ground in between the shotholes. However. it is usually reflected back as tension wave. so the water or rock goes from compression to tension and back again in rapid succession. the more you can stretch the shotholes apart. but play an important part in the ultimate result. The more consistent the rock is. V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.4. Important Every blast. The compressed gases enter these cracks. leaving a trail of fractured material. needs a free face or surface for the stress waves to reflect and fracture ground. the tensile shock wave fractures the rock material and cemented joints. This is just like the ripple bouncing back when it hits the edge of the 16 | LR4 . The bigger the shothole the further out the shockwave will have an impact because you have more explosive in each shothole. while the distance that the holes are apart across the face is called the spacing. and push the fragmented rock in the direction of the free face. This has increased over time from 2832mm so the spacing of shotholes will have increased proportionally.When the compression wave reaches a free rock face. This helps you determine how far apart to spread the explosive throughout the rock. which must be further apart for powder factor reasons.2 Stage 2 – High pressure gases push the ground apart The second stage of the explosion is a slower If the shot has been properly designed. Since rock is much weaker in tension than it is in compression. In the case of pre-splitting. In order to gain the maximum benefit from the detonation. and in underground coal shotfiring there is an additional imperative in preventing gas or dust explosions. In a proper design the explosives will be located at just the right distance from the free face. and the more brittle the rock is. The energy released when explosives detonate acts equally in all directions. However. The drilling equipment that you already have on site will dictate to a large extent the burden and spacing of your shotholes. shotholes should be charged and stemmed. The bottom of the ripple wave in the pond is the tension zone. destroy the strength of the rock between the hole and the free face. You will normally drill shotholes in coal at diameters of 38 – 40mm. and forced to provide breakage. It also assumes that might wish to extend your experience to tunnel work or surface shotfiring in the future. for the shockwave to work the holes must detonate at the same time to maximise the tension) 1. these holes. Shock waves spread out very quickly.skillsonline. other than pre-splitting. gases are therefore confined. as discussed in Module 2.

Columnar basalt will have to have holes a bit closer because the shockwave doesn’t cross the boundaries of the columns all that well. and could. open stope firing. for example. Gravity is not working for you with the lower half of the shot so you will need to help by providing a bit more heave. If the ground is riddled with imperfections such as jointing planes the shock wave will find it harder to travel and have an impact. A wide sump will be like a fat trench. if you were to try and pull a round of 5m deep you might need to close up the pattern (to around 17 times hole diameter) because the shot will be tighter. shotholes of 89mm diameter will commonly be spaced 30 x 89 = roughly 2. Rock that has strong walls – such as may be the case with some conglomerates – or that are close in will confine the rock and therefore need extra explosive so the holes will come in a bit closer.6 – 4m. shotholes holes will be about 30 times the hole diameter apart. In a tunnel underground the rock is held in tightly by the walls and will have to travel for the most part parallel to the shothole. Indeed. consequently the need to turn the rock to fine particles and shoot it out so that other holes have somewhere into which they can expand – and to reduce the damage to the perimeter of the shot. that you will refine with experience at a site. If a tunnel has holes of 45mm diameter then they will commonly be 45 x 20 = 900mm apart and for holes that are 50mm in diameter they will be 20 x 50 = 1m apart. Trenches and other development will be somewhere in-between. A drop-cut or box-cut to start a new road down into the next bench of quarry will be closer to a typical quarry shot in hole spacing but it will still be a tight shot. For example. this is a rule of thumb for your guidance.because the explosive has to work harder.7m. and with gravity working for you by dropping the rock on the ground in front of the shot). be 25 times hole diameter for inclined holes and a wider trench. Some mines still use a hand-held drill for such stripping so the ratio of spacing to hole diameter can be useful. but the gases might find it easier to work so the distance apart might go up or down with experience from the typical figure of 2. so the distance apart can increase. road cutting or similar situation (where the rock is relatively strong and will travel at right angles to the shothole.7m apart (note: precision isn’t expected here because you’re dealing with a rule of thumb that depends on ground conditions and it would be unrealistic to expect precision about hole location). In a typical tunnel the distance that the shotholes are apart is reduced to 20 times shothole diameter . but it would be rare to have a shothole more than 40 times the diameter apart. A line of stripping holes along the walls of a tunnel will be different to the tunnel face.In a typical surface or quarry shot. or 20 times hole diameter for a narrow/deep trench in rock.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 17 . it will be more like a quarry shot because the rock is going to move at right angles to the holes. The more brittle the rock the further apart will be the shotholes. the holes around the ‘cut’ will be up to half this distance apart due to the tightness of the shothole. especially for the longer holes at the bottom of the drop cut. because the rock is not as tightly held in. depending on how tight the shot is going to be. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . This doesn’t apply to every hole of course. The geometry of the blast will also have an impact – the shorter the round compared to its width and height the easier it is for the rock to break loose. and so on. However. As a consequence you can spread out the holes to more like 30 times hole diameter. A tunnel that is 5m wide by 5m high will have a hole spacing of around 20 times hole diameter for depth of round of 3.

charts. Remember that you shouldn’t use ordinary explosives and initiators in ground above 50 degrees Celcius. One of these situations is hot and / or reactive ground. so you could calculate the total weight of explosive used for a certain volume of rock. 18 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. but another example can be obtained from Dyno Nobel) In . especially if it very fine grained mineral such as pyrite. hole spacings are influenced by the nature of the coal itself and the consequent inefficiencies of the explosive in the softer rock.skillsonline. such as Diagram 1 below. and different applications have different powder factors to guide you. despite the ventilation • in or near burning coal seams • oxidising sulphide mineralisation. This – so many kilograms per cubic metre of rock is called the powder factor.6 MANAGING SPECIAL CONDITIONS From time to time difficult problems arise to give the blast designer something more to think about. can help you work out how much weight of explosive will be charged into holes of different diameters for explosives of different densities. and are more likely to be of the order of 12. particularly in an underground Diagram 1: Charge weight chart (courtesy Orica. The ground you want to blast may be hotter than normal because it is: • in an area of geothermal activity • a good conductor of heat and is hot on the surface.Once you have the hole pattern.5 – 15 times hole diameter. 1.

but it is even more important if you are in minerals that oxidise. gas monitoring in situations where toxic gases are being produced. and include: • hot steam and gases that scald a person. choosing your initiation system carefully – you may not want extra delays 10. Observers may be vital during this operation – on the look-out for smoke and haze. other monitoring that might involve observers on the look-out for smoking or hazy ground 7.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 19 . Once you have done the risk assessment you can write up some procedures and conduct training and education in how to treat the risks and respond appropriately. until the heat build-up starts to run away.not just a metalliferous mine. • detonation after decomposition of the explosive products. having a bigger buffer zone to expedite clearing the affected area in the event that you have to fire quickly 8. constantly testing and monitoring the ground – maintaining a close watch on hole as well as surface temperatures in some cases – and this can go down to individual holes and zones within the shothole 3. charging shotholes from the initiation point so that you can quickly connect and fire if the temperature or other monitoring tells you that temperatures are rising to an unsafe level 6. and you must keep monitoring if you have the potential for reactive ground. In this case. and is produced by the Australian Explosives Industry & Safety Group (AEISG) Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . With good information you can conduct a risk assessment and you may be able to identify zones of high. It is always vital that you check the geology of the ground to be blasted. potentially insulating or keeping the explosives away from the reactive ground – but be careful not to rely too heavily on shothole liners for this 5. You must be on the look-out for hot and / or reactive ground. Sometimes the ground is both hot and reactive. with breathing apparatus at the ready in some cases. The hazards involved go beyond the chemical energy of the explosive itself. such as ammonium nitrate (the core ingredient in emulsion explosives with it’s excellent source of oxygen). or in stone or coal seam in a coal mine . The sorts of things to cover can include: 1. medium and low risk. This particular chemical reaction produces heat. the result is nitric oxide plus ferric ions and heat. If you are going to blast in any rock it is wise to have someone with geotechnical skills to take a look at the mineralisation as well as any geological structures. • melting and decomposition of the explosive products. The heat from this reaction supports increased oxidation and this causes the rock to heat up even more. It might make matters worse in some cases to wash out the explosive in the case of reactive ground while it may be preferable to do this in hot (but not reactive) ground. avoiding drill cuttings for stemming material. where these drill cuttings may be of the same reactive ground 11. cleaning up any waste as soon as possible – spillage in surface shotfiring has been known to catch fire 9. preparing to treat misfires. as well as toxic vapours • ignition of vapours such as hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg gas) • softening and melting of plastics used in priming charges and other initiators. When you add nitrates to this. It has happened surprisingly often in surface coal mines. and finally. It has caused priming charges and plastics to melt.Sometimes the ground is ‘reactive’. and 12. Reference Additional reference material: An excellent Code exists for managing the risks of hot and / or reactive ground. the chemical reaction involved is commonly of iron sulphides (pyrites in particular) being exposed to the air and water – resulting in ferrous ions and sulphuric acid. This can happen in any rock – it can occur in a civil construction site. minimising sleep times 4. Time may be critical. and explosives to burn and to detonate. marking out and defining zones of medium and high risk 2.

skillsonline. Ideally they would be initiated on the same delay to maximise the collision of the shock wave between shotholes and the resulting optimum tension outwards from the line between shotholes. Smooth-wall blasting is a method to help protect the stability of walls. Perimeter-blasting underground would be very rare but the principle is important to understand because you may want to use it on the odd occasion. 20 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. Perimeter blasting is a pattern of closely-spaced holes on the perimeter or final design line with a modified burden. and spacing for one or more rows in front of the perimeter holes. Perimeter holes are charged at half the rate of the rest of the round and would not be tamped – you actually want the explosive to be de-coupled and to impart only a shock wave in the stone. If they are not initiated on the same delay you are really only shooting more lightly than for the rest of the shot. such as might be the case in roadway headings – you would even contemplate perimeter-blasting in coal because you can’t take advantage of a shock wave in coal. It is practised in underground metalliferous drives or tunnels. PERIMETER & PRESPLITTING) BLASTING Wall control is. one of the most important factors to consider in blast designs in stone.02 CALCULATE THE QUANTITIES OF EXPLOSIVES REQUIRED 2. Smooth-wall blasting is used to shape rock surfaces and produce smooth stable walls to minimise the need for secondary support and to ensure the long-term safety of the rock . Smooth-wall blasting is a pattern of closely-spaced shotholes that require no modification of the main blast. such as by presplitting. so you would want to reduce the burden and spacing on each shothole. Smooth wall blasting using post-splitting Post-splitting is a perimeter-blasting method in which the bulk of the rock is removed in advance.1 SMOOTH-WALL (INCLUDING LINE-DRILLING. like geological conditions.

Every cut has an application so selection of the most suitable cut is important.where the rock will move at right angles to the drill hole . It is easier to set up. Diagram 2a: Basic pattern for heading in stone Types of cuts used in tunnelling and driving Cut-holes can be a combination of charged of uncharged holes for developing free faces in rock to obtain the maximum advance per round.2 TESTING AGAINST THE REAL SITUATION Once you have a rough pattern you will often have to adjust the pattern to fit into the blast dimensions for the required opening. like all angle cuts. A drag cut can be placed at either side or at the top or bottom of the face. joint or head in the advancing face. and around the sides of the shot. Because you are using the principle of firing to a free face . or when blasting off a tunnel or drive that has important services in it. A burn cut has a couple of extra (bulk) holes to help open up the cut. You should take these into account when checking your powder factor. drag cut 4. and should only have water in the bottom lifter holes. gives less should get less rock projected in a way that causes damage. risking damage to equipment. wedge cut 2. results in projected rocks. Wedge and pyramid cuts are not suited to long rounds that are more than about half the height of the tunnel because they are hard to drill.2. but. A burn cut gives a relatively larger advance in small tunnels or drives.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 21 . A pyramid cut is suitable for stone. These cuts are most suited to smaller diameter and hand-held drills when reamed-out cut holes are not available. You will also have to allow for extra holes in the cut. burn cut. pyramid cut 3. and is particularly useful in taking advantage of a potential slide. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Angle cuts like wedge and pyramid cuts result in large pieces of rock being projected great distances along tunnels. It is not suitable for all types of rocks and it requires drill rigs that are (financially) not available to infrequent users. that you don’t want to damage. as shown in Diagrams 2a to 2e. These cuts are generally placed in the centre of the drive to form the free faces necessary to fracture and displace the rock. The type of cuts commonly used in tunnels are: 1. It increases the risk of gas or dust explosions by having a reduced burden and a greater chance of a blow-out to the reamed holes. .Diagram 2b: Wedge cut in a tunnel blast Diagram 2c: Pyramid cut in a tunnel blast Diagram 2d: Drag cut in a tunnel blast (holes not charged in roof represents smooth wall blasting) 22 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training |

to minimise overbreak. In civil works the tunnel shape will depend on the purpose. Diagram 2e: Burn cut in a tunnel blast Bulk holes and perimeter holes in tunnels or drives Bulk holes are charged shotholes that fire to the hole created by the cut-holes. Alternatively you could refer to Diagram 2g and Diagram 2h respectively for Diagram 2f: Sandstone tunnel blast plan Diagram 2g: Determining the number of shotholes for a tunnel blast Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Both diagrams apply to 45 mm diameter shotholes and 38 mm diameter explosives. and which excavate the majority of the round as shown in Diagram 2a. Perimeter holes are charged and may contain some uncharged holes that form the final shape of the excavation. perimeter holes are charged with low strength.the recommended number of shotholes and explosives consumption for a given size of tunnel. and may be increased in number with reduced burden and charge to protect the walls of the excavation. so in underground coal mines in stone you might use less explosives and not tamp cartridges in perimeter holes – relying more on the shock wave and less on the heave of the high pressure gas that will work on the cracks created by explosives in good contact with the ground. you could still set out the pattern on a ration of hole size to spacing.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 23 . In designing a tunnel blast. see Diagram 2d. A typical tunnel used in a sewerage project in the Sydney area is detailed in Diagram 2f. In poor ground conditions. or cushion explosives.

net. typical powder factors range from 3 . You would need to use Powergel Permitted 3000 of 370g per cartridge. rectangular or square in section . the appropriate burden and spacing can be determined by modifying these parameters with each consecutive blast until the desired result is achieved. exploration purposes or for obtaining water. Diagram 2h: Determining the explosive consumption for a tunnel blast The burden and spacing of the charged and uncharged perimeter holes are commonly equal to.6m3 = 1.8m . and this will go up to 2.1kg) in each hole so you would have = 37 x 1.4kg/m3. and can be fired singly. the burden and spacing of the bulk shotholes. ground conditions.length of stemming of 600mm. required depth.2 SINKING A SHAFT OR WELL The vital thing to understand with explosive use in shaft sinking is the reason for a high powder factor.1 = 41kg in the shot.7 for massive or solid rock. There are 37 holes in the will vary in dimensions depending upon its use. simultaneously or with a delay. Typical powder factors in tunnels are around 2kg/m3. available capital and time. with no more than 3 cartridges (= 1.skillsonline. The shape of the shaft may be circular. You might be able to fire 1200g (three cartridges of 400mm x 32mm Powergel Permitted 3000) if your site has done a formal risk assessment and if the shotholes are up to 1800mm long. ventilation. with a minimum burden between shotholes of 500mm and a minimum Diagram 2i: A drift round in a medium risk situation in stone 2. The powder factor in tunnels and drives is higher than for quarrying because you don’t have the free faces available in quarrying and gravity is not working with you for some of the holes. giving a volume of = 4m x 3m x 1. 24 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.3 for heavily jointed rock in which the shock wave cannot as readily cross joints. If you look at the following diagram of a roadway round in stone with a medium risk . Given that the calculated burden and spacing are only estimates.6m3. The powder factor for this round = 41kg / 21. and down to 1. The total amount of P1 or P3 explosive to be fired in one shot is (in NSW) 1600g (approximately four cartridges of Powergel Permitted 3000 of 400mm by 32mm). Remember that P1 and P3 explosives are normally used in shaft sinking or drift blasting. or less than.8m = 21.9kg/m3. To reduce the risk of flame igniting methane / dust mixtures. An example of a P1 explosive is Powergel Permitted 3000. as is the case in NSW) to blasting no more than 800g (one 400mm long by 32mm diameter cartridge of Powergel Permitted 3000 has a weight of about 370g so you would normally be restricted to two cartridges) per shothole. where there is a risk of a gas or dust explosion. for a roadway 4m wide by 3m high and 1. you will normally be restricted (by law. Shaft-sinking is a procedure for excavating a steeply inclined to vertical opening from the surface of the earth to a desired depth for mining.

