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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 18. Explosives and Pyrotechnics
Article 113. Explosives and Pyrotechnics

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§5237. Definitions.

“Air Loader.” A device for inserting explosive materials into a bore hole or other cavity, using compressed air as the propulsive force.

“Air Supply Lines.” Pipe, hose or combination of pipe and hose, that supplies compressed air to the air loader.

“ANFO.” An explosive material consisting of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil.

“ATF.” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, United States Department of Treasury.

“Barricade--Artificial.” An artificial mound or revetted wall of earth of a minimum thickness of 3 feet at the top of the mound or acceptable equivalent.

“Barricade--Natural.” Natural features of the terrain such as hills, or timber of sufficient density that the surrounding exposures which require protection cannot be seen from the magazine when the trees are bare of leaves.

“Barricaded.” A building or structure containing explosives effectively screened from another magazine, inhabited building, railway, highway or work area either by a natural or by an artificial barricade of such height that a straight line from the top of any sidewall of the building, or structure, containing explosives to the eave line of any other magazine, inhabited building or a point 12 feet about the center of a railway, highway, or outside work area will pass through such intervening natural or artificial barricade.

“Binary Components.” The combination of two non-explosive materials to form an explosive material.

“Blast Area.” The area of a blast within the influence of flying fragments, gases, and concussion.

“Blast Site.” The area where explosive materials are handled during loading, including the perimeter of blast holes and 50 feet in all directions from loaded holes or holes to be loaded.

“Blaster, Licensed.” Any competent person designated to supervise blasting operations and in possession of a current blasters license issued by the Division.

“Blasting Accessories.” Equipment used when loading and firing explosives. It does not include explosive materials.

“Blasting Agents.” Any material or mixture consisting of a fuel and oxidizer, intended for blasting and not otherwise classified as an explosive, provided that the finished product, as mixed and packaged for shipment, cannot be detonated by means of a No. 8. test blasting cap when unconfined.

“Blasting Cap.” See “Detonator.”

“Blasting Circuit.” A circuit used to initiate explosive materials.

“Blasting Machine.” An electrical device designed to fire electric detonators.

“Blasting Mat.” A heavy mat of woven rope, steel wire, or chain, or improvised from timber, logs, brush, or other materials placed over loaded holes to minimize the amount of rock and other debris that might be thrown into the air.

“Blasting Operation.” Includes, but is not limited to use, on-site transportation and storage of commercial explosives, blasting agents, and other materials used in blasting.

“Blasting Shelter.” A shelter for the protection of employees while blasting.

“Bullet Resistant.” Magazine walls or doors of construction resistant to penetration of a bullet of 150-grain M2 ball ammunition having a nominal muzzle velocity of 2700 feet per second fired from a .30 caliber rifle from a distance of 100 feet perpendicular to the wall or door.

“Bus Wires.” Wires in the blasting circuit to which the leg wires of electric blasting caps are attached for parallel electric blasting.

“Cap Crimper.” A tool specially designed to securely crimp the metallic shell of a fuse detonator or igniter cord connector to a section of inserted safety fuse.

“Capped Fuse.” A length of safety fuse to which a blasting cap has been attached.

“Car.” Wheeled conveyance for use on rails, whether hand trammed or included in a train.

“Competent Person.” One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

“Connecting Wires.” Wires used to extend the leading (firing) line or leg wires in an electric blasting circuit.

“Coyote Hole.” An underground tunnel-like chamber into which explosives are placed for primary blasting.

“Deflagration.” A rapid chemical reaction in which the output of heat is sufficient to enable the reaction to proceed and be accelerated without input of heat from another source. Deflagration is a surface phenomenon with the reaction products flowing away from the unreacted material along the surface at subsonic velocity. The effect of a true deflagration under confinement is an explosion. Confinement of the reaction increases pressure, temperature, and rate of reaction, and may cause transition into a detonation.

“Detonating Cord.” A flexible cord containing a center core of high explosives.

“Detonation.” An explosive reaction that moves through an explosive material at a velocity greater than the speed of sound in the material.

“Detonator.” Any device containing an initiating or primary explosive that is used for initiating detonation in another explosive material. Detonators were formerly called blasting caps and include:

(A) Fuse caps or ordinary blasting caps which are initiated by safety fuse.

