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Blasting Agents and Safety

blasting agent worker in mixing plant

Blasting Agents and Safety

Blasting agents are an important part of many workers’ jobs. However, if they are not handled properly, they can be extremely dangerous to you, your co-workers, and those who happen to be around the facility. To avoid disaster, it is important that you exercise extreme care when working with them.

Housekeeping

One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to practice good housekeeping in the workplace. The entire mixing and packaging plant must be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.

Prohibited Materials

There are certain things that create a risk of explosion in a facility that works with blasting agents.

  • Lit cigarettes
  • Matches
  • Open flames
  • Spark-producing devices, such as lighters
  • Firearms

Mixing Blasting Agents

Follow these guidelines to stay safe when in the mixing facility

  • Keep metal powders, such as aluminum, dry and stored in moisture-resistant, weather-tight bins.
  • Clean floors and equipment regularly to prevent the buildup of oxidizers and other substances.
  • Dispose of empty ammonium nitrate bags daily in a safe way.
  • Never weld or use open flames in or around the mixing or storage area of the plant unless it has been completely washed down.
  • Never bring explosives within 50 feet of building facilities.

Transporting Blasting Agents

  • Vehicles in the blasting area should avoid driving over or dragging hoses over firing lines, cap wires, or explosive materials.
  • Use a second person to guide the driver’s movements.
  • Never place matches, firearms, acids, or other corrosive liquids in the bed or body of any vehicle containing blasting agents.
  • Never ride on, drive, load, or unload a vehicle containing blasting agents while smoking or while under the influence of intoxicants, narcotics, or other dangerous drugs.

Stay Alert

If you are unsure of the proper procedure for handling a certain substance, or you have a doubt about safety in the workplace, do not hesitate to discuss it with your supervisor. Our first priority is keeping you, your co-workers, and those around us safe.

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