8. Lightning strikes have been known to set off electric detonators in shaft-sinking operations more frequently than in other underground operations.6 78. Locate the shaft on a surface plan.6 28. the cut-holes form the new free in the rock.2. with a central pyramid cut shown in Diagram 2j. and drill-hole pattern of the shaft and the total number of holes. Manufacturers supply the right length of detonators lead-wires. For example. the bulkholes excavating the main volume of rock. 7. 6. the estimated number of shotholes would be: . Prepare a chain or rope with links to locate the holes from a centre peg in the shaft. jointed rock 105 holes.3 38. Mark the centre of the shaft.5 50. purchase a shaft harnesses with detonators already connected into a circuit. Determine the cut-hole hard. 5. Determine the shape of the shaft. the smoother the wall.5 Number of holes 30–50 40–65 60–80 75–105 100–115 130–170 150–205 180–250 Diagram 2k: Number of shotholes for shafts of various sizes 2. Prepare the primers. All work should stop when lightning is in the area.3 63. Excavate the loose and unconsolidated material to competent rock. the shothole pattern is generally arranged in concentric circular rings. and securely establish four reference points away from the shaft for the purpose of locating the centre after each blasting.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 25 . 3. Diagram 2j: Large-diameter circular shaft The more drill holes on the perimeter of the shaft. if a 6 m diameter shaft is to be excavated. Nonel. After drilling all holes. These harnesses Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . If electric detonators are medium strength rock 90 holes .in soft to medium strength rock 75 holes . The shaft design will depend on ground conditions and diameter. A major problem with shaftsinking is water and the shorting of electric firing currents. remove the drilling gear and blow out all holes with compressed air.0 12. Drill all holes to the required depth. 2. For a larger-diameter circular shaft. signal tube detonating systems can be a better alternative in low risk (of gas or dust explosion) situations. suitably connected and insulated.1 Excavating a shaft 1. and the perimeter holes defining the final shape. In this excavation.5 19. 4. Information to calculate the number of holes required to blast a shaft for a given shaft area and powder factor is contained in Diagram 2k. and stabilise the sides and surface platform. 10.Shaft diameter (m) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Shaft area (m2) 7. and positioned according to the blasting plan for easy placement into holes. 9.

Cover all possibilities for secondary blasting including breaking up large boulders from main blasts. and short-circuit box keys while explosives loading is in progress. Join the two single lead-wires of the blasting circuit to the firing cable as you move out of the shaft.1A CALCULATE HOLE SPACINGS AND POWDER FACTORS Assessment Go to Assessment Task 4. LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4. Ventilate the shaft and only enter when the fumes have cleared. The cost of the harness is offset by the improved results such as fewer misfires. and write down or explain the reasons for this choice. or mains firing. disconnect electric detonator lead-wires from firing cable. 22. Do not to allow re-entry to the site until fumes generated by the explosions have cleared. or describe the procedure used on your site. 15. Untwist. Check for misfires. Find out what hole diameter(s) is drilled and the burden and spacing for shotholes. Remember. After the blast. Make the area safe before others enter the site. 21. one for development rounds and another for production blasts. interview your supervisor or the person to whom they refer you. Double check the blasting circuit. 11.1B in your Learners Workbook. Bar down any loose rock on the sides of the shaft. 19. 20. 16. LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4. Initiate a shaft blast directly from a safe place. 17. clear the area and initiate the shot. Comment on the difference or similarity and explain the difference or similarity. better fragmentation and safety. . at the top of the shaft and in a safe place.have heavier-gauge wire with heavy insulation in the ring-wires to prevent abrasion. Leave any water in the bottom of the shaft to act as stemming and allay dust but make sure any connections are out of water. 13. 26 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. fumes are toxic. and any circumstances that might cause them to reconsider their choice. disconnect the exploder and join the wires of the firing cable. Compare your result with typical relationships for quarry/stope blasts or tunnel/drive headings.1B . clearing large boulders from a crusher. Place the primers in the bottom of each hole. and load the remainder of the hole with waterresistant explosive cartridges almost to the collar of each Obtain a copy of two different blasting plans or standard designs used at your site. and clearing large boulders as part of site clearing. 14. you may have two or more main sizes of drill holes – for example. Obtain a copy of the standard operating procedure for secondary blasting on your site.SECONDARY BLASTING PROCEDURE Activity Go to Learning & Assessment Task 4. Calculate the relationship between the burden and spacing and the diameter of the shothole(s). short wires of firing cable and inspect blast. If your site has chosen not to break rocks by secondary blasting. 12. Exercise full control over the exploder. Before entering the shaft. Join the electric detonator lead-wires in a series circuit with insulated joints. If satisfactory. the two wires of the firing cable and test the circuit.1A in your Learners Workbook 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”. 23.

a rough calculation method using the powder factor as the main parameter 2.8 = 21. Application Quarry & large underground open stope blasting Submarine blasting Trenching Tunnelling Shaft sinking Plaster blasting Plaster blasting Popping Popping Presplitting Postsplitting Powder Factor 0. All of these methods will only give an approximation of the solution. You could just as easily have started blast designs by using rules of thumb for powder factors and checking your result against typical shothole spacing rules of thumb. It will be necessary to refine your powder factor in consecutive blasts until the required (mainly fragmentation or wall control but possibly muckpile profile) results are achieved. Diagram 3: Typical powder factors Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting .In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 27 .6 cubic metres. which is based on the collection of data from research and productions blasts and presented as rules of thumb. resulting in a volume of rock 3m x 4m = 12 square metres by 1. Knowing the amount of explosive required helps you get prepared for a shot. but please use the units of kilograms of explosive for every cubic metre of rock.5-1. 3-6 kg/m3 of in-situ rock using drill-holes to be broken 0. such as typical quarry shots or road cutting shots or open stope shots underground. The design of the perimeter holes should be considered.8m.8m deep = 12 x 1.2kg of explosive.3 SELECTING A SUITABLE POWDER FACTOR In the previous section we discussed a blast design that starts by calculating shothole spacings and check this against powder factors. Powder factor (sometimes in units of kilograms of explosive per tonne of rock.6m3 x 2 kg / m3 = 43. in-situ or solid) cubic metre and grams per square metre for pre-splitting (g/m2). The following table sets out some suggested powder factors that you might use in blast designs.5 kg/m3 of in-situ rock to be broken Example: A tunnel blast of 21. the use of computer programs to produce the optimum result in the design and calculation of blasting options.6 cubic metres will typically require 21. This might be a face that is 4m wide by 3m high and drilling to a depth of 1. or kg/m3) is the weight of explosive required to blast a unit of rock to the required size. You would need 2 kg for every cubic metre of face = 2 (25kg) cases in the example above.2. 3. This is going to be more important for shots that change all the time. The units commonly used are kilograms per (pre-blasted. an empirical method. However.5 kg/m3 of in-situ rock to be broken 2kg/m3 3-4 kg/m3 of in-situ rock to be broken 200g/m3 of free-standing rock 250-600g/m3 of embedded rock 100g/m3 of a free-standing using drill-holes rock 200g/m3 of embedded rock using drill-holes 250-400g/m2 0. 4 CALCULATING EXPLOSIVE REQUIREMENTS There are three basic methods available for designing a blast: 1. if you were a shotfirer in an underground coal mine and the face you were about to charge was changed from your standard face you could easily tell the nipper how much explosive to collect by calculating it from the powder factor.26kg/m3 2.

In this example.08kg = 1. You would normally plan.8m = 21. The burden and spacing then lets you make other estimates or assumptions. and you are restricted in the amount of explosive per shothole. and you’d go across that row until you get to the column headed 0.6m3. Step 2. to illustrate how you might work out a design from first principles. the length of charge is 1. composition. wall protection you want at the edges of the blast. we’ll use the example of a medium-risk situation in which case you’ll need to use Powergel Permitted 3000. selected powder factor 8. namely for the length of stemming (and. airblast overpressure 3.8m – 0. ground vibration 4.7m stemming = 1. available hole diameters. for stemming length to be equal or greater than the burden. Later. you’ll be using a variation of a more common roadway design using permitted . geometry of the blast 6.1m of the shothole. extent and formation of the rock. stemming depth selected 11. first identify: 1. with this of ANFO is pressureloaded into a 1m length of a 38mm diameter hole.In designing a blast that is close to the surface. explosive type to be used and density 10. Because you know the diameter of the shothole and the length of charge you can find the total amount of explosive in the shothole – for explosives of different densities – by using a loading density table. We’ll do a couple of blast designs soon where you might start from another angle and calculate the drill hole diameter size required. environmental constraints 2. but first try this way.2kg per hole.8m deep. you might start with the ratio between the shothole diameter and the typical burden and spacing. Calculate the weight of explosive in each shothole Using a loading density (or charge weight) table – see Diagram 5 below . fault planes 4. 3m high as shown in the following diagram. if the round is 1.95g/cc for pressure-loaded ANFO (remembering that this is a lowrisk situation). in the case of a shaft sink. For most blasts you already know what your drill hole diameter is going to be. wet or dry holes 9. and 5. Estimate the blast pattern If the holes you use on site are 40mm diameter and it is a typical roadway shot then the ratio between hole diameter and hole separation is = 17 x hole diameter for emulsion use 28 | LR4 Diagram 4: Tunnel round in low-medium risk stone This face has a volume of 3m x 4m x 1. So. to find that 1. Case Study 1 Designing a low risk stone roadway blast In designing a roadway blast as with most blasts. strength of the rock 2. Step 1. You arrive at a design for a 4m wide face. face height 7.1 x 1. so you’ll have 1.1m of charge. flyrock 5. the length of sub-drill) to give you the total length of charge in the shothole. V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. say 700mm because this is a low-risk situation. strength of the explosive 3. public safety 6. But you’ll be charging would see down the left hand column the diameter of 38mm. presence of geological features such as joints. = 17 x 40mm = 680mm or near enough to 700m for the burden (between rows) and spacing (between adjacent shotholes).skillsonline. because you already have a drill rig. Also think that the rock will fragment according to the: 1.

In this case you’d go down the left hand column of your loading density table to the 38mm diameter row and across the row until you got to the column headed 1.4kg / 21.54kg of ANFO into a shothole and it will fill 1metre of the hole).32 kg total in the shothole Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting .06kg/m3.1 x 1.4kg/metre for each charged shothole. If you’d drilled this out for ANFO and suddenly found the holes were making water. so the total weight of explosive is = 37 x 1. Calculate the total weight of explosive There are 37 shotholes. Hopefully.2kg of explosive.25g/cc. The shotholes could have been spread out in rough proportion to the increased density = [1.95] x 0.6 m3 = 2. Step 4. changing your explosive to an emulsion with a higher density.2 = 44. so the environmental impacts will be more noticeable.7 = 900mm.375 or near enough to 1.42 = 1.6m3 = 2.25 / 0.4kg.6m3. you would have found the wet holes before you’d gone too far with the drilling and you would have spread out your holes to account for the higher strength explosive. you’d have more weight of explosive in the shothole.54kg for every metre of charge = 52. the loading density is 6. say 1. You would now have a total weight of 37 x 1.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 29 . Recalculating the powder factor now gives you 51kg / 21.4 kg/ m3. each with 1. to find that now you’d have 1. Using a hole of 102 mm and an explosive density of 0.25g/cc. so the powder factor is = 44.Step 3.4 = 51kg of emulsion in the blast. for this diameter of shothole you can pour 6.54 kg/m (that is.8 gm/cc (pourloaded ANFO). The weight of explosives to be placed into each shothole = length of shothole to be charged x loading density = 8m of charge x 6. This is the sort of powder that is typical of tunnels in this sort of rock so the design has probably made the right assumptions for the pattern and adjusted suitably for the desired opening. Diagram 5: Shothole Loading Density Table (Orica) Loading density tables indicate the weight of explosive it would take to fill one linear metre of shothole of a given diameter for a given density of explosive. which is higher than with ANFO. Check the powder factor (as a reality check) You are using 44.4kg to break 21.

1m.32kg / 0.65kg in each shothole.916m3 = 1. number of priming charges per round 6.6m deep .6 = 90m3.85. you must now use Powergel Permitted 3000 and restrict your charge weights to less than 1200g per shothole.6m = 2. you’d probably charge the lifters with long cartridges of emulsion due to these holes being wet. and 3. Note. in reality. which is lower than the normal average 2kg/m3.7kg / 21.7kg.By knowing the powder factor which indicates the weight of explosive it takes to break one cubic metre of rock.5 m3.6 – 0.6m3 = 1. This means that each shothole will have three cartridges.5kg/m 30 | LR4 . number of long delays required per round 7.1kg = 40. A drive is to be excavated with dimensions 5m wide by 4m high in weathered granite using 45mm diameter shotholes and an advance of 3m per round. with pressure-loaded ANFO at a density of 0. and. a drive round that is 5m wide x 5m high x 3.1m x 1. but these are not going to change the calculations or design in any significant way. which is now becoming. then 52.95g/cc you will be loading 1.9kg/m3. weight of explosives per round 5.32 kg (in one shothole) will break 52.5 = 3. Your drill rig drills holes that are 45mm in diameter in a tunnel face. Case Study 4 Underground tunnel or drive heading This is a different way of designing a blast in a tunnel to the earlier case study. but you will have additional cut-holes that are charged.6m3. loading density per hole each weighing 370 g = 1. and you are going to pull a round 3.6m long (and charged to 500mm from the collar). It uses a Table rather than the ‘rules of thumb’ that you used earlier.65kg / 2. we are assuming the tunnel is for a civil construction project involving soft or weathered granite. This means that a shothole 3. Each shothole is responsible for shattering and moving a block of rock that is 900mm x 900mm x 3. so the total charge weight is now = 37 x 1. Note that if you’d charged to the collar.916m3. V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.5kg of ANFO in every metre of the shothole charge.6 kg/m3. In this case Case Study 3 A development heading or tunnel underground This case study illustrates the same calculations for a typical round in zero risk conditions. since this is still required to break 21. A powder factor will be 4. say 9 bags to be safe (and you’re likely to spill a bit).35 kg of explosive to break a cubic metre of rock at this quarry.6m deep has an overall volume of what is your powder factor? The normal ratio between shotholes where the rock moves parallel to the drillhole is 20 times hole diameter. However. Case Study 2 Designing a stone roadway blast in a medium-risk situation In a medium risk situation you could still use a burn cut as before. = 4. and you need 2kg of ANFO for every m3 so you’d need to get the nipper to bring 2 x 90 = 180kg or 8 x 25kg bags. So. You still have 37 shotholes. it will be used to compare a method that uses charts. the powder factor becomes = 40.skillsonline. in-situ volume per round 3. so in this case your spacing on average will be 20 x 45 = 900mm Looking at the loading density table for 45mm holes. burden and spacing of the shotholes. if it takes 0. will have a charge length of 3. so you might end up with butts or drill sockets left in the face. Calculate the: 1. so a figure of 2kg/ m3 is ideal for planning purposes – for example. you can calculate the volume of rock which one shothole can break. You are going to use explosive cartridges of 38mm diameter for primers. and you’d lightly charge the perimeter holes. potentially a bit light.35kg for every cubic metre = 149.1kg per shothole. with all holes charged with pressure-loaded ANFO primed by 200 mm emulsion explosive (260 g per cartridge). the powder factor would have been 1. number of shotholes 2.

and you’ve got 60cubic metres of rock to blast.5 m and a depth of 1. so 2. so in this example. suggests that the powder factor for a 20m2 area in granite is about 2. The powder factor for this type of rock and size of trench is 1 kg/m3 (which is in the mid-range for trenches). 5.6 holes. another way of calculating the number of shotholes is to look at Diagram 2g. Other experience. So you would have 7 x 6 = 42 holes plus an extra four around the cut holes. This is relatively easy to see for a rectangular drive heading but is the same end result for all shapes. with pressure loaded ANFO with a density of 0.5 x 60 = 150) = 150 kg of explosive for the round (which means that you’d get the nipper to bring 7 bags of 25kg ANFO for the round just to be on the safe side even though you might only need 6bags. allowing for wall holes to be more lightly charged.08kg/m = 3m so you’ll need to charge each shothole up to the collar. so use this powder factor for design purposes and be prepared to adjust it in light of the results you’re going to get. 3. for every cubic metre of rock you’ll need 2.5kg of explosive. this would be 20 x 45mm = 900mm. From Diagram 2g. with a design width of 0. Use graph paper to locate the shotholes on a drill plan. There is no topsoil. taking account of the different powder factors for different rock types. In reality there will be extra holes around the cut to make sure this part of the round comes out easily.5 kg/m3.26kg /1. You could also estimate for 46 holes that there will be 150kg / 46holes = 3. 4. and situated about 40 m from the closest residence. plus one for the wall) = 7 gridlines across the face with one gridline up each wall. massive (homogeneous) basalt on the surface of your underground coal mine. In-situ volume per round is: = face area x advance = 20m2 x 3m deep = 60 m3 Loading density per hole is – from Loading Density Tables. see Diagram 2h. Case Study 5 Trench blast You have been asked to blast a trench in solid.95 and hole diameter of 38mm: = each shothole will require 1. which is almost exactly what you’ve estimated so continue the calculations using 46 holes. for a drive of 4m height this would mean (4m / 900mm per hole = 4. 6. The number of long delay detonators is 46 plus about 25m of detonating cord trunkline and one electric detonator to initiate the circuit. and a subgrade of 200 mm has been used successfully before.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 31 . For a drive heading 5m wide this would mean (5m / 900mm spacing per hole = 5.26 kg per hole) Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . A standard drive round requires 2kg explosive for every cubic metre of rock.5 m (see Diagram 5). so for 3. In tunnel rounds a typical ratio for hole spacings is 20 times hole diameter. You have a rock drill capable of drilling 38 mm diameter holes. requiring bell wire to connect to the firing cable. 7. which shows the number of shotholes for different rock types. The total length of the trench needs to be 100 m. Weight of explosive per round is: = in-situ rock volume per round (m3) x powder factor (kg/m3) = 60m3 x 2.08kg of ANFO for each metre of charged length.1. the number of holes for a face area of 20m2 in granite is 45 holes. having a weight of 150 g each. Similarly. rounded up to 6 holes. Your standard explosive is 25 mm diameter by 200 mm explosive cartridges. totalling 46 holes. 2.5 holes = 5 holes plus 1 for the lifters) = 6 grid lines and this allows for back holes to be more lightly charged.26 kg explosive you’d need to charge 3.5kg/m3 (that is. Alternatively you could add more holes and change the spacing a bit – for example closing up the spacing from 900 to 750mm for the ring of holes around the cut box-holes and closing up the spacing from 900 to 800mm for the ring inside the wall holes. However. The number of priming charges required is 46.

