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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 18. Explosives and Pyrotechnics
Article 119. Manufacture of Explosive Materials

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§5329. Explosive Operations.

(a) Process hazard analysis shall be performed in accordance with Section 5189 of these Orders on all operations involving explosive materials including such factors as: (1) initiation sensitivity; (2) quantity of explosive materials; (3) blast output; (4) thermal output; (5) rate of burning; (6) potential ignition and initiation sources; (7) separation barricades; (8) personal protective equipment; and, (9) personnel exposure with special consideration given to the respiratory and circulatory damage to be expected by inhalation of hot vapors and the toxicological effects due to inhalation of combustion products.

(b) Workers shall be provided protection from potential blast overpressures, hazardous fragments and thermal effects when hazard assessments indicate the probability of an accidental explosion.

(c) A fire detection and extinguishing system that is quick-acting and of adequate capacity to extinguish potential flash fires in their incipient state shall be installed. Such system shall maximize speed of detection and application of the extinguishing agent.

(d) The working area where the screening, grinding, blending, and other processing of static-sensitive explosive materials is done shall be maintained above 20 percent relative humidity. Except for controlled environments where it is necessary to maintain the humidity below 20%, when the relative humidity drops below 20 percent, the above operations shall be stopped and secured (personnel removed) until the relative humidity can be raised above 20 percent.

(e) Means shall be provided and used to discharge static electricity from hand trucks, buggies, and similar equipment before they enter buildings containing static-sensitive explosive materials.

(f) Bulk explosive materials shall be kept in covered containers when not being used or processed. In no case shall explosive materials be stored or transported in open containers.

(g) The quantity of explosive materials at any particular work station shall be limited in accordance with the quantity distance table in 5327, and not to exceed 4 hours supply of material or 4 hours supply of product, except that when this quantity would introduce a serious hazard, such quantities shall be limited to a lesser amount.

Exceptions: Quantities required for a unit of production for the following:

(1) Propellant processing;

(2) Explosive casting operations; or

(3) Batch processing of explosive materials.

(h) Appropriate receptacles with covers shall be provided for each station for disposing of waste material and debris. These waste receptacles shall be emptied and cleaned as often as necessary, but not less than once each day or at the end of each shift.

(i) General safety rules and operating instructions governing the particular operation or process carried on at that location, shall be available at each work station. The rules shall include requirements for bonding and grounding, compatible cleaning agents to use and other precautions deemed necessary for safe operation.

(j) Personnel and explosive load limits shall be conspicuously posted.

(k) Major repairs or changes to the building or equipment shall not be undertaken in an explosives location during regular operations without removing the explosive materials. This does not prohibit minor adjustments or emergency repairs to secure immediate safety. Before beginning repairs, the consent of the competent person in immediate charge of the building or location shall be obtained. Any other personnel in the location shall be notified of the work to be performed; the area shall be inspected for the presence of residue explosive materials and dusts; and all such material shall be removed from equipment, crevices beneath floors, from walls and pipes, and under fittings where explosive materials may accumulate. The area shall be washed down thoroughly and maintained wet during repairs.

(l) Tools and equipment used near explosive materials shall be compatible with the explosive materials.

(m) Spilled explosive materials shall be cleaned up immediately.

(n) Shipping containers, cleaning rags, and other materials contaminated with explosive materials shall be removed daily and disposed of in a safe manner.

(o) Explosive materials shall not be placed near any source of ignition.

(p) A warning system shall be provided to alert persons approaching a hazardous operation or area. The warning system shall be activated when operations are being conducted.

(q) Employees working in processing facilities shall wear flame retardant, non-static generating, pocketless coveralls or coats. Footwear having waffle or similar soles which can capture and retain explosive materials shall not be worn.


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


1. Amendment of section heading and section and new Note filed 7-11-2003; operative 8-10-2003 (Register 2003, No. 28).

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