(B) Electric blasting caps which are initiated by means of an electric current.

(C) Electric delay blasting caps are electric detonators which introduce a predetermined lapse of time between the application of electric current and the detonation of the base charge in the detonator.

(D) Shock tube, gas initiation, or miniaturized detonating cord blasting caps are detonators that are designed to be initiated by the signal, flame or detonation impulse from shock tube, gas filled tubes, or miniaturized detonating cord. Like electric blasting caps, they may incorporate a delay element to produce a predetermined lapse of time between receipt of the energy signal and the firing of the base charge in the detonator.

“DOD.” U. S. Department of Defense.

“Electric Blasting Cap.” See “Detonator”.

“Electric Delay Blasting Caps.” See “Detonator”.

“Nonelectric Delay Blasting Cap.” See “Detonator”.

“Emulsion.” An explosive material containing proportional amounts of an oxidizer dissolved in water droplets surrounded by immiscible fuel or droplets of an immiscible fuel surrounded by water containing substantial amounts of oxidizer.

“Explosive Materials.” The term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite and other high explosives; slurries, emulsions, and water gels; black powder and pellet powder; initiating explosives; detonators; blasting caps; safety fuse; squibs; detonating cord; igniter; igniter cord; pyrotechnic devices; blasting agents; and propellants.

(A) “Explosives, Chlorates.” Explosive materials that contain over one percent (1%) chlorate by weight, in the total mix.

(B) “Explosives, Perchlorates.” Explosive materials that contain over one percent (1%) perchlorates by weight, in the total mix.

“Explosives.” Any chemical compound, mixture or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.

(A) “Classes.”

(1) High explosives. Explosive materials which can be caused to detonate by means of an initiator test detonator when unconfined (for example, dynamite, flash powders, and bulk salutes).

(2) Low explosives. Explosive materials which can be caused to deflagrate when confined (for example, black powder, safety fuses, igniters, igniter cords, fuse lighters, and “special fireworks.”)

(3) Blasting Agent. Any material or mixture, consisting of fuel and oxidizer which cannot be detonated by means of a No. 8 testing blasting cap when unconfined.

(B) Division. (For transportation purposes only.)

(1) Division 1.1 -- Explosives that have a mass explosion hazard.

(2) Division 1.2 -- Explosives that have a projection hazard, but not a mass explosion hazard.

(3) Division 1.3 -- Explosives that have a fire hazard and (1) a minor blast hazard or (2) a minor projection hazard, or both, but not a mass explosion hazard.

(4) Division 1.4 -- Explosive devices that present a minor explosion hazard.

(5) Division 1.5 -- Very insensitive explosives which have a mass explosion hazard but are so insensitive that there is little probability of initiation. (Blasting Agents - ANFO, non cap-sensitive emulsions and water-gels, and packaged ANFO products.)

(6) Division 1.6 - Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard. (There currently are no commercial explosive products that fit this classification.)

“Explosives-Actuated Power Devices.” Any tool or special mechanical device which is actuated by explosives, but not to include propellant actuated power devices. Examples of explosive actuated devices are jet perforators, shaped charges and similar devices.

“Face or Bank.” The sides from the bottom or floor of a pit to the surface surrounding the pit. Where one or more benches or levels are used in a pit, each bench or level has a separate face.

“Face -- Underground.” That part of any adit, tunnel, stope, or raise where excavating is progressing, or was last done.

“Fireworks.” (Also see “pyrotechnic devices.”) Any device containing chemical elements and chemical compounds capable of burning independently of the oxygen of the atmosphere and producing audible, visual, mechanical, or thermal effects which are useful as pyrotechnic devices or for entertainment. The term “fireworks” includes, but is not limited to, devices designated by the manufacturer as fireworks, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, rockets, Daygo bombs, sparklers, party poppers, paper caps, chasers, fountains, smoke spards, aerial bombs, and fireworks kits.

“Forbidden or not Acceptable Explosives.” Explosives which are forbidden or not acceptable for transportation by common, contract or private carriers by rail freight, rail express, highway or water in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 49 CFR Chapter I.

Note: Certain chemicals and certain fuel materials may have explosive characteristics but are not within the coverage of 18 U.S.C., Chapter 40 and are not specifically classified as explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Authoritative information should be obtained for such materials and action commensurate with their hazards, location, isolation and safeguards, should be taken.