The edges and toe will be very uneven.75 kg (= 750g) In all of the three methods use delays to allow progressive relief and to control ground vibration. Such patterns are more common where rigid pipes are to be placed in the trench.75 x 100 =75 m3 Equating this to 25 mm diameter x 200 mm cartridges is: = number of cartridges = weight of explosive per metre of trench divided by the weight of a single cartridge (150g) = 750 g/ 150 g per cartridge = 5 cartridges (per 1m length) The position of the shotholes can be placed on a plan and adjusted as the blasting progresses to obtain the best results.75m3 = 0. as shown in Diagram 5. or 2. or If all of the explosive required for that 1m length will not fit into one shothole.5m x 1.75 x 100 = 75 kg The amount of explosive required for each metre of trench is: = weight of explosive = powder factor (kg/m3) x volume (m3) = 1kg/m3 x 0. The total volume of rock to be blasted is: = in-situ volume of rock per metre of trench x length of trench = 0. The holes are staggered to give smoother trench walls. The volume of in-situ rock to broken at the required grade line in the first 1m is: = in-situ volume = length x breadth x depth = 1m x 0. 32 | LR4 Case Study 6 Shaft sinking blast in a zero risk shaft This case study illustrates that there are many ways to work out how you are going to design and plan a blast. The total number of holes required using a staggered hole pattern is: Diagram 6: Trench dimensions = holes per metre of trench x length of trench (m) = 2 x 100 = 200 shotholes Commence this calculation on the first metre length of trench. as shown in Diagram 5.5m = 0. A trench is normally loaded by distributing the explosive charge along the full length of the hole.75 m3 (for one metre of trench) The total amount of explosives required is: = explosive weight per metre of trench x length of trench = 0. which is at the top end of the range of powder factors for V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.skillsonline.5 cartridges each. to distribute the explosives energy over the full length of the hole. deck-load the two shotholes with 0. and is initiated using either instantaneous or millisecond delays. Your chosen powder factor is 4kg/m3. Because the trench is only 40 m from a house. This pattern is useful in wider trenches. drill and fill one shothole with 5 plugs with a burden of 1 m. two or more shotholes will be required.The single-hole blast is satisfactory in soft rock and with trenches having a narrow width.3 m of stemming. A 5m diameter circular shaft is to be excavated in basalt to a depth of 150m. you can: . drill two shotholes in a staggered pattern and load the holes with 2.

The density of the bulk emulsion explosive is 1. Note that the burden on the shotholes can be increased as the drill pattern moves away from the cut. If the blast impact and the ground conditions make the shaft walls a bit ragged. To locate the shotholes on a drill plan. it will take 1. The weight of explosive per round is: = in-situ volume per round x powder factor = 39. total amount of explosive required 5. but the most practical solution is to plot the shotholes on graph paper. because you’ll have one per hole. 6. The in-situ volume of rock per round is: = π x (radius)2 x advance = π x (2. Modify the burden and spacing with each consecutive blast until the desired result is achieved.36 kg/m of emulsion (with a density of 1.25kg / 2m = 1. 2. determine the number of holes for the cut.3 m3 4. 3. number of shotholes 2. There are formulae and computer programs that give a reasonable burden and spacing. and equally space the remaining holes over the shaft area. so the number of priming charges per round is 70. starting with an approximation for spacing of 20 x hole diameter = 20 x 38mm = 760mm because its like a tunnel round where the rock is mostly going to fly parallel to the shotholes.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 33 .3 x 4kg/m = 157 kg Weight of explosive per shothole required is: = 157 / 70 shotholes in the round = 2. Only one primer per hole would be required. determine the location of these holes in a drill plan.5m) x 2m = 39.2 g/cc) to fill a 38 mm diameter hole. From Diagram 2k. 1. a wedge cut would be suitable. in-situ volume of rock to be broken 3.5m x 2. total amount of explosives required for the shaft sink: = explosive per round x no. total number of priming charges 6. Each round has an advance of 2 m. but you might shorten this up for the last ring because you might decrease the explosive in each hole around the outside. total number of detonators 7.25kg per hole Weight of explosive to load 1m of shothole is: = 2. 7. of rounds = 157 x 75 = 11. Where a large-diameter rectangular shaft is required. Calculate the following per round: 1. so 38 mm diameter shotholes would be suitable. To get the total amount of explosive required for the shaft sink first find out how many rounds because you’ve already worked out how much explosive is required for each round: = depth of shaft / length of each round to get the number of rounds = 150m / 2m per round = 75 rounds so.2 gm/cc. The number of long-delay detonators per round is 70. diameter of the shotholes 4.125kg/m Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting .775 kg 5.shaft sinking because it is only 5m in diameter making it a tighter shot than a larger diameter shaft. you can always place additional holes on the perimeter for a smoother finish. the average number of shotholes would be 70 for medium-strength rock. From the shothole charging density tables.

LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4.2 QUANTITIES OF EXPLOSIVE REQUIRED Assessment Go to Learning & Assessment Task 4. making digging as well as subsequent drilling very hard.2 in your Learners Workbook 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”. Calculate the powder factors used in at least two different types of blasts on your site.For shaft-sinking. the broken rock will choke. and explain the difference or similarity. resulting in a poor advance with a very rough face. half-second or long-delay detonators are required to provide sufficient time for the rock to fracture and move between . so for the purposes of this assessment task you will need to convert this from kg/t to kg/ Without a sufficient delay time. 34 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. calculate this powder factor as the weight of explosive in kilograms per cubic metre of rock and compare your result with typical relationships for quarry/stope blasts or tunnel/drive headings.skillsonline.) Comment on the difference or similarity in the powder factors on your site. if you need help doing this ask your supervisor or ask someone for the density of the rock to convert tonnes to cubic metres. compared with typical powder factors. (Note: some sites refer to powder factors in terms of kilograms of explosive per tonne of rock.

which normally means the amount of explosives going off on any one delay during the blast. It is unlikely to impact on blasting underground in solid coal. Airblast overpressure and ground vibration restrictions or limitations imposed by government regulators may dictate the ‘maximum instantaneous charge’ that can be fired on a single delay.2 and is the most common restriction applied to blasting at a site. but it could have an impact on your shots in stone. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Maximum Instantaneous Charge (MIC) is the maximum explosive charge initiated at any instant of time. especially if you’re near the surface such as with a shaft sink or commencing a drift. In practice this means within 8 milliseconds of another charge. This will in turn influence hole diameter and length.1 KNOWING WHETHER YOU ARE RESTRICTED IN THE AMOUNT OF EXPLOSIVE FIRED ON ONE DELAY In the previous section we discussed the quantities of explosives required in a blast. and it will almost certainly impact on any blasting you do on the surface. and is generally determined by the distance from your nearest neighbour.03 IDENTIFY THE MAXIMUM INSTANTANEOUS CHARGE & DELAYS 3. It is called the ‘Effective Charge Weight per Delay’ in AS2187.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 35 .

Two important concepts to understand are: 1. The objective is to select the lowest (and hence most economical and community-minded) powder factor to meet all the above Environmental constraints (imposed on the site under licence conditions) 2.this is the ability of an explosive to shatter rock by shock or impact as distinct from gas pressure 36 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. Experience gained in a particular project may show that one type of explosive is more effective than another type and allow a reduction in the powder factor required to achieve the specified results. BCM Bank cubic metres (m3) (weight of explosive per hole x powder factor) square metres (m2) divide the volume of rock per hole by the face height Calculated for the surface area of the drill pattern 3.Staggered Burden Spacing Metres (m) Metres (m) Metres (m) Metres (m) Metres (m) Millimetres (mm) Kilograms (kg) Kilograms (kg) Kilograms per ‘bank’ cubic metres (kg/m3). 4 ADJUSTING YOUR RULE OF THUMB FOR SITE EXPERIENCE As a starting point for blast design assume that all the commonly available explosives give the same results weight for . of the shot varies. 3.2 REMEMBERING PUBLIC SAFETY. A blast that is confined such as in a shaft.Square . TOO Higher powder factors increase the risk of flyrock. because you will assume that a detonation might occur. and.Rectangular . consequently the tightness. will require a higher powder factor than an open face in a quarry. When selecting a powder factor consider: 1. Ground vibration 4.3 THINKING ALSO ABOUT THE TIGHTNESS OF THE SHOT & THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Even if you are not restricted to a certain weight of explosive to be fired per delay you might want to think how the shot will fire and the environmental consequences if the shot is a tight one. A tight shot will probably result in higher than expected ground vibrations. This might be an issue if you were to destroy explosives by burning on the surface. Risk of flyrock. The shock impact from the blast (sometimes called ‘brisance’) . 3. the powder factor will vary with the face height or geometry. or flyrock or noise.skillsonline. Important Metres (m) Metres (m) For each blast pattern. Airblast overpressure 3. Proximity of buildings and structures 5. This is just the same as the earlier discussion on adjusting the rule of thumb for holes spaced apart at varying distances depending on the tightness of the shot.Calculate the permitted MIC in a blast design by knowing: Face height Subdrill Total drill depth Stemming depth Explosive column length Hole diameter Weight explosive per meter of hole Weight of explosive per hole Selected powder factor Volume of rock per hole Surface area of drill pattern Drill pattern .

Increase powder factor Decrease burden. Change direction of face. Decrease burden. which is vital in shaft sinking. Use back-shatter solutions. In reality they may be a little different due to the final size of the area to be blasted – especially in civil construction. such as in a drift. The available face length will determine the number of rows required for the calculated number of holes. while heave (caused by gas pressure) is important in softer rocks and to provide a good muckpile for loading out. always undertake a small trial blast to ensure that the desired environmental.this is the extent to which the broken mass of rock is moved from its original location. good fragmentation Diagram 7: Summary of solutions to improve blasting 3.6 SELECTING THE Shothole PATTERN Selecting a shothole pattern depends on the rock type being blasted and yield the rock product required. Treat as toe problem. Misfires. inaccurate drilling so deal with each or any of these. poor explosives performance. Increase delays between rows. Rocks excessively scatter Rocks come out. use heavier bottom loads. Explosive manufacturers have conducted extensive blast monitoring. such as in a tunnel. Increase hole depth. High shock (high brisance. The number of drill holes required can be calculated by dividing the required quantity of rock by the volume per hole.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 37 .5 IDENTIFYING EXPLOSIVE QUANTITY PROBLEMS & POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Problem Excess back-break Possible Solution Decrease burden. increase explosives column height–may spread pattern to maintain powder factor. or high shattering effect) is important in breaking very strong rocks into small rocks. Important After selecting a powder factor for a new project. A blast pattern is refined by careful observation of many blasts and modification or fine-tuning of blast-design Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . 3. Controlling the MIC is a concern when designing a blasting sequence. analysed blast results and have a wealth of information to advise and assist in the selection of a blast pattern for a given application and rock conditions. but fragmentation poor Excess back-shatter Toe between holes High bottom Boulder in front of pile Boulders on top of pile Boulders on floor Boulder within pile.2. These holes can then be laid out for drilling using the burden and spacing calculated commonly by assuming the burden and the spacing are the same. Decrease hole spacing. Increase burden. safety and fragmentation results are met. Increase explosive column height. Gas pressure (sometimes called ‘heave’) .

This period of time is required to allow the blast to occur at a designated point and for the ground to move creating new faces. On the negative side. The collars of the drag (or fan-cut) round might be 300mm apart but they won’t have explosives in them until the diverging shotholes are at least 400mm apart. The burn cut helps develop a free face by opening up the uncharged reamer Diagram 8: A blast pattern for a medium risk roadway round in stone The MIC in this round would be ten holes on the No. if the charge in each hole were three cartridges of Powergel Permitted 3000 at 370g per cartridge.1kg. However. but as a rule of thumb you might make them 700mm (roughly 17 times hole diameter) and never closer than 500mm for the bulk of the holes and no closer than 250mm for burn cut holes – this depending on the level of risk of a methane or dust explosion. charges adjacent to free faces have an appropriate burden of rock to fragment and displace. plastic. Patterns help reduce the number of holes going off on any one delay. Having the three delays in the burn cut allows the cut to open up progressively. in which case you would want to use a drag (or fan-cut) round with a minimum of 400mm between the closest explosives which is probably in the bottoms of any holes. would require more time between detonation of adjacent shotholes. In practice. It is standard practice. do not use a zero number in the series in the same shot as other numbers – because the zero might detonate before the other detonators have started to burn their delay elements and cut off the circuit – without a zero. 38 | LR4 .parameters such as spacing. 3. For example. subgrade and delay sequence. this means when you are shooting in coal underground the delay interval is the 30ms nominal time delay between numbers in the series of permitted detonators. By contrast. For a brittle. Burn cuts should not be used if there is any risk of methane or dust explosion. burden.1 Blasting using delays In a properly designed multi-delayed blast.the ideal delay is influenced by design parameters. the minimum distance between shotholes depends on the level of risk. Shotholes in consecutive rows depend on the firing of earlier charges to create new free faces during the blast.skillsonline. Lower ground vibration levels should be expected because there is less energy released than the simultaneous blast. but is particularly important in shooting coal underground. elastic. If a free face is not created. measured along a row. a short intra-row delay is usually appropriate. a deep shot needs longer delay intervals than a shallower blast. a large time delay may interfere with the adjacent explosive charges or prematurely fragment the rock around them and cause ground to slide or cause cut-off. all delay elements are burning before the first shot detonates so a cut-off is not a risk. a porous.7 PLANNING THE BLAST DELAY A sequence for firing a drift round is shown by the numbers in the diagram above. which is one of the best ways of reducing ground vibration and airblast overpressure. the MIC = 10 x 3 x 370 = 11. 3. Delayed blasts give better fragmentation than a simultaneous blast because it allows for better fracturing. In stone. Delays between rows are usually in the range of 10-12 milliseconds (ms) per metre of effective burden . The delay times between adjacent shotholes in rows of shotholes are referred to as the intra-row delay. you will need to conduct a risk assessment when you are shooting in stone to rate the risk of a dust explosion by having a number of shots going V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.7. 9 delay so. before the next set of shotholes initiate. homogeneous rock type. Typical intra-row delays for conventional blasting is 4-6 milliseconds per metre of shothole spacing. Remember. that that the shothole with the shortest burden is fired first. The next round might have the cut on the right hand side to reduce the problem of not drilling into old butts or drill sockets. jointed rock mass. the charge will tend to crater upwards to the nearest free face – and may result in a blow-out.

