Explosives – An Overview

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What are Explosives?

An explosive is a substance, or a combination of substances that have the ability to react very violently to emit light, heat, gas and sound at both speeds and pressures that can cause considerable damage to the surrounding area.

An explosion is typically broken into two classifications: high order and low order. A high order explosion releases energy immediately with the resulting shockwave breaking the sound barrier and thereby destroying any objects in its path. A low order explosion will release energy at a slower rate, along with large amounts of gas.

Where low order explosives are typically used as propellants or for pyrotechnic displays, high order explosives are usually used for demolition or aggregate breakdown or exposure.

For an overview of hazardous substances read our editorial here.

Where are Explosives most likely to be found?

Examples of common explosives include TNT, dynamite and C4. These are typically found in mining and quarrying operations, the oil and gas industry, and within civil construction.

What are the risks to people and the environment?

While the risk will vary depending on the force of the explosion, it goes without saying that uncontrolled explosions can cause instant and considerable harm to both people and the environment. Harm to persons – if not fatal – include severe burns, lung and tissue damage from gasses, ear-drum damage, as well as the harm from flying objects. Harm to the environment can also be significant and includes buildings and other infrastructure collapsing, landslips, and the risk of fire.

How do I store Explosives?

Any Class 1 Explosive – in any quantity – must be under the control of a Certified Handler, someone that has been through the necessary training and certification process to handle explosives. With regards to the storage, the Certified Handler should refer to Table 7, Schedule 8 of the Health & Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017, to determine if the quantity of their particular Class 1 Explosives needs to be under ‘lock & key only’, or within a ‘magazine’, also known as an explosive box.

If within a magazine, this person must ensure that the magazine has an outer case that complies with the requirements of the AS Standard.

Chemshed Explosives Cabinets are available in four sizes:

What are the design requirements for cabinets?

The AS Standard AS2187.1 prescribes both the construction and the method to secure explosives, that require storage in an approved magazine (explosive box). These requirements are outlined as follows:

  • Construction of the box must be of sheet steel of 0.8mm thick, or sheet aluminium 1.1mm thick. The internals of the explosive box must be lined with wood, which must be fastened to the steel or aluminium.
  • Must be fitted with a close-fitting lid secured with a steel hasp, steel staple and steel hinges.
  • Fitted with a secure lock.
  • Fitted with handles for lifting.
  • Painted both internally and externally.

The explosive box must also have locking arrangements with a tensile strength of at least 1250 kN/m2.

Incompatible substances

Class 1 Explosives are incompatible with all other hazardous substances and must be completely segregated.

For more information on segregating dangerous goods, download our free resource here.

Chemshed 20-Year Warranty

Storing dangerous goods is a demanding task but the strength and reliability of Chemshed cabinets, mean they are right up to it. To prove our confidence in them, they are backed up with a 20-year Warranty, which will give you the peace of mind that you are purchasing a solution that rises to the storage challenge, like none other. Find out more here.

Creating safer working environments

At Hazero our mission is zero hazards. Our extensive range of quality products will help you store, contain and control and clean-up dangerous goods and hazardous substances.

View our full range of Chemshed Explosives Cabinets here.

Need help creating a safer working environment? Contact our team today on 0800 688 844 or email us at info@hazero.co.nz. Our team are also available for on-site assessments across New Zealand, click here to request a site visit.

Content above falls under the Hazero Disclaimer, for more information click here.

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