“Fume Classification.” As defined by the Institute of Makers of Explosives, Publication No. 12, “A classification indicating the amount of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide produced by an explosive or blasting agent. Explosives with positive oxygen balances are not considered as being acceptable in these classifications.”

“Fuse, Safety.” A flexible cord containing an internal burning composition by which fire is conveyed at a continuous uniform rate.

“Highway.” Any street, alley, or road, publicly or privately maintained and open to use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

“Igniter Cord.” A small-diameter pyrotechnic cord that burns at a uniform rate with an external flame and used to ignite a series of safety fuses.

“IME.” Institute of Makers of Explosives.

“Industrial Explosive Devices.” Explosive-actuated-power devices and propellant-actuated-power devices.

“Industrial Explosive Material.” Shaped materials and sheet forms and various other extrusions, pellets, and packages of high explosive which include dynamites, trinitrotoluene (TNT); pentaerythritoltetranitrate (PETN); and other similar compounds used for high energy rate forming, expanding, and shaping in metal fabrication and for disassembly and quick reduction to scrap metal.

“Inhabited Building.” A building regularly occupied in whole or part as a habitation for human beings, or any church, schoolhouse, railroad station, store, or other structure where people are accustomed to assemble, except any building or structure occupied in connection with the manufacture, transportation, storage or use of explosive materials.

“Intraline Distance.” The minimum distance permitted between any two buildings within one operating line. Intraline distances are also used for separating certain specified areas, buildings, and locations even though actual line operations are not involved. Intraline distance separation is expected to protect explosive materials in buildings from propagation detonation due to blast effects, but not against the possibility of propagation detonation due to fragments. Buildings separated by intraline distances will probably suffer substantial structural damage.

“Intraline Operations.” Those operations accomplished within one operating line.

“Leading Wires.” The wire(s) connecting the electrical power source to the blasting circuit.

“Loading Hose.” The hose through which an explosive or blasting agent is blown or forced.

“Loading Line.” The loading hose, loading tube and all fittings and connections from the loader to the discharge end of the loading tube.

“Loading Tube.” The rigid or semi-rigid static dissipating tube in the loading line.

“Magazine.” Any building or structure, other than an explosive manufacturing building, used for storage of explosive materials.

(A) Type 1 Magazines. Permanent magazines for storage of high explosive materials. Other classes of explosive materials may also be stored in Type 1 magazines.

(B) Type 2 Magazines. Mobile and portable indoor and outdoor magazines for the storage of high explosive materials. Other classes of explosive materials may also be stored in Type 2 magazines.

(C) Type 3 Magazines. Portable outdoor magazines for the temporary storage of high explosive materials while attended (for example, a “day box”). Other classes of explosive materials may also be stored in Type 3 magazines.

(D) Type 4 Magazines. Magazines for the storage of low explosive materials. Blasting agents may be stored in Type 4 magazines. Detonators that will not mass detonate may also be stored in Type 4 magazines.

(E) Type 5 Magazines. Magazines for the storage of blasting agents.

“Misfire.” An explosive charge which partly or completely failed to explode as planned.

“Missed Hole.” An explosive loaded hole or any portion thereof containing an explosive charge that failed to explode.

“Motor Vehicle.” Any self-propelled vehicle, truck, tractor, semitrailer, or trailer used for the transportation of freight over public highways.

“Mudcapping.” Blasting by placing a quantity of explosives with detonator on or against the object to be blasted. This is also known as bulldozing, adobying, or plaster shooting.

“NFPA.” National Fire Protection Association.

“Operating Building.” A building in which any processing of explosive materials is conducted.

“Operating Line.” A group of separated operating buildings of specific arrangement, used in the assembly, modification, reconditioning, renovation, maintenance, inspection, surveillance, testing or manufacturing of explosives.

“Operating Line Separation.” The required safe distance separating two or more operating lines.

“Permanent Blasting (Leading) Wires.” Those wires between the firing switch and auxiliary switch, including sections between auxiliary switches, for use in blasting where the power source is an electric circuit.

“Permissible.” A machine, material, apparatus, or device which has been investigated, tested, and approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and is maintained in accordance with the requirements of the approving agency.