nominally 30ms – any longer runs the risk of firing into a cloud of coal dust. and check that the delays are shown on the plans. These delays may be shown as the order in which each hole fires. Calculate the weight (in kilograms) of explosives in each of the holes that are fired on the same delay and multiply this by the number of shotholes to work out the MIC (or total weight of explosives per delay). The time interval between the first and last shot in coal (again. or as the delay period. which could be ignited by a blow-out. In blasting solid coal the delay between successive shots must be the delay between successive numbers in the permitted detonator series. Check what is the largest number of shotholes that will be detonated on any one delay. Examine the copies of blast plans or standard blast designs that you have already obtained. such as when you commence a shaft sink. Depending on the level of risk you might want to minimise the risk by limiting the number of delays used so the whole blast goes off within.MIC & DELAYS Assessment Go to Learning & Assessment Task 4. you will be very close to coal dust and methane. or as the delay after the shot is initiated.3 . but this time by minimising the risk that a dust cloud might hang suspended in the air in the presence of shots) should not exceed 125-150ms so the number of delays used in sequence would be limited to four. such as drifting between faulted seams. Important The blast delay sequence in underground coal shotfiring should be decided after the holes have been drilled and the site inspected (for accuracy of shothole drilling).In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 39 . so your level of ventilation as well as your level of stone-dusting is clearly important in your risk ranking. you won’t have any gas or dust around.4 in your Learners Workbook 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”. say 300ms. to reduce the risk of a dust explosion. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . while in other in a sequence – in some cases. LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4.

or to damage their property. was established before residents moved into the area. and that there will be minimal disturbance to their lifestyle and no damage to their property.1 BEING AWARE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISTURBANCES A shotfirer/explosives user must produce acceptably fragmented rock in a muckpile that is suitably shaped for ease of loading. people may take the matter to a civil court and seek compensation against the users of .net. The continued operation of your site may well depend on fully considering the possible effects of each blast on the environment. You must know the causes of environmental disturbance from blasting. which in basic terms means that no other person has a right to offend them on their property. ground vibration. These activities must be done safely. If offence. every person has common law rights.skillsonline. flyrock. or the right to offend others. for instance. and the imposition of higher costs due to unscheduled delays or the use of more costly methods to do the same work. the likely reaction from individual neighbours. is caused. Compensation for damage to property from ground vibration is well-established in our legal system.04 MONITOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS 4. the involvement of one or more government or statutory authorities. If the offence is proven. the site and/ or shotfirer may be required to pay a fine or be sent to gaol. and should be trained to implement procedures for risk control and monitoring. this does not give the operation an advantage in law or in any negotiations. and the procedures for controlling the disturbance. without misfires. 40 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. not doing so will result in work slowing down if not stopping. and the shotfirer may be required surrender his/her ‘ticket’. while at the same time minimising unacceptable airblast overpressure. The community needs to be assured that blasting activities will be managed responsibly. and in an appropriate timeframe. Even if the mine. or property damage. Furthermore. Everyone assisting in blasting operations should be made aware of these controls. and overbreak. Ultimately it may also result in the loss of a valuable resource.

All flyrock incidents should be reported to the appropriate Reference AS 2187. Rock from a drift or shaft-sink blast may become airborne because of gas energy (heave) exerted onto fractured rock. noise 4.2 IDENTIFYING CAUSES OF DISTURBANCE Blast disturbance is generally caused by the following factors: 1. legislation requires that flyrock be contained within the blast area. concussion from underwater blasting. blast pattern shape causes holes to choke off g. such as the collar Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Wherever blasting is carried out in populated areas. shothole diameter too big compared to the burden f.2 contains additional information on environmental considerations. Gas energy can escape through a small opening. It is potentially the greatest hazard from blasting. sometimes in clusters. neighbouring residential areas. powder factor too high. For underwater blasting contact relevant government agencies. 4. flyrock from one documented demolition blast exceeded the safety limits set by the shotfirer/explosives user for observers. or in any other circumstances where risk to injury to persons or of damage to property would result. There are other sources of fly material. Even with controlled blasting by experienced operators.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 41 . such as brick or glass from buildings being demolished. dust 3. are: a. ground vibrations 6. 4. In general. status. wood and tree roots from tree stump blasting in clearing land for the mine and its infrastructure. when they are requested to move out of the water for blasting to proceed. their activities during the blast and their perception of acceptable disturbance.2.Environmental disturbance is regulated by both health and safety legislation and environmental legislation. Underwater blasting poses additional problems. Flyrock is any rock or debris that becomes airborne as a result of a blast.1 Flyrock Flyrock may be a problem if you are starting off a shaft or drift. initiation sequence fails to allow for rock movement before successive holes detonate e. their lifestyle. When fly material leaves the boundary of the blast site. and one person was killed and four people were severely injured. and. excess explosive may be the major factor in causing fly material. short stemming depth d. initial hole burden less than adequate c. major geological faults b. This is an extremely dangerous situation and must be avoided. blast overpressure 5. Wet strata can exacerbate ground vibration problems. stemming material – inadequate or too fine h. The order of impact will depend very much on the location of neighbours. pieces of flyrock and debris have travelled over 800m from a blast to land on motorways. recreation areas and industrial sites. in close proximity to any public road or pathway. Concentrated energy may cause loose stones to be projected surprising distances. it has the capacity to severely damage property and cause injuries by direct impact. In these situations. Flyrock is not a problem if it remains within the blast area. for example in NSW to DPI/ Fisheries and/or NSW Maritime Authority. of a shothole or due to jointing planes in the rock mass being orientated in a direction that enables a blow-out. in some cases. Some factors contributing to the occurrence of flyrock. damage or other factors. before the gases can heave the bulk of the rock that is fragmented. flyrock 2. the area to be blasted should be covered on top and sides with blasting mats or other approved materials to prevent stones or debris from being projected. and is perceived by the water-loving public as an impost and inconvenience.

EPA).000 hertz (Hz. Weather conditions play a significant part in the transmission of noise or airblast. the same concerns arise. eventual escape of stemming from former shotholes e. nature of the rock f. Wet drilling or the use of dust extractors overcome this problem and there are strict legislative controls regarding this. ‘Noise’ from blasting is generally in the low range. Neighbours will hear secondary noise – the window rattling or glasses shaking on a shelf. Sound also travels through air in wave-form and its magnitude reduces with increasing distance until it can no longer be heard. and 42 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. fluctuating between pressures above and below atmospheric pressure. 4. is a collection of sounds that can be detected by the human ear. or cycles per second). fracturing of new rock surfaces b. especially for people working on site. overcharging can reduce stone to powder (and generate flyrock!). You can often feel the noise as pressure on your face or clothes rather than actually hear it. it must be managed. reducing in strength with increasing distance.2. The maximum blast overpressure limit that is commonly applied in NSW for Reference AS 2187. To a person not expecting a blast. the ‘noise’ is sudden.authority who investigate the cause and decide whether legal action is warranted. or airblast. Exposed explosives – such as detonators and detonating cord that is uncovered b. motor vehicles covered with dust and plant contamination/damage. Blow-out arising from geological weaknesses d. The human ear is capable of detecting sounds with frequencies ranging from 20 to 20. The controlling authorities for flyrock or debris in underground coal mines in NSW is the Department of Primary Industries / Mineral Resources. Dense fog can transmit airblast better than clear Other weather conditions such as very low cloud cover.2. or there will be complaints including soiled washing. so the noise as measured at the home of a resident is called airblast . powder factor used in the blast. If you actually hear the blast you are probably hearing secondary noise caused by the airblast overpressure. As most rock. dust entering premises through windows and doors. initial ground movement at a blast c. 4. not every person will have this ability.2 Dust Dust from blasting is created by: a. Blast shapes that result in the last rows of holes being choked off causing them to blow up rather than out.skillsonline. Noise. or airblast overpressure When a blast initiates. This energy travels away from the blast site as a pulse or wave front. It is often described as a thunderclap. below the capacity for humans to hear. a strong wind blowing directly towards a neighbour’s house will make the noise from a blast a lot louder at that house than if it were blowing in the other direction. sometimes loud and different from other noise in the environment. or a temperature inversion also make noise louder than normal. Airblast depends on weather conditions. If this dust drifts over residential areas.3 ‘Noise’. a serious lung disease caused by inhaling liberated dust. Another serious dust problem occurs during the drilling of shotholes. energy is released into the atmosphere at pressure levels much greater than atmospheric pressure.2 contains useful reference material regarding flyrock. impact of falling material on the quarry floor d. strictly. the driller or any one else in the vicinity may contract silicosis. especially sandstone. For underground mines the airblast coming out of the shaft or decline will be similar to the sort of noise from your music system’s sub-woofer – that you feel more than hear. contains some form of silica. Poor stemming c. Other factors that you should consider are: a. ‘Noise’ originating from blasting is controlled in NSW by the Department of Environment & Conservation (formerly the Environment Protection Agency. with high penalties for offenders. The drilling and hammering effect of the drill creates considerable airborne dust. Conditions in licences are applied to blasting. because of degrees of hearing loss. Although the community will tolerate some dust. Although the human ear can detect a wide frequency range.

Case Study To estimate airblast overpressure in kPa Airblast overpressure from an unconfined charge on the surface can be estimated by the following formula: ABOP(unconfined) = 185 x 103 [ W0.2 contains useful information on monitoring airblast overpressure and ground vibration. which is half again .006 kPa = 110 dB (linear) 0.2 recommends a limit of 133 dB(linear). Airblast overpressure from a confined charge on the surface can be estimated by the following formula: ABOP(confined) = 3. confined charges decrease blast overpressure.2.noise is measured on a logarithmic scale. AS2187. With some careful explanation.comfort is 115 dB (linear) for 95% of blasts and a top limit of 120dB(lin) – for no more than 5% of blasts. and this should not be surprising. Damage limit 0. Reference Support 1. an upset person will often perceive these arrivals as one event. 2.05 kPa = 128 dB (linear) Response barely noticeable readily acceptable currently accepted that damage will not occur below this limit Diagram 9: Airblast damage criteria Limits for comfort as commonly prescribed equate to pressure values as: 0.3 x 102 [ W0. Ground vibration normally arrives before the airblast.02 kPa equals 120 dB (linear). As you can see.333 / D ] 1. it may be possible for them to distinguish between the arrival of ground vibration and the later air disturbance associated with noise. which is half the pressure of 115dB.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 43 . By this stage of your development in shotfiring you will have obtained a copy of that Standard. Make sure you have the right equipment to monitor for these two environmental impacts. because solid earth is a better conductor than air.2 Reference For further information about monitoring of blast overpressure. 3.2 Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . which you might want to test with some trial shots. However. Blast design should always plan to keep airblast below 112dB. For preventing damage to buildings and structures AS 2187. make an estimation of the levels of disturbance from a blast. so we will not duplicate that material here. and preferably below 109dB. and generally complain about both. Also make sure you have the equipment calibrated from time to time. refer to AS 2187. 4. where: ABOP is the estimated airblast overpressure at a location from a blast (kPa) D is distance from the blast (metres) W is the total mass of the charge detonated (kg) Airblast overpressure (ABOP) can be converted to dB (linear) using the formula: Lp = 20 log 10 [ P / P0 ] where: Lp is the airblast overpressure (ABOP) level expressed in dB (linear) P is the airblast overpressure (ABOP) expressed in Pascals (Pa) P0 is the reference pressure which equals 20×10-6 Pa.01 kPa equals 115 dB (linear) 0.333 / D ] 1.002 kPa = 100 dB (linear) 0. so that you may be confident when dealing with complaints. Where you anticipate that some ‘noise’ may be experienced.

dips and schistosity ground vibration can assume a major significance. but a small part of it (depending on the tightness of the shot) would be dissipated into the environment.2.skillsonline. The maximum ground vibration limit for damage recommended by AS 2187. faults. but you can use either term. water tables. subject to conditions. Recorded damage from blasting has been often catastrophic. note that AS2187 uses the term ‘effective charge weight per delay’ rather than MIC.2 Appendix is included in Diagram . Typical limits are 5 mm/s at the property of a resident for 95% of blasts and up to 10mm/sec for the other 5% of blasts.4. saturated sand beds e. The psychological effect of an unexpected explosion appears to magnify the sensation of vibration. There are formulae to estimate ground vibration from a blast. Excessive ground vibration may cause superficial and structural damage to dwellings and structures. Ground vibrations originating from blasting consist of complex wave forms. the magnitude of vibration may increase significantly with increasing height of the building. subject to conditions. Where there are no buildings or structures. as an example of the help used in designing blasts. type of rock b. note that AS2187 uses the term ‘effective charge weight per delay’ rather than MIC. Most of the energy should be consumed in breaking rock or doing work. There are formulae to estimate ground vibration from a blast. In multi-storey buildings.4 Ground vibrations When a blast initiates.2 Appendix is included in Diagram 10a as an example of the help used in designing blasts. Ground vibration greater than the prescribed comfort limit may cause concern to the unsuspecting householder. Their response to these ground vibrations depends on their attitude and position relative to the blast. Ground vibration is regulated in NSW by the Department of Environment & Conservation who issue licences that limit ground vibration. but you can use either term. such as the tripping-out of computers and other equipment. These conditions and limits are a general guide and may be altered by the authority for specific locations. These licences provide comfort limits for ground vibration for various days and times of the week. and other conditions for minimising the impact on persons.2 is 25mm/s for commercial and industrial buildings or structures of reinforced concrete or steel construction and 10 mm/s for houses and low-rise residential buildings. A chart from AS2187. the only effect of the ground vibration is to cause people in the vicinity to feel a movement beneath their feet. If the blast is . Ground vibration often goes unnoticed if kept within limits. and disrupt the operation of sensitive equipment in hospitals for example. some of which travel on the surface and others through the body of the rock. The maximum ground vibration limit for damage recommended by AS 2187. and their activity. Ground vibration transmission through rock is influenced by: a. When the blasting is in a built-up area. It is difficult to convince a householder or owner of a building that no damaging vibration has occurred when the alarming noise of the explosion was heard. ground vibration will be minimal. continuity of rock c. energy is distributed equally in all directions.2 is 25 mm/s for commercial and industrial buildings or structures of reinforced concrete or steel construction and 10 mm/sec for houses and low-rise residential buildings. 44 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.. Ground vibration may also cause secondary noise when windows and glass shelves in neighbouring homes begin to rattle. Blasts are normally designed to be below 2mm/s. A chart from AS2187. and the failure of large water storage dam in Europe. Blasts are normally designed to be below 2mm/s.

and sensitive instruments may be affected. Similarly.5 Concussion from underwater blasting Water is only going to be a problem for you if you are shotfiring directly under water. which is well below that causing damage but some people will complain. you could design your blasting to fire no more than 150kg MIC.2006) By way of example. any structure at 300m is likely to have a ground vibration of 5mm/s. Water is a relatively incompressible substance with good energy conducting properties. any structure closer 200m is likely to have a ground vibration of 10mm/s so people at that structure are likely to complain. The LR4 | 45 Diagram 10b: Estimating vibration levels for a 100kg MIC shot Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . A hospital should be at least 500m away from a 100kg charge so that the ground vibration should be less than 2mm/s. then any structure closer than 100m is at risk of damage because it is likely to have a ground vibration that exceeds 25mm/s. if you were going to fire a shot in which the MIC (or the ‘effective charge per delay’) was 100kg.In Underground Coal Mines . and then only if the strata is waterlogged. If you design shots at 150kg MIC you are unlikely to go past your likely restriction of 5mm/s Peak Particle Velocity.2 Appendix J .Diagram 10a: Estimating ground vibration from blasting at distances from structures (from AS2187. Diagram 10c: Designing a shot knowing distance to neighbours 4. Going further up the effective charge per delay line (at 100kg). Similarly.2. Concussion underwater is similar to noise in air. if you knew that a neighbour’s house was 400m away.

