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6th Annual Explosives Manager workshop – DOL asks for input

The Department of Labour has moved away from playing the cat and mouse game with the industry role players where inspectors come to workplace in white coats and a checklist aggressively looking for mistakes, Director: Construction, Explosives & Major hazard installations (CEMHI), Phumudzo Maphaha told delegates at the 6th Annual Explosives Manager workshop on Tuesday, (March 27) at the Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng.

“Let us work together in developing documents that will help the industry and do not be afraid to criticise us as the Department”, he continued.

Held under the theme, “Explosive Regulations Finalisation” the workshop is intended to empower the explosives industry in terms of amendments to explosive regulations and to provide a platform to engage role players and have a robust debate on the issues that concerns them.

Meanwhile, Rudzani Ramabulana, the Deputy Director: CEMHI, presented the amendments to the regulations as well as the reasons for the changes. He told the workshop that some of the reasons for changes are related to the regulations being outdated and not in line with the current technological advancement faced by the industry more especially the management of radio frequency in the explosives industry.

Ramabulana told the gathering that changes include: the addition of definitions for terms such as explosives, blaster, Ammonium Nitrate, full time capacity and competent person; inclusion of radio frequency devices focusing on the development of the Radio Frequency device guidelines, risk assessment of RF on site, notification to the department of Labour on assessment results; risk assessment; Risk assessment entails the addition of personnel as part of the risk assessment and lastly the National Explosive Council duties as having been added.

Ramabulana hinted the gathering that several other projects such as the Explosive Workplace application form, Radio Frequency Guidelines document, Risk Assessment Reporting format, and the Ammonium Nitrate good practice document are completed and the remaining two being: Explosives Manager Qualifications as well as Safety distance tables are under discussion.

There were other several presentations such as the qualifications of the explosive manager by Prof S Heinz from the University of South Africa, the Radio Frequency Devices Guidelines by Mr C Fouché from the Interference Testing Consultancy, and a review of the South African Regulations as against international Guidelines by Mr. S Lapage who is a consultant in Structural Engineering.

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