“Pneumatic Loading.” Loading of explosive materials by means of compressed air.

“Prills.” Spherical pellets.

“Primary Blasting.” Blasting used to fragment and displace material from its original position to facilitate subsequent handling and crushing.

“Primer.” A cartridge or container of explosives into which a detonator is inserted or attached to the main charge.

“Processing.” A series of actions or operations involved in the manufacturing of explosive materials, including the manufacture of explosives, the assembly, loading, disassembly, modification, reconditioning, renovation, maintenance, inspection, surveillance, shipping, receiving, or testing of explosive materials and the packaging and repackaging of explosive materials for wholesale distribution.

“Propagation (Sympathetic Detonation).” The detonation of explosive charges by an impulse received from adjacent or nearby explosive charges.

“Propellant (Solid).” Explosives compositions used for propelling projectiles and rockets and to generate gases for powering auxiliary devices.

“Propellant-Actuated Power Devices.” Any tool or special mechanical device or gas generator system which is actuated by a propellant, or which releases and directs work through propellant charge.

“Pyrotechnic Devices.” Any combination of materials, including pyrotechnic compositions, which, by the agency of fire, produce an audible, visual, mechanical or thermal effect designed and intended to be useful for industrial, agricultural, personal safety, or educational purposes. The term “pyrotechnic device” includes, but is not limited to, agricultural and wildlife fireworks, model rockets, exempt fireworks, emergency signaling devices, and special effects.

“Remote Operation.” Where operating personnel are protected by substantial walls designed to safely withstand the anticipated overpressure should a incident occur.

“Safety (Blast) Shield.” A barrier constructed at a particular location, or around a particular operation to protect personnel, material or equipment from the effects of a possible fire or explosion.

“Safety Fuse.” See “Fuse, Safety.”

“Secondary Blasting.” Blasting to reduce the size of boulders resulting from a primary blast.

“Sensitizer.” Any additive, active or inert, which added to a chemical compound or mixture causes that compound or mixture to become more sensitive to initiation.

“Slurry Explosives.” An explosive material containing substantial portions of a liquid, oxidizers, and fuel, plus a thickener.

“Small Arms Ammunition.” Ammunition of .75 caliber or less, when designated as an explosive by USDOT.

“Small Arms Ammunition Primer.” Small percussion sensitive explosive charges encased in cup used for ignition of propellant powder.

“Special Effects.” Articles containing any pyrotechnic composition manufactured and assembled, designed, or discharged in connection with television, theater, or motion picture productions, which may or may not be presented before live audiences and any other articles containing any pyrotechnic composition used for commercial, industrial, education, recreation, or entertainment purposes when authorized by the authority having jurisdiction.

“Springing.” The creation of a pocket at the bottom of a bore hole by the use of a moderate quantity of explosives.

“Squib-Electric.” A firing device that burns with a flash.

“Static Dissipating.” Sufficiently conductive to dissipate charges of static electricity but possessing enough electrical resistance to be nonconductive to ordinary stray electrical currents. The electrical characteristics shall be uniform and for hose or tubes shall have a resistance of not less than 5,000 ohms per foot nor more than 30,000 ohms per foot and not more than 2 megohms over its entire length.

“Stemming Material.” Inert material placed in a borehole after the explosive. Used for the purpose of confining explosive materials or to separate charges of explosive materials in the same borehole.

“Trackless Vehicle.” A type of vehicle that does not run on rails.

“Train.” A car or cars moved by mechanical or other power.

“Underground.” Work locations in mines, tunnels or similar subterranean excavations.

“USDOT.” United States Department of Transportation.

“Water Gels.” An explosive material containing substantial portions of water, oxidizers, and fuel, plus a cross-linking agent.


Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3 Labor Code.


1. Amendment of subsection (a) filed 11-18-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 44). For prior history, see Register 76, No. 29.

2. Amendment filed 9-18-80; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 80, No. 38).

3. Editorial correction of “Blasting Shelter.” (Register 95, No. 24).

4. New definition “Explosive Materials” filed 9-24-97; operative 10-24-97 (Register 97, No. 39).

5. Amendment filed 7-11-2003; operative 8-10-2003 (Register 2003, No. 28).

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