signpost the foreshores about the blast area with appropriate warning signs. and people swimming. including monitoring and adjustment f. people will complain. Before conducting any blasting underwater in NSW. no blast should be initiated underwater unless everyone is out of the water and preferably on from blasting radiates away from the blast site as a pressure wave until the energy is lost.skillsonline. and in suitable water craft. Any complaint or proposed legal action by a neighbour does nothing for the shotfirer/explosives user involved in the dispute. Keep the format of this document simple and mention the interested parties. affecting lungs and other vital organs. Some operations have prepared a written statement that summarises an agreed position with neighbours. and more vocal in opposing 46 | LR4 The degree of public involvement will depend on the sensitivity of the area. blast locations and future progress b. ground vibration. You might become involved in either a time-consuming legal battle or negotiation process to settle the problem. to see a blast. Whatever the approach by the neighbour(s). Internal haemorrhage is associated with such injuries. provided their demands are not unreasonable. it may fatally or seriously injure fish and humans by rupturing blood vessels. they will consider legal action if a satisfactory solution is not found to their initial complaint. the purpose for blasting and the benefit it brings to the community e. the period of blasting (say. In V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. Legislation requires that no person should be in the water in the vicinity of a blast. blast impacts. and sets out a procedure to minimise discomfort to residents. As a general rule. Further. Where comfort is disturbed or damage occurs to buildings and structures. the need for feedback from neighbours about the level of disturbance. 4. The community is becoming more environmentally conscious of disturbance. to move people to safety and to patrol the water until the blast is over and it is safe for swimmers to return. any conditions and disturbance limits imposed by relevant statutory authorities g. Most would be ready to believe the shotfirer is a ‘cowboy’ without any regard for their property let alone their comfort. Depending on the extent of disturbance or damage. or where stemming is simply water.3 IMPROVING COMMUNITY AWARENESS Most people in the community have no knowledge of explosives yet they’ve all seen the movies and believe the myths and legends about its use. blasting times and frequency such as days per week c. as shown in Diagram 11. It is usual practice to initiate unconfined charges instantaneously underwater. Sometimes the neighbour(s) is/are unreasonable because they do not want any blasting in the area. because it produces sharp and unfamiliar concussion and noise. you must find the patience to explain in some detail: a. Blasting presents an element of surprise. 10 January to 4 May) . You should make every effort to get on with the neighbours. Important Don’t blast until you are absolutely sure that there are no persons submerged or swimming in water about the blast area. and examine blast monitoring records at the main office during business hours. where neighbours are able to meet the shotfirer. snorkelling or diving in close proximity. dust and sometimes flyrock. contact WorkCover. Engage additional assistance on shore. an open-door policy may be appropriate. public relations program and methods of notifying persons of an impending blast h. nor for the If the pressure wave front is of sufficient intensity. the Maritime Authority and DPI / Fisheries to determine their involvement and any applicable requirements. Water is such a good conductor that confined and unconfined explosive charges may sympathetically detonate if precautions are not taken. relevant environmental factors and controlling mechanisms. particularly from blasting. To encourage compliance with evacuation requirements. Blasting poses a more serous problem to water life. Some oppose blasting because they have heard of incidents where damage was caused by unscrupulous users of explosives and are unaware of controls that are being implemented or environmental requirements imposed by the government. Unconfined charges would also include shotholes that have no solid stemming.

order to obtain their cooperation, distribute a copy of the blasting agreement to all neighbours in the area, even to

those not involved or complaining. An agreement would probably take several meetings to discuss and prepare. This approach is all the more necessary with long-term blasting operations.

Site name: Address: Parties involved: Local Council: Department of Primary Industries: Residents of the area: Site management: Subject: Blasting

Following discussions with residents and other interested parties, the following procedures have been put in place for safety purposes and to minimise the inconvenience to immediate residents in the areas about the (insert name of your) site. Scheduled blasting will take place only 4 days per week, namely, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Blasting will take place from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm only. Prior to blasting, a horn will be sounded once and 30 seconds later a second warning sound will be issued, followed by the initiation of the blast. Immediately after the blast and when it is determined safe, the horn will be sounded three consecutive times, indicating ALL CLEAR and the end of blasting activities for the day. If a misfire occurs, the immediate neighbours will be informed by telephone if another blast is necessary to make the area safe. During blasting operations: – the front gate of the site will be locked to people and traffic – (where appropriate) the blast area will be covered with blasting mats to prevent flyrock – all other activities on the site will stop, and available employees posted in strategic areas for personnel security reasons. In the unlikely event that a blast is required outside the agreed times, neighbours will be contacted by site personnel two hours in advance by telephone or in person. Management of the site wish to establish a good relationship with the neighbours and thanks them for their cooperation. Any feedback or comment should be referred to the manager.

Signed: Date:

Site Operation owners

Diagram 11: Sample of blasting agreement with neighbours

Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting - In Underground Coal Mines

LR4 | 47

For short-term blasting operations, where blasting is to be conducted in the vicinity of a building that may be the subject of a complaint: a. Carry out a detailed inspection of the building and if permission is granted, take photographs before and after the blast. b. Hold discussions with residents to outline the proposed operation and detail precautions taken. c. Give adequate warnings of firing, both by word and siren. d. If misfires occur, advise residents of the delay and if another blast will be required.

Assessment Go to Learning & Assessment Task 4.4 in your Learners Workbook 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”. From your previous Assessment Task (4.3), in which you calculated the MIC for two blasts, estimate the ground vibration using the graph from AS2187.2 Appendix J. Enquire of your supervisor / manager and find out how close the nearest residence is to your blasting activities. Find out what if any environmental restrictions have been placed on blasting at your site, and compare your estimate of ground vibration with those restrictions or limits. Enquire of others on site who are involved with blast design to find out what environmental issues are of greatest concern, and whether there have been any complaints about blasting. If there any complaints briefly outline the nature of the complaint and the outcome of any investigation or regulatory response as a consequence.

48 | LR4

V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training |


You must manage, control and limit any disturbance that may injure or cause discomfort to persons or damage to property. In blasting, there are controllable and uncontrollable variables. Generally speaking, uncontrollable variables would include the location of a blast because that is where the work is required—while the direction and orientation of the blast is often controllable, and can be changed to minimise impact on the environment. Some uncontrollable variables would include: 1. the geology of the area 2. the nature and structure of the material to be blasted 3. weather conditions 4. groundwater 5. adjacent land use and encroachment of housing nearer to the site. These variables are beyond the control of the shotfirer, but still need to be considered. Controllable variables are generally the specifications of the blast, which you can alter to obtain a balance between required product, safety and environmental acceptability. Other controllable variables are: 1. hole diameter 2. depth 3. hole length and inclination 4. the length and type of stemming 5. bench height 6. shothole pattern 7. initiation method 8. delay sequence 9. free-face arrangement 10. perimeter blasting need 11. explosive type 12. charging arrangement 13. powder factors 14. time of blasting 15. frequency of blasting per week.

Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting - In Underground Coal Mines

LR4 | 49

By managing the controllable variables, and making allowances for the uncontrollable variables, satisfactory results can be achieved, but this sometimes is not an easy task.

Has the loose material been mucked out in front of the face? Is the drilling accurate, particularly in the toe area? Is my stemming material and depth adequate? Will my initiation sequence work?

Every shotfirer/explosives user has a legal duty to control flyrock from any blast. The major parameters associated with controlling flyrock from a quarry blast are: 1. charge configuration 2. shothole location 3. stemming medium 4. initiation point and sequence 5. blast pattern shape and alignment 6. protective cover 7. powder factor. Flyrock possibilities must always be at the forefront of your mind. You might find a checklist useful (see Diagram 12) especially if you are blasting in a new location.

Is the delay adequate? Is the blast aimed at any place where people (or animals) could be? How far do rocks normally fly in this direction? Is it still safe for people beyond the quarry boundary? Have I changed my explosives? Have I changed the blast design or size? Have I changed the initiation sequence, stemming or anything else since the last blast of this type? Has the ground changed, or the direction of the blast? Should I reduce the size of this blast, just to be sure? Have extra cartridges been placed in the bottom of the hole to overcome the water table, hence increasing the powder factor? Any other comments.

5.2.1 Using a flyrock prevention Checklist
Question What is the ground like? Are there any faults, fissures, floaters, caverns? Is the jointing pattern in the rock angled in such a way that rocks will come out easily in a particular direction? Has the drilling been executed as planned? What is the front row like in particular (check the burden on every hole)? Has any ground fallen away since the drilling was completed? Is this a tight blast? Are there any tight spots where the ground will have difficulty in moving? Response

Diagram 12: Flyrock prevention checklist

Where flyrock potential may be enhanced by the jointing pattern of the rock, you might adjust the face orientation or the initiation sequence in order to avoid sending flyrock in a particular direction.

5.2.2 Using blasting mats
Use blasting mats where flyrock may be a potential threat to people or property, in close proximity to occupied buildings, structures or public areas, if you are shotfiring at or near the surface. Blasting mats are heavily woven mats, of robust materials, such as rope or steel wire. They are placed over the charged holes just before firing to contain the blast and prevent flyrock. It is wise to protect the mats from excessive damage by placing logs or railway sleepers over the blast area, and then positioning the blasting mats on top. Protect the mat from the cutting action of any exposed initiating explosives. A
V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training |

50 | LR4

Fine-crushed. reducing the height of blasted material 3. overburden or soil (free of rock) has been successfully used to cover a blast to prevent fly material. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . It has the added advantage of being porous.common cause of fly material when blast mats are used is the failure to secure down their sides and ends. the more likely the ejection and formation of dust. Frequently. and. OR AIRBLAST OVERPRESSURE Reduce the effects of noise from blasting or airblast overpressure by: 5. car tyres. Heavy-duty industrial blasting mats. The powder factor needs to be examined to ensure that optimum fragmentation. water the area where material is to fall. are now commercially available. or quick-setting cements and jellied water solutions are used to minimise dust from stemming ejection – just make sure it is not from reactive ground! Coal may be a particularly offensive dust in some communities . particularly where drill cuttings that consist mainly of dust are used. the fly projects from under the mat. 1. restrict blasting to favourable times. and minimum movement. restricting blasting operations to favourable days 4. so it travels greater distances and is seen by more people. allowing the expanding gases from an explosion to pass through. 5. watering down all exposed surfaces to be affected by the blast to minimise the disturbance of already settled dust 4. When steel cover-plates are used. as it may cause short-circuiting. brushwood. These have the advantage of negligible water or dust absorption and are easily handled by two people. take care to avoid contact with electrical terminals in the firing circuit. concrete blocks of several tonnes weight are placed on top of the steel plates to weigh them down . but trapping the projected rocks. Where possible. Where earth-moving machinery is available and heavy blasting mats can be shifted with ease. by the water cart.mainly because of its colour and the fact that it can remain suspended in air due to its low density. is achieved. you could use steel cover plates of 10-15 millimetres thickness as a blasting mat.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 51 . Charges on the first delay lift the mat.3 REDUCING DUST Dust can be reduced by: 1. selecting an acceptable powder factor 2. logs. if the area is dry or is layered with dust from loading-out operations just completed. using good stemming to avoid ‘blowouts’ and avoid using drill cuttings. Poor stemming is also a contributor to dust. recognising weather conditions which influence sound travel 2. specially constructed from strips of rubber tyres. It is also during the detonation process that stemming is a flying steel plate can be just as dangerous as a flying rock. 4 REDUCING ‘NOISE’. Improvised blasting mats made from timber. If available. recognising favourable and unfavourable weather conditions 3. screened stone may be used as stemming. and fencing or chicken wire have been successfully used. while it is suspended above the remainder of the shots. so the finer the stemming. The dust from the impact of falling broken material on the quarry floor is a major cause of dust. This sort of cover is of particular use to the shotfirer/explosives user who cannot employ heavy moving equipment.especially those who have been passionately opposed to the site . Also take care not to cut a connecting line when positioning the cover plates.

foggy. 15. Use adequate length of stemming. Unfavourable atmospheric conditions for blasting are: 1. 7. Avoid the use of unconfined explosives. Use non-explosive decks through mud and dirt seams to prevent .net. and use mechanical methods to fracture boulders. 3. Eliminate secondary blasting by improving fragmentation of primary blasting. 11. if any. Smoke rising from a chimney. and sometimes people who are some kilometres away will complain. to reduce the possibility of blasting during temperature inversions. use popping charges instead of plaster charges. during strong winds accompanying passage of a cold front 4.skillsonline. humid. Make sure drillers report any solution cavities in limestone that could be overloaded with bulk explosives. To minimise neighbours’ complaints. when you know everybody is out to lunch. 8. Use delay-blasting techniques to reduce the maximum instantaneous charge. conditions typical of temperature inversion and high air-pollution index 3. some operators have adopted the practice of not firing if the wind velocity towards residences exceeds 20 km/ hour. a good rule is to select a firing time that takes into account the activities of the neighbourhood. light winds and a steadily increasing surface air temperature from daybreak to blast time. 16. regardless of purpose. Ensure the blast proceeds in the proper sequence.Favourable atmospheric conditions for blasting are clear. or 3. Where secondary blasting is unavoidable. Select and use good-quality stemming.30 pm. Use initiation systems other than detonating cord. Cover surface detonating cord with 200– 300 mm of soil or crushed rock. either by design or accident through overcharging. is a good indicator that a temperature inversion is present. 13. Minimise explosives detonating in the open air. 5. during periods of the day when surface temperature is falling. 10. to partly cloudy skies with fleecy clouds. To verify that noise is not an offensive component of blasting. Avoid early mornings or late afternoons. The right time for your site may be 12. Schedule the blast at times when neighbours are normally busy or expect blasting to occur. Important Reduce noise by covering exposed explosives. Temperature inversion is an atmospheric condition where a layer of dense cold air is trapped between the earth’s surface and an upper layer of less dense warm air. Identify favourable and unfavourable weather conditions in advance. Avoid excessive delays between holes to prevent unburdening holes. hazy. 4. or smoky days with little or no wind 2. 14. 52 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. or travelling home.15 pm when everybody is on the move. Blast time should be delayed to mid-morning to allow early morning temperature inversion. flattening out horizontally after the initial rise. 9. at work. 12. 2. Temperature inversion with low-lying clouds amplifies blast noise-levels. to be eliminated. 6. Where these effects are critical. Consider geological anomalies and ground conditions. a majority of mothers also collect children from school or kindergarten at that time. you might engage the services of a noise consultant or conduct a model blast using a soundlevel meter (measuring in decibels on the Linear Scale) to monitor the actual noise level at a complainant’s premises. Also: 1. Contacting the local airport for a weather report is another way of determining a temperature inversion.

6.5 – BLAST IMPACT REDUCTION Assessment Go to Learning & Assessment Task 4. which is stemmed well and where ‘blow-outs’ are unlikely. is also unlikely to produce unacceptable airblast (noise) levels.2 summarises the most significant procedures that can be used to control ground vibration. 2. Lower bench heights.4). if possible. when excessive vibration is caused by 200 pre-splitting shots. backfill with drill cuttings or crushed stone. Eliminate sympathetic detonation by using less sensitive explosives. divide the pre-split into four groups of 50 shotholes. Keep subgrade to an absolute minimum. in which you found out what if any environmental restrictions are been placed on blasting at your site. If your site does not take routine measurements of environmental issues. 7. stemming ejection. In particular. 3. and ensure the uniform distribution of blast energy. the peak particle velocity. A blast that is designed to minimise ground vibration to acceptable levels. 10. 4. Use deck-loading techniques with different delay periods between decks. 9.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 53 . outline how you measure or monitor these issues. Control drilling of shotholes as closely as possible to prevent reduction in hole deviation. From your previous Learning & Assessment Task (4. Use smaller-diameter holes. If hole depth is more than the intended amount. Reference AS 2187. and limits are expressed in this way. An extremely valuable assessment technique (which can be used as well for blast record purposes if complaints are likely or difficult conditions exist) is to photograph. in turn. It is often surprising how much information you can derive from even basic photography. 8. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Use delays to reduce the number of holes on a delay period .5. may dictate the use of a spacing to burden ratio less than one. find out from your supervisor or blasting expert or manager how your site has estimated the environmental impacts and whether this was based on external expertise with or without trial blasts or occasional measurements being taken. Use various techniques to reduce the maximum instantaneous charge and. 12. 11. or irregular back break. film or video a blast so as to see the progress of dust emission. Use a blast that is designed to give the maximum relief practical. Also outline the controls for typical blasts at your site in relation to these issues. LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4.5 in your Learners Workbook 4 “Blast Planning & Reporting”. and ground throw.for example. 5. Use a spacing-to-burden ratio equal to or greater than one. What instruments are used and what readings are taken. and you found out what environmental issues are of greatest concern at your site. The intensity of ground vibration originating from blasting is measured as peak particle velocity (mm/s). Peak particle velocity can be estimated by using a formula or ground vibration tables (see precious chapter). The presence of weak seams.5 MINIMISING GROUND VIBRATION 1. When do you turn the instruments on. outline also your site approach to minimising any risk of flyrock. Select and use the proper powder factor to achieve the desired result.

54 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. Guard and/or signpost the area to prevent and restrict entry of unauthorised persons while you are organising the collection of the explosives.1 COLLECTING & REMOVING EXPLOSIVES At some time during your career. and develop a safe removal The site may want to involve the supplier and/or manufacturer. Visually inspect the immediate area where the detonators or explosives are situated. 4.06 DISPOSE OF DETERIORATED. Sites may have requirements for disposal so check any procedures first. surplus or defective explosives from licensed magazines or industrial or (especially old rural) domestic premises. 2. so a report to senior operational staff is vital before any action is taken. an experienced person understands the risk of detonation during disposal.skillsonline. Preventing injury and damage to property are the two most pressing considerations. Notify any site emergency personnel that disposal is taking place and give them relevant details of quantity. 1. They must be got rid of. and an experienced person must supervise the task. 6. location and possible risks 3. Massive amounts are. In that Module the simple statement was made not to use deteriorated . infrequently. Important Always assume that explosives will detonate during disposal They may be burned or disposed of in a bulk process. ABANDONED OR DEFECTIVE EXPLOSIVES Module 1 addressed the detection of deteriorated explosives. If the deterioration or defect has arisen on site it is vital that the conditions under which that occurred is corrected. Check any site procedures for requirements. you will be required to remove or dispose of damaged. and the necessary controls for that risk. taken to a place like Woomera and detonated.

12. Remove explosives and detonators separately. 9. 11. 13. transport the minimum distance to a safe disposal site. 6. Using a good carton. Clear a path for entry and exit purposes. 7.5. 19. transfer the explosives or detonators carefully from their current position—do not be rough. 8. rubbish. Depending on the condition of the defective product. Clear the immediate area of potential falling objects. 17. this also reduces the risk of detonation due to heat build-up in layered explosives. remove the box. seek the assistance of emergency services and have the area evacuated if necessary. Inspect cartridges to ensure there are no detonators.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 55 . the affected area should be treated with a copious quantity of nitroglycerine-destroying liquid (see Appendix 3) and allowed to stand for several hours. If necessary. The saturated sawdust must be treated cautiously. 18. remove the shelving for burning as well. Move defective explosives to open space until ready for transport. 6. Switch off electricity or gas if considered a risk. 10. Sawdust or similar material should be used to absorb any liquid if nitroglycerine is found as a free liquid in the carton. and this Standard commonly forms the legislative basis for handling the destruction of explosives on a mine and quarry.2 DESTROYING EXPLOSIVES AND DETONATORS Surplus or defective explosives should never be placed in any lake.2 also provides information on the destruction of explosives. creek. 14. or spread on the surface of the floor. AS 2l87. 16. Inspect the area for spiders or other insects that may cause distraction during the removal of explosives. Cartridges should not be placed on top of each other. 15. if it is to be disposed of by burning it must be treated in the same manner as a highly flammable liquid and burnt in an open area. river or dam. plastic bag or packaging separately. Do not stress a detonator if it refuses to come out of the cartridge. but be definite. If it is found as a liquid or it is likely to have exuded in the past. abandoned or placed with rubbish. Explosive product Destruction by Detonation Black powder Nitroglycerine ANFO Watergels Emulsions Cast primers Detonating cord Detonators Detonating devices • • • • • Burning • • • • • • • • • • • Water • Diagram 13: Destruction of defective explosives and detonators A larger amount of fuel is often required when burning slurry and emulsion explosives and cartridges should be slashed to allow vapours to escape as well as to reduce the risk of detonation due to heat build-up. Depending on the condition and quantity of explosives or detonators. explosives can be destroyed as summarised in Diagram 13. and vice versa. Using another good carton. When the reaction is complete the saturated sawdust may be removed and the residue washed with water. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . As a general guide. Inspect area for other loose explosives. thrown away. or you have any doubt about the explosive ingredients soaking into the shelving. combustible or volatile liquids. there is a high probability that there may be defective detonators also. flammable. Important Where there are defective explosives.

3 COMPLYING WITH LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS Legally. notification to government agencies.skillsonline. processes for destroying small quantities of explosives. provisions in magazines (if you have them on your site) for holding explosives awaiting destruction. contact the appropriate authority / government agency 2. the person intending to collect and destroy defective explosives must: 1. 2. handling. be trained in the destruction of explosives and be qualified users of explosives (in NSW you must hold a BEUL to destroy explosives) 3. 8. prepare one specifically developed for your site. 5. Authorities welcome advice about problems you have encountered so they may inform others to be on the look-out.6 DISPOSAL OF DETERIORATED EXPLOSIVES – SAFE OPERATING OR WORK PROCEDURES Assessment Go to your Learners Workbook 4 and complete Learning & Assessment Task 4. only use methods prescribed under legislation.6. You should refer to: 1. If your site does not have a procedure. on-site approvals for destroying larger quantities of explosives. reporting / recording of destruction activities and stock records. as well as to make sure the suppliers/manufacturers make the necessary improvements. deteriorated or obsolete explosives. transport or use of this explosive or others like it. specific places for destroying explosives. warnings and supporting personnel requirements. LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4. 7. 3. 4.6 by investigating your site’s procedure for disposing of defective. It is important for authorities to be informed about what has caused the defect and whether this might impact on the approval. 56 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | . guarding entry during burning and site clearances. be responsible for the safety of persons and protection of property 4. storage.

Supporting the site’s systematic management of risks associated with explosives is also vital. • Everyone should support the organisation’s systematic approach and seek to improve their work procedures.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 57 . With the enactment of common occupational health & safety legislation. wear and care for safety equipment provided. may result in costly legal proceedings or delay the job. These must be referred to and upgraded based on experience on site or others’ experiences as informed to you by safety alerts or by your own enquiries. • An explosives supplier is required to manufacture products that can be handled safely. the principle of ‘due diligence and care’ was introduced. which are left unaddressed. and work in a safe manner with others.1 TAKING A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO THE MANAGEMENT OF EXPLOSIVES USAGE AND RISKS In all Modules there has been some discussion about reporting of various kinds. providing adequate and appropriate training. Every organisation needs a shared commitment for completing work in the safest possible manner. Important Complaints. In this Module the focus of reporting should be to keep improving explosive use and the main document will be the blast plan records. Under current legislation and (in simple terms): • Every employer is required to minimise risk to health and safety by making the workplace safe. Each site will have some documents in relation to explosive usage. to provide all relevant data on product use. employees and other persons to work in such a manner that the health and safety of any person was not at risk. performance.07 7. and providing suitable equipment to complete the work. first aid and hazards and to provide training. safety. • An employee is required to use the equipment supplied safely. These records also prove invaluable if there is a complaint about the blasting or a security scare. MAINTAIN DOCUMENTATION & REPORT Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . It has placed a far greater onus on employers.

These 4 modules have progressively developed your skill and knowledge to conform with these management plans. but most organisations personalise their policies. 58 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. or to hold explosives on a premise.2 regarding Blast Management Plans. or neighbours allege excessive blasting exceeding environmental limits) and good for blasting crew purposes to support communication. or business. Statutory documents indicate that a person. They must also be readily available in response to a complaint. because they are easiest to communicate. 7. Important Treat your blasting records in the same manner as your taxation information.skillsonline.3 GIVING COMMITMENT TO YOUR SAFETY POLICY Employers have safety policies to raise the level of safety awareness. accurate.. 7. and to provide the basis for on-going improvement. which are effectively mandatory.. Explosives users must keep good management (especially if explosives or detonators are unlawfully taken from your magazine. The keeping of good records is good business. and reflects a common approach to having a one-page policy. up-to-date records and statistics for their own sake. to encourage an improvement in safety levels. and for inspection by the authorities.Appendix 2 contains an abstract from . An example or outline of a safety policy is given in Diagram . The best policies are often the simplest.2 BEING ACCOUNTABLE & RESPONSIBLE FOR RECORDS Everyone who has unsupervised access to explosives is accountable for maintenance of records. is authorised to conduct certain blasting activities.

are suited to the tasks we undertake. Our equipment is to be user-friendly. management and employees will be involved in refining the goals of our policy. To be safe & healthy our site aims to develop a strong safety culture in which blame or shirking responsibility don’t have any place. and fit-for-purpose at all times.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 59 .SITE SAFETY POLICY AIM: The aim of this program is to develop a health and safety policy that will guide management and employees in the planning. OH&S Policy: Goals for the coming year Management Employee Representative Date Date WHO: This policy has been developed and reviewed jointly by management and employees. HOW: At site safety meetings. and are competent and committed to our policy. WHAT: This policy is the basis of our SMP and looks at what we believe are our main health and safety goals. so we practise preventative maintenance. The policy is to be reviewed on __________________ at a joint meeting of management and employees. We have procedures for undertaking critical tasks in a safe & healthy manner that are kept up to date. DOCUMENT CONTROL: A copy of this policy is to be displayed in the ______________________ with the master showing the last review date remaining in the SMP. We will review this at the end of each year to see if we have achieved our target. Both management and employees have signed off on this policy document displaying commitment and ownership. at the site safety meeting we intend to use FORM xx to record our safety targets for the year. Diagram 14: Example of a safety policy Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . development and implementation of our safety management plan (SMP). We will modify our following year’s targets to account for any shortcomings. People who work at our site need to fit right in. ACTION: The yearly safety plan (FORM xx) is to be completed by ____________________ . WHEN: Each year.

au . It starts with the safety policy and progresses through risk management. When you think about it. Procedures are necessary for safe and efficient operations. instructions in relation to specific blasting. All of this requires some records. People must be involved in decisions about risk acceptability and the controls that are put in place. training in procedures. checks by the organisation as well as by the individual. ‘TRACK’ that many larger organisations have for such an event. It must be a process to foresee risks and put controls in place. These will be updated as the need arises. If one thing changes conduct an informal risk assessment such as a ‘Take 5’. especially involving those who have been exposed to the risks for which they were prepared. exposure to the risk. Risks must be monitored and emergency responses prepared. 7. 4 KEEPING RISK MANAGEMENT RECORDS Risk management is an integral component of a safety management plan.skillsonline. and should be reviewed as a matter of course on a regular basis. However.5 DOCUMENTING PROCEDURES Safe working procedures or standard operating procedures are commonly prepared for major risks/tasks and kept in a place where they are readily accessible.1 Blast Management Plan A safety management plan for shotfiring and explosives should be put together. to communicate expectations and to make on-going improvements. such as a significant change in location for blasting or a significant change in the task. and is kept up to date so there needs to be established early on a system of document control. They must also know about the monitoring and emergency supervision to ensure instructions are being observed. if two significant things change conduct a more formal risk assessment / JSA and involve the whole team. and then continually reinforced at work. not all risks can be foreseen so it is important that people understand when and how to undertake a risk assessment. AS2187 also makes it an obligation to have a blast management plan because Appendix A of this Standard is “normative’. supervision and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) into place. or minimising the 60 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. a blast management plan is logical and is not just paperwork. They must understand which type of risk assessment is appropriate under different circumstances. Do this informal risk assessment with another person involved in the task so you have the benefit of another set of eyes looking out for hazards. and they are vital to help retain ‘corporate knowledge’. Appendix 2 in this manual contains an extract for your convenience on this very important topic. ‘STOP’. Risk assessments are a necessary part of managing risks when something changes or has not been foreseen by the site.It does not have to be anything fancy. procedures that are required to support risk controls. such as in NSW it is a legal requirement under coal mine safety legislation to have a major hazard management plan for explosives. When writing a safety policy. ‘SLAM’. consider the risk management advice and safety rules given in the previous units. However. 7. In some case. procedures. which means mandatory. and any legal case will view failure to observe this Standard very dimly. or engineering out the risk by putting physical barriers in place to prevent someone coming into contact with the hazard.3. Controls include eliminating the risk by not doing some things or substituting a high risk for a much lower risk. and these might suggest maintenance is required. but the message must be conveyed to everyone from the beginning of their employment. Sometimes this will involve only one significant change. which should be recorded individually. Keep a record of the risk assessment because using explosives is a high-risk activity. 7. or putting softer controls such as training. ‘tickets’ to confirm an individual’s training plus experience.

public liability and where applicable. Maintenance records are required. Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS). All sites need to anticipate engaging contractors and have basic processes and procedures in place to avoid unwanted delays in continuation of operations. Contractors will have their own ‘safe systems of work’ and may need to liaise with sites regarding improvements to their own or to the site’s system. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . professional indemnity insurances. such as in production and safety meetings. Maintenance also includes calibration of mobile mixing units.7. that everyone is meeting expectations. 7. as well as to coordinate actions across the site.7 SUPERVISING & MAINTAINING SHIFT RECORDS Supervision is a vital part of making sure that necessary precautions are being taken. and 3. Brief notes that record special events or conditions during the shift should be maintained and used in shift handover discussions as well as in later communications. 7. 7. and monitoring improvement processes. need inductions – both generic to the site and task-specific in relation to their particular task and location. 2. maintenance is a vital part of safe and efficient blasting. Training records must be maintained. This is vital for emergency responses. Contractors will also have to supply copies of: 1. all relevant licences.9 MAINTAINING EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES As with all equipment and facilities (such as magazines. contractors must submit copies of workers’ compensation. Training in the use of explosives is available from various sources to help people understand the risks they face. in particular. as well as to record their activities and the outcome of their work. Contractors & suppliers Contractors (including sub-contractors). knowledge and experience are four factors that commonly contribute to the safe use of explosives.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 61 . There will be various records kept in relation to contractors. the precautions to be taken.8 MAINTAINING SITE SECURITY. education. procedures. INDUCTION & ACCESS All people who come on site should register their presence. but it also provides an opportunity for inducting people to the risks they may face on site and the expectations placed on them under certain circumstances. In particular. vehicles and blasting machines/exploders) used on site. Where appropriate. In particular. that any new hazards are being identified and risk controls upgraded.6 TRAINING & RECORDS Training. people must have structured training in procedures to boost their knowledge and experience. contractors may need to make generic risk assessments and SWMS relevant to particular site needs.

but the following discussion focuses on safety in general. Ignorance is not a defence in the eyes of the 62 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. 7.10 MONITORING SAFETY & HEALTH. given the high-risk nature of shotfiring. If there is a concern it must be discussed openly with all members of the blast crew and the concern properly resolved – as has already been said.10. b. similar reports for equipment.1 Using Diaries A shotfirer who maintains good stock and blast plan records may not need to maintain a diary. providing that the blast records contain information regarding any concern. through observing the rules of safe operations.skillsonline. of . Legislation might not make easy reading. There are. OR ENFORCING RULES AND STANDARDS Explosives are not kind to those who ignore common requirements. Each member of every blast crew must do the same things as the others in their crew – every time. so they must make sure that standards are being observed. Enforcing the policy is probably the most difficult part to achieve. and deciding what has been done really well and what needs improvement. It is important to make the rules freely available. However. so users of explosives must become familiar with legislation and standards.2 COMPLYING WITH. explosives may not give you a second chance – sometimes by reference to legislation and sometimes to another body of knowledge. and these might be seen as a progression. in the same way that magazine records monitor stock usage. Hazard reporting Hazard reports contain basic information in relation to concerns. A summary of all these records should be taken to regular safety meetings. and this may have to escalate to other levels if the behaviour is not improved – for the good of all concerned! 7. unlike stock and blast records that track the past even where they help as a future reference. everyone must be committed to it. the hazard might not be all that likely. It means that a qualified supervisor must be present to observe practices. ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS PERFORMANCE Blast records provide the central means of monitoring blasting practices. If the resolution of the concern is to make a change. Blast records should contain environmental monitoring results. but the consequences are often significant. The onus on every employer is not only to advertise and promote safety rules. but to enforce them as well. A diary may have to record disciplinary action. but if incorporated into the workplace and in the field. to correct co-workers when errors are anyone who is involved with explosives and who is responsible for the safety of others should get into the habit of keeping a diary or ensuring that all concerns are included in the blast plan records.7.10. to apply them at work. starting with a pre-start check. Without being too dramatic. Legislation is one way of passing on the hard-won experience of others. Diaries are particularly valuable as a reminder of things to do. PRODUCTION. 7. A typical hazard report is illustrated in Diagrams 15a.10. and to notify regulators of your hard-won experience. commencing with a hazard report. law. give directions to complete work and meet blasting timetables. which are the forum for monitoring all site activities. going forward. a shotfirer has the lives of others in their hands. it can become a useful tool.3 MANAGING RISKS – RISK RECORDS There are several types of documents relating to hazards and risk management.

to do shotfiring at another site. and are particularly valuable where the person who identifies the hazard does not have the capacity to fix the problem.These reports simply identify concerns. change work location – such as when you change from a normal blasting situation in the pit. change tasks – such as when you change from a standard shot to do a pre-split. Informal risk assessments If the person has a concern over which they have some control they might fill in an informal risk assessment.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 63 . where the primary aim is to identify new hazards and see how well previously identified hazards are being controlled. This could also apply for an underground shotfirer going to do a surface shot. These forms/reports complement workplace inspection reports. or when you 2. These are particularly valuable when you: 1. Diagram 15a: Hazard reporting process outline (NSW DPI & IQA) Diagram 15b: Typical hazard report form (front) (NSW DPI & IQA) Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . A typical one is a ‘Take 5’ as shown in Diagram 16. An informal risk assessment has many shapes and names.

Formal risk assessment When both the work location and the task changes. looking at the general working environment. otherwise you may simply do a ‘brain dump’ of hazards and miss something important. It also contains a series of pocket cards to support hazard identification. Many people who are about to do a task that they don’t do all the time. A commonly preferred way to do this is to do a Job Safety Analysis (JSA.Diagram 16: Typical ‘Take 5’ form An informal risk assessment is best done with two or more people. 64 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.skillsonline. The ‘Pocket Guide’ booklet (as opposed to the pocket book) contains sample forms of formal risk assessments and Safe Work Method Statements. A typical formal risk assessment is shown in Diagram see http://www. A JSA (or its variation) gets you to list the steps involved in the task then do a risk assessment of all steps from set-up through to putting the gear away and making sure it is ok for the next time. The NSW DPI publishes a ‘Risk Management Pocket Guide’ that comprises a hazard report pad. and completed on the workbooks . it is best to do a formal risk assessment involving the whole team and not starting work until it has been reviewed by a supervisor. the people involved and the procedure to be followed. which is often more detailed. sometimes called a Job Hazard Analysis or a Job Safety & Environment Analysis).nsw. as well as an informal risk assessment head straight for a JSA rather than a procedure. the equipment and materials being .

the safety alert that came out from the Queensland Explosives Inspectorate concerning vehicles and signal tube. As a consequence they are often held as a pre-start meeting for any shot. what will happen next (eg “We’ll make sure everyone involved in charging at any time is made aware of this change”). with some primers getting stuck down the shothole when we simply dropped them down”) 2. what was the reaction – what was the response to the thing that triggered the action (eg “We then had trouble dislodging the primers and had to try and pump emulsion around the primer. They may also be a way of passing on information from a safety alert. it is common for procedures to be drawn up. but they are essentially the same. or reviewed a procedure. procedures. or to discuss any aspect of their task. Feedback.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 65 . Systems and Contractor documentation There are a number of other documents that could be described. might have prompted discussion at a toolbox talk/pre-start meeting. A double check by someone with fresh eyes is always wise. For example._ submissions/publications .com. procedures are amplified with fine detail and pictures. and not airmailing unwanted primers out of control”) 4. They capture corporate memory in a more explanatory way than in a JSA or a SWMS. Safe Work Procedures (SWP). where the site engages in the special consideration. or Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). including ‘Toolbox Talks’ Feedback is an essential component of managing risks. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . Toolbox talks should be recorded – especially recording any action arising from discussion. They also provide an opportunity for anyone to raise a concern or query.Safe Work Method Statement A formal risk assessment can lead on to a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS). When someone has taken the trouble to fill in a hazard report form. They also have key features like definitions. and 4. which is an outline of the task that is based on a risk assessment and also involves special consideration of key features of: 1. what happened as a result of the reaction (eg “So we’ve changed our procedures and will be threading any unwanted primers onto the proper primer so we can lower them both down the shothole under control. a Contractor Safety guide has been published by the NSW Minerals Council at http://www. referred to in Module 1. A typical record form is shown in Diagram responsibilities and document control that supports third party auditing. by way of a double check. Training manuals Often after hard-won experience. In the case of contracted work. Common steps in giving feedback include: 1. risk assessment.nswmin. SWMS. A typical SWMS is shown in Diagram 18. The name change might reflect site documentation or legislation. with the new primer only part way down the shothole”) 3. you must consolidate that input by giving feedback. what happened – what was the thing that prompted/ triggered action (eg “Bill identified a hazard with our disposal of unwanted primers in yesterday’s shot. and because a SWMS is an outline. There comes a stage when these are more valuable as a training manual than for everyday reading. Because shotfiring can be a regular task. equipment and materials 3._reports. Procedures are sometimes called Safe Work Instructions (SWI). people. so a SWMS is also a feature at some sites where blasting is regarded (wisely) as a high-risk activity. the managed working environment 2. This is a common progression for contractors. Toolbox Talks are a common way of reaching all shifts and of passing on any of this sort of information.

au Company: . equipment. C: 1 = catastrophic Rank. L 1 = almost certain 2 = likely Consequence.R (=LxC): Minimum management standards for treating the risk • try a less risky option • prevent contact with the hazard • organise work to reduce the exposure • issue PPE • check emergency procedures Manager: V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. people procedures • select highest possible control within capabilities • immediately notify supervisor/manager • record in daily diary • fix within … (eg by the end of the shift) • discuss at next production / safety meeting • other … Date: Action / added to ‘system’: Company Response: Discussed FORM 5A .66 | LR4 Date: Team: Class of Risk (LxC+R) Rank Hazard Controls Safe Work Method Statement req? Y/N Trigger for emergency response (what will tell you if something is about to go wrong?) 3 = possible 3 = moderate 7 – 15 = medium • take short term action to improve conditions • select highest possible control within capabilities – review checklist • notify supervisor at end of shift • record in daily diary • fix within … (eg by the end of the week) • discuss at next safety meeting / weekly toolbox talk • other … 4 = minor 5 = insignificant 4 = unlikely 5 = rare SWP / refs: RA Number: NOW GO TO FORM 5B for SWMS – if required Supervisor: 16 – 25 = low • select highest possible control within capabilities • review procedures & checklist • fix within … (eg within the month) • review during next workplace inspection to ensure risk is still low • other … 2 = major 1 – 6 = high • stop work & review thoroughly as a team • barricade area or take short term action to improve conditions.skillsonline.RISK ASSESSMENT (& JSA / JHA / Take 5 etc) Risk assessment (combining also a Job Safety Analysis) & Communication Workplace: Task: Diagram 17: Typical formal risk assessment form (NSW DPI & IQA) Job Step Hazards

competency checks. at next toolbox talk next safety meeting etc Project number (if applicable): Prepared by: Company: LR4 | 67 . procedure or standard to be developed? Accountabilities Who will make sure this happens? When will it be done by? Risk Assessment reference: Critical Steps in the task Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . SWMS (incorporates Safe Work Procedures) Date: Team: Workplace: Task: Diagram 18: Typical SWMS (NSW DPI & IQA) Discussed & agreed precautions Equipment required? – list special items below Special training.Form 5B – Safe Work Method Statement. certificates? Permit required.In Underground Coal Mines Include all ‘high’ hazards below from the risk assessment Supervisor: Date: Date: Date: Reported / RA Number Action/ added to ‘system’: Action: Manager: Discussed: Eg with next shift.

Form: Toolbox talk or Pre-start Meeting discussion details Date Supervisor / recorded by: Contents of Toolbox Talk or Pre-start meeting Safety (cross. etc requirements Diagram 19: Typical Toolbox talk or Pre-start meeting record 68 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. induction.reference or topic) Notices Other (especially any changes) Issues Action Responsibility Timing Review required by Sign-off Time: am / pm Shift: Location People Present Name Task Signature Site / contractor / visitor .net.skillsonline.

so don’t get bogged down in detail. to see how the continuous improvement loop requires sites to have a clear aim or intent for safe operation.7 . This task will require you to track down a variety of records. etc)”.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 69 . 2. to have a logical approach or plan to achieve that aim.LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TASK 4. or the shotfirer. or the maintenance person. namely the managed working environment. activity. including a copy of the site safety policy. and lastly to make on-going improvements based on the facts derived from the monitoring. which is for you to compile a suite of typical records maintained in relation to the use of explosives. you might note “this is a copy of the record I (or our team. On every record you might make a note of your involvement in the record-keeping. or my/our supervisor. etc) made on (date) following (the blast. to see records of the four components of work. On another example you might note your review of a procedure/training etc. For example.RECORD-KEEPING Assessment Go to your Learners Workbook 4 “ and complete Learning & Assessment Task 4. Rather you should begin to see the context of the records from two major perspectives: 1. equipment and materials. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . to monitor the plan’s implementation. to implement the plan. and.7. people. concern expressed. and processes.

Terms may also be derived from legislation. Legislation contains specific definitions that may differ from generally accepted definitions.GLOSSARY OF TERMS Reference books on explosives often contain technical terms to help communication. Acoustic warning Acts Afterdamp Airblast. which is a high explosive mixture of Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil (diesel). AS 2187. but not including aluminium Approved by the appropriate government agency or authority Used in conjunction with air ducting to direct a portion of the main ventilating current to the working face Ground broken back past its designed shape Side section of the coal face remaining after the centre section has been shot out by explosive When the priming charge of a shot is placed at the back or bottom of the blasthole or shothole To lever loose material from the roof or backs to make it safe The volume of rock before it is blasted A hole which is charged with explosives for blasting purposes Air deck Anfo Approved Auxiliary fan Back break Back end Back (or bottom-) primed Bar down BCM or Bank Cubic Metres Blasthole or Shothole 70 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. These terms are used to avoid confusion with ‘noise’.0 Explosives: Glossary of Terms contains terms commonly used by blasting practitioners who follow codes. passed by Parliament and become law of the land Atmospheric pollution following fire or explosion (usually lethal) Airborne shock or pressure waves from an explosion. These terms are also used in official documents. courts of law and technical papers. which are sound pressure waves at frequencies that our ears detect Uncharged length of blasthole by using airbags A common bulk explosive. which are mostly at low frequencies that are below the frequencies that we ‘hear’. standards. literature and manufacturers’ information. codes and other sources. current word .skillsonline. airblast overpressure A distinctive audible warning used to indicate the progress of a blasting operation Developed by statutory authorities. with or without approved additives.

such as detonators and cables/wires Parallel cleavage planes or partings crossing the bedding and along which the coal breaks more easily than in any other direction Specify in detail the procedures that must be adopted to complete a particular activity. a section of a blasthole in order to obtain a greater quantity of explosives at the point depending on the charge and generally results from a greater “burden” on the shot than would allow it to pull properly The distance between the charge and the free face. primers and detonating cord) A mat made of rope.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 71 . placed over a blasting area to prevent debris from being scattered The breaking of rocks by firing charges placed against them and may be confined by sand-bags. Needing higher ‘powder factors’ than when rock moves at right angles to blastholes. which is ignited by electric current or the spark of a fuse. and is most commonly used in surface mining The weight in kilograms of the explosive charge An approved electrical instrument for testing firing circuits or the components thereof. Used for detonating explosives – as opposed to a ‘cap’. not at right angles.. by compression from an explosion. the energy of the explosives has blown out of either the front or the back of the shothole An explosive. or an enlarged blasthole resulting from a blown out shot. A length of safety fuse with a plain detonator crimped on to one end A special place. where the blasthole is or may be shattered to a greater or lesser degree A procedure intended to enlarge. bench. Also known as plastering. room or building used expressly for preparing capped fuses. or the distance apart in the direction of ‘heave’. referring to the explosive’s ability to be reliably detonated by a No. mud or clay. which is a piece of timber placed on top of legs for strata support Electric circuits used to fire electric detonators or to ignite an igniter cord by means of an electric starter An explosive used in mining. A shot that has failed to do its work. rubber strips. 8 strength detonator. and includes cartridges and bulk explosives. the movement of rock forward. quarrying and excavations generally. polyethylene tube or other similar material. some of which are charged and fired to form the “cut” into which subsequent holes fire That portion or remainder of a blasthole found in the face after a shot has been fired A common term. as opposed to ‘spacing’.Blasting agent A descriptive term used to denote certain high explosives such as those consisting predominantly of ammonium nitrate and in which none of the ingredients is classed as an explosive.or detonator –sensitivity Capped fuse Capping station Blown out shot Booster Borehole pressure Box cut Cast Charge weight Circuit tester Break Break detector Brisance Cleat Codes Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . and their means of detonation (eg detonators. often comprising a holder for a roll of safety fuse and a mark that indicates the desired length of fuse (generally being more than the minimum of 2m) The same as ‘throw’. the thickness or quantity of rock/coal that a single shot or number of shots is expected to move A number of more or less parallel holes drilled into a face. The area near blasting operations in which concussion or flying material can reasonably be expected to cause injury A detonator containing a charge of detonating compound. commonly as compared to the strength of ANFO A blasthole which has been enlarged (chambered) by exploding a light charge of high explosive in the bottom. Similar term to ‘drop cut’ A crack or cavity in the strata encountered when boring a blasthole A specially shaped tool used to detect breaks in blastholes The ability of an explosive to break (or shatter) by shock or impact as distinct from gas pressure Bulk strength Bulled hole Energy/unit volume of explosive. used generally in small quantities to maintain a high velocity of detonation through the main charge The pressure in a blasthole caused by the high temperature gases from the explosion A blast pattern where the rock has no initial free face and movement will be roughly parallel. commonly being the same as a priming charge. a hole with a chamber at the bottom to accommodate a larger quantity of explosive. generally to conform with legislation Blasting area Blasting cap Bulling Blasting circuit Blasting explosive Burden Blasting mat Burn cut Blister shooting Butt Cap. to blastholes.

of a volume. the inbye end of the mine roadway.2(2006). caused by dead-pressing or by shock that fails to initiate the explosive Detonating cord A cord with a solid core of (usually) PETN. which can be initiated by flame or spark. decoupled charges are smaller in diameter than the diameter of the blasthole (Low) Explosives. g.0) The appearance of oily globules of nitro-glycerine on the inside or outside of a cartridge wrapper A wall of rock usually nearly vertical. usually the working place for coal extraction Column charge Coupling Critical diameter Detonation pressure Down line Drift Cut-off Drifter Drilling line Drive Drop cut Day box Dead press Deck charges Elevated temperature Decoupling Deflagrating explosives Delay. where the density of water is 1g/cc Supervisor in charge of a section or district of a coal mine. A container used at the work site for holding daily requirements of explosive Compressing a charge beyond its critical density. or by detonating connectors for detonating cord or signal tube connections The weight. and may refer to the general area. A mixture of Ammonium Nitrate in an oily emulsified liquid.skillsonline. responsibility and authority of a deputy are set down in the relevant mining regulations Lack of sensitivity in an explosive.Collar The top of a drill hole. either naturally formed or developed by blasting. Elevated temperature products – are explosive products that have been formulated and/or packaged and tested to withstand a nominated temperature for a recommended period of time before they will deteriorate or become unstable and possibly decompose violently or explode. causing it not to detonate Breaking the continuity of an explosive column in a blasthole to reduce the amount of charge in the blasthole or less commonly to reduce the amount firing on separate delays in the one blasthole As opposed to ‘coupling’. undergoes a rapid chemical change with the development of heat and high pressure (see Australian Standard AS 2187. delay blasting Density Emulsion Exploder Explosive Deputy Exudation Desensitisation Face 72 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. as opposed to a ‘trunkline’. generally in grams. similar to ‘box cuts’ Material that is above 55oC and includes both hot ground and high temperature ground conditions as defined in AS2187. and detonating at very high speed (7. which have a lower velocity of detonation than 2000m/s Usually achieved by delay elements or micro-chips in detonators/electronic detonators.000m/s). caused by flyrock or disconnection through people or vehicles travelling over the shot. generally in cubic . delay detonators. and all employees working therein. cc. to which other ingredients are added for sensitising and thickening the product. May be a bulk explosive or in cartridges A specially designed portable source of electrical/spark energy used to fire charges. The statutory duties. of rock or explosive or any other substance. which when initiated. which is the surface connecting detonating cord outside the blasthole An inclined access from the surface to the coal seam or from coal seam to another coal seam or to the same seam that has been faulted-off A hand-held boring machine mounted on an air leg used to bore holes when driving drifts or drives A line of drill holes some or all of which are not charged A heading. unlike signal tube. advancing place or face A pattern commonly used when commencing the descent of a haul road in an open cut. Is any material or mixture of materials. including amount of hole left uncharged at the top of the hole or the beginning of a blasthole A continuous charge of explosives in a blasthole Describes the contact between the explosive and the wall of the blast hole The diameter of an explosive composition (sometimes called minimum diameter) below which detonation fails to occur or to continue indefinitely A break in a connection line for multiple blastholes. Detonating cord is consumed when initiated The pressure from the explosion The line of detonating cord by which a primer is lowered into a blasthole. or virtually instantaneously. Also refers to a misfire situation where the charge fails to detonate when a firing line or column charge is disconnected down the hole.

(2) a roadway driven in the solid. heading direction parallel to cleavage direction. or the size range when rock is broken. Start the chemical reaction that is the detonation wave Explosives which are used commercially to detonate other explosive charges A detonator designed to have virtually no delay between initiation and explosion of the detonating charge The next row of holes above the lifters in a round of shots The bottom row of holes in a round of shots designed to bring the floor of the excavation to the desired level A method of smooth blasting. good fragmentation means that the rock has broken to a size that doesn’t need any secondary breaking/blasting The face of rock that is nearest to the explosive charge The ability of an explosive to withstand low temperatures.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 73 . Lighter than air. property or the environment (1) roadways forming the openings in the direction of development of the panel. sometimes with the person being covered by a wet cloth when lighting or touching the methane. (see also methane) A measure of the ease with which an explosive can be ignited Rock thrown far beyond the amount of ‘heave’ or ‘throw’ expected in a blast Sometimes an old miners’ term for explosives A description of the degree to which. Main headings. resulting from the explosion The movement of the ground as a result of the shock wave from the explosion.2-2006 – Section 12. which includes gases. The same as ‘Effective Charge per Delay’ A gaseous compound of carbon and hydrogen naturally emitted from coal that can be explosive when mixed with air or oxygen between certain limits. having a velocity of detonation greater than 2000m/s High temperature blasting is defined as the blasting of material at 100oC or greater [AS 2187. etc Movement of the blasted ground caused by gas pressure forcing the ground to move forward High explosives Explosives which are initiated by shock from another explosive. See also ‘hot ground’ Ground or material is defined as ‘hot’ if its temperature is 55oC or more but less than 100oC [AS 2187.the fuse head of an electric detonator The products. such as a detonator. mic Methane (CH4) Heading Heave Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting .1] The direction along a roadway towards the face thus going away from the surface entry Refers to the flame resulting from an explosion. primer or booster. This is different to pre-splitting The weight of explosive required to load 1 metre of a blasthole – varies according to the blasthole diameter A store which is exclusively appropriated to the keeping of explosives The fuse head of an electric detonator The weight of explosive that detonates at the same time.6. water vapour and finely divided solids. mostly used in connection with the explosives ability as a ‘permitted explosives’ to be used for blasting in gassy or dusty situations Explosive products that chemically suppress the reaction between nitrates and sulphides. At one time firedamp used to be removed by deliberately lighting it. For example. This may involve the addition of chemicals to reduce the temperature at which the explosive freezes. 2 s. It is usually measured as the maximum speed of ground movement in millimetres per second “peak particle velocity” Blasting the coal out of the solid seam without previous undercutting Any plant or procedure at a place of work that has the potential to cause injury or damage to persons.Firedamp Any mixture of methane and air is firedamp: if mixed in the range 5 to 15% (methane in air) the mixture will explode and has been the source of many explosions in coal mines . such as by the addition of nitrogylocol to nitroglycerine explosives to reduce the freezing temperature to –20°C Or match head . or perimeter drilling used to protect walls of an excavation from blasting.7]. (3) a roadway driven in the direction of advance of a district. which is normally defined as within an 8 millisecond period.2-2006 – Section 12.g.if above 15% the mixture will burn and hence the name firedamp. Heading.w. it comes out of the coal or surrounding strata High temperature ground Hot ground Flammability Flyrock Fracture Fragmentation Inbye Incendivity Inhibited product Initiate Initiating explosives Instantaneous detonator Knee holes Lifters Free face Freezing resistance Fusehead Fume characteristics Ground vibration Line drilling Grunching Hazard Loading density Magazine Match head Maximum instantaneous charge. Some or all of these holes will not be charged. e.

The two classes of protected works are as follows: (a) Class A: Public street. river-wall. wharf. Nonel Oxygen balance Pre-splitting Overbreak Outburst A shot fired prior to the main blast designed to create a crack in the rock. a shop. factory. major dam. end use profiles. pier or an information sheet that meets the Worksafe Australia Code of Practice for the preparation of Material Safety Data Sheets. in which a precursor is normally manufactured. often being the same charge as a booster. hospital or factory.A building. Firing a number of shots in a single round incorporating delay detonators Includes a range of oxides of nitrogen resulting from an explosion. open place of work in another occupancy. A MSDS is supplied for each hazardous material offered for sale or transport by the manufacturer or supplier of the material. store or building in which any person is employed in any trade or business. college. theatre. a depot for the keeping of flammable or dangerous goods. cinema or other building or structure where the public are accustomed to assemble. which gives the reddish-orange tinge to some blasting fumes and has a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 5ppm. and other oxides depending on the combustion See ‘signal tube’ The amount of oxygen required for the explosive reaction to give optimum performance and fume characteristics Breaking of rock beyond the planned limit A violent displacement of broken coal at the face caused by excessive gas or earth pressure. warehouse. NOx A material resulting from a chemical or physical change when two or more substances consisting of fuels and oxidisers are mixed and where the material is intended to be used exclusively in the production of an explosive. market place. includes the very toxic nitrogen dioxide NO2. and generally fired by a detonator (a rare exception being safety fuse to fire a priming charge of black powder) Protected works are places that can be accessed by the public .Misfire MSDS A charge or part of a charge that has failed to explode Material safety data sheet (MSDS) . handled or stored. also ‘laughing gas’ nitrous oxide N2O. not intending to utilise any heave. stored and transferred and where no additional processing of the material into an explosive occurs. radio or television transmitter or main electrical substation. penetrating cone fracture Permitted explosive Protected works Pillar Pop (pop shooting) Powder factor 74 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.A facility where precursors are manufactured. railway. especially on the final wall of the excavation. chapel. evidence shall be produced demonstrating that the substance cannot cook-off leading to a mass violent reaction. and utilising the shock or shattering effect of the blast. (2) locations between the face and surface Granular nitro-cellulose propellent powder that is a low explosive Type of explosive approved under the mining regulations for use in coal mines/seams because its ignition temperature is below that required to ignite methane or coal dust A block of coal left to hold up the roof and formed by driving a connected series of headings/bords and cut-throughs Breaking of large rocks by firing a charge within holes drilled into them The amount of explosive in kilograms required to break a cubic metre (or tonne) of rock in a particular situation Precursor Multiple shotfiring Nitrous oxides. hospital. reservoir. seawall. college. In order for such substances not to be categorised as a precursor. being fired with decoupled charges An explosive cartridge. school. package or unit used to initiate the main charge. also including nitric oxide NO with a PEL of 25ppm. often associated with areas of weakness in the coal (1) the direction along a roadway away from the face.A building licensed by the appropriate regulatory authority for the manufacture or handling of explosives. Such evidence may include physical and/ or chemical testing/modelling. a private road which is a principal means of access to a church. school. public recreation and sports ground or other open place where the public are accustomed to assemble. road or thoroughfare. Precursor facility .au . other than for immediate use.skillsonline. detailed risk analysis or by analogy. Primer Outbye PCF. Precursor building . dock. public building church. navigable waterway. Process building . (b) Class B: A dwelling house. above ground water main.

shiny. sulphur balls. which is a hollow tube containing HMX and aluminium on the inside wall. This term is useful in comparing the effect of an explosive in a blasthole that has a different density to ANFO A comparison of the strength of an explosive with the same weight of ANFO. that sit beside each other.Pyrite A hard. rib and face. The reaction of concern involves the chemical oxidation of sulphides (usually of iron or copper. so that you can leave a length of blasthole uncharged and filled with stemming material – as opposed to a tamping stick or rod Limestone (calcium carbonate) dust sprayed over roof. which is rated at a strength of 100%. and others with specialist skills.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 75 . and especially fine-grained pyrite. and is not consumed in a blast. which is rated at a strength of 100% The name given to the coal walls of the roadway: these are the sides of the pillars The chance that someone or something could be harmed See stone dust (1) a series of shots connected and fired at the one time.combustible and non-siliceous dust onto coal. etc. yellow mineral. May be applied also to copper pyrites. acceptable practices. which is to reduce its potential to explode. tin pyrites. and may be adopted by reference under legislation Inert material used in the collar area to confine the explosive gases in the blasthole A pole for dipping blastholes to tell how the explosive is rising in a blasthole. FeS2 or iron disulphide. Consist of specifications. which is the ‘burden’ Security sensitive ammonium nitrate. which is an iron sulphide) by nitrates and the liberation of potentially large amounts of heat. transport.. as opposed to the distance they are apart in the direction of heave or rock movement. but iron pyrites is the most common sulphide found in coal mines or metalliferous mines that causes a problem. and general detail to comply with the Act The government agency or authority having jurisdiction for administering legislation covering the manufacture. developed and agreed to by consensus of statutory authorities. containing more than 45% ammonium nitrate The chemical stability of explosives Document acceptable practices. storage and handling of dangerous goods within a particular State or Territory. or in the same row. especially following a gas explosion or combustion due to the flame of explosive detonations Stone dusting is the operation of spraying finely ground limestone or other non. heavy. approval mechanisms. Also called iron pyrites. The limestone particles mix with the coal dust and reduce the possibility of a coal dust explosion Sleep time Reactive ground Smooth blasting Socket Spacing Regulations SSAN Stability Standards Regulatory authority Relative bulk strength Stemming Stemming stick Relative weight strength Rib Risk Rock dust Round Stone dust Secondary blasting or breakage Sensitivity Strength Shotfirer The energy generated by the detonation of an explosive and the work the explosive is capable of doing – see ‘relative weight’ and ‘relative bulk’ strength Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . generally in cubic crystals. persons with industry experience. The process is unpredictable and can be so violent that it results in mass explosions. prohibited practices. It detonates with a flash that travels at around 1900m/s The period of time an explosive may stay in a blast hole (say 30 days) and still be initiated reliably Method of drill hole placement when an excavation is to be made to close tolerances when shotfiring See “butt” The distance apart of adjacent. especially pyrite. The most likely material to be involved in ‘reactive ground’ Rock that undergoes a spontaneous exothermic reaction after it comes into contact with nitrates. and throughout the mine to render exposed coal dust inert. fool’s gold. In its very fine form. friction impact or shock Person whose duty it is to place the explosive in a hole drilled in the face of the coal and then fire the explosive Shothole or Blasthole Signal tube A hole which is charged with explosives for blasting purposes A generic term for Nonel or shock tube. side-by-side blastholes. (2) the selected pattern of holes drilled for multiple shotfiring Blasting of oversize rock that came from the primary blast A measure of the ease with which an explosive can be initiated by an external stimuli such as heat. it is likely to oxidise or combust at a rapid rate. A comparison of the strength of an explosive with the same volume of ANFO.

net.creates an open area for the coal to expand to when the explosives are detonated – generally bringing down a lot of coal with a relatively small amount of explosive A position holding responsibilities defined by the coal safety legislation. Rock often ‘swells’ by 50% after the explosion but this can depend on the fragmentation A wooden rod used for tamping or pressing explosives in blastholes Like ‘heave’ the movement of rock forward in a blast. VOD Water resistance 76 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www.Swell factor The ratio between the volumes of rock before and after . commonly referring to a lump in the floor remaining after a blast where the explosive was insufficient to break all of the rock as planned (1) to cut below or undermine the coal face by chipping away the coal by mining machine. for example behind a shot where front holes do not move sufficiently Bottom of a blasthole. while ‘throw’ might be in any direction.skillsonline.requiring a 2nd class certificate of competency The speed of an explosive reaction in converting an explosive from a solid to a gas The ability of an explosive charge to resist desensitisation from. (2) as for (1) above but part of the mining cycle when using explosives to remove the coal . An undermanager is usually the person in charge of underground mining operations on a shift and is next in authority under a manager or deputy manager . or the effects of water when submerged at a given depth fro a period of time Tamping rod Throw Toe Undercut Undermanager Velocity of detonation.

However. gently raise and lower the cartridge to free any liquid. but by migrating nitroglycerine. smoking. it will disappear into the water and not be a problem. stirring until dissolved. which has an oily feel and a distinct smell. Aluminium. or treating areas affected by nitroglycerine. If the liquid is AN. and sparks when handling the mixture. you should always be alert to the liquid being dissolved ammonium nitrate (AN). Place the damp cartridge of explosive into the glass. To determine whether cartridges are contaminated with nitroglycerine. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 30 minutes then add the methylated spirits and acetone while stirring. Ventilate the area well. it will sink to the bottom of the glass and form globules separate to water because nitroglycerine is not water-soluble and has a higher density than water. Important Nitroglycerine-destroyer solution is extremely flammable and corrosive — so take adequate precautions. galvanised or zinc coated containers must not be used for making this mixture.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 77 . Nitroglycerine liquid can be destroyed by a solution made of the ingredients given in Diagram 20 (below). If nitroglycerine is present.A1 Liquid found in a box of nitroglycerine explosives might not be caused by water from condensation or saturated cartridges. Ingredients Caustic soda Water Methylated spirits Acetone Quantities l60 g 500 mL l000 mL 250 mL APPENDIX 1 NITROGLYCERINE DESTROYER Diagram 20: Nitroglycerine-destroyer solution Carefully add the caustic soda to water in a plastic or glass container. Avoid all sources of ignition. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . take a clean glass and fill it with water. Warning Wear suitable eye protection and impervious gloves when mixing nitroglycerine destroyer solution.

including control and/or mitigation. responsible for such . (f) Implement a review process to ensure that the objectives are met. This information assists in the planning and implementation of further blasts and provides documentation in case of incident or complaint. (e) Control the blast process from design to initiation. site personnel and surrounding properties.2 BLAST MANAGEMENT PLAN A2. otherwise the components of the plan shall be submitted to one or more competent persons. (b) Identify risks and hazards associated with the within the organization conducting the blast.1 INTRODUCTION All blasts shall be planned and designed to achieve the required outcome with minimum impact on the surrounding environment. (g) Assure compliance with the approval/ contract specifications.A2 APPENDIX 2 .skillsonline.2. (h) Assure the safety of the public. the plan shall be submitted to a regulatory authority for authorization.1 Purpose The purpose of the blast management plan is as follows: (a) Detail the objectives for the project or task. below. Records that detail the results of each blasting operation should be taken and maintained.BLAST MANAGEMENT PLANS A2. training programs and communication systems. 78 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | www. A2. on or above the soil or water surface. Where required. (c) Identify site-specific requirements including selection of personnel. (d) Introduce blast as part of the overall task in a planned manner. evaluation and misfire treatment.

2. (t) Environmental considerations for airblast overpressure. (b) Description of the proposed blasting. ground vibration. should include. Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting . (o) Type of firing equipment and procedures. including but not limited to the following: (a) Environmental conditions at the time of the blast.A2. (f) Comment on the results of the blast.In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 79 . (x) Proposed dates and times of blasting. (v) Warning procedures. A2. (e) Identification and position of person who has given approval to use explosives on the project. 2 Information on flyrock and fly is given in Appendix E. (q) Explosive loading and charging procedures. serial number and location. (i) Details of adjacent structures or services that influence the blast design. NOTE: See Appendix L. (b) Monitoring equipment including type. the following: (a) Location of the proposed blasting. (m) Type of explosive to be used and quantity required. (dd) Misfire management system. such as the possible presence of hazardous atmospheres and inrush should be recorded. (d) Identification and position of the person responsible for the project including project safety and security. (aa) Influence of weather. including explosives. (y) Details of the exclusion zone. NOTES: 1 Information on air blast overpressure and ground vibration is given in Appendix J. (p) Drilling procedures. shotfirer and person who approves the plan. drawings and records consulted. (r) Explosive storage and handling procedures. (ff) Provision for post-blast comments. 4 TUNNEL AND MINE DEVELOPMENT BLAST RECORD Elements of safety associated with tunnel blasting. (j) Details of reports. Provision for this information may be made on the blast plan. (c) Permits/licences required for the project.3 BLAST RECORDS Details of blasts should be taken and maintained. (w) Traffic management plan. A2. and providers of services adjacent to the blast. (s) Security procedures for the site and the blast.2 Contents A blast [management] plan. (n) Method of initiation. (bb) Loading in poor light conditions or reduced visibility. (c) Details of measurements recorded during the blast. (g) Shotfirer’s details. but not be limited to. (d) Details of flyrock or fly. (l) Detonation sequence/effective charge mass per delay (MIC)/powder factor. (gg) Signature spaces for the plan author. (g) Proposed modification to the blast plan for future shots. (k) Layout plan of the blast including drilling pattern and hole depths. (f) Key appointments and responsibilities. (z) Method of notification to owners and occupiers of structures. (ee) Post blast assessment and inspection procedures. (u) Details of communication systems. (cc) Cessation of explosive-related activities during electrical storms. (h) Details of the risk management assessment. (e) Details of incidents and complaints.

Notes 80 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | .

Notes Shotfiring Course | Learners Resource 4: Blast Planning & Reporting .In Underground Coal Mines LR4 | 81 .

Notes 82 | LR4 V1 2009 © Department of Education and Training | .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful