Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Sen, GC and Downs, G, An Approach to Addressing Explosive Related Accidents by Implementing Strategic Training in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2008: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2008, 251-260.


In underground coal mines, the use of explosives is very limited, particularly where the longwall method of mining is practised. However, occasionally the call for the use of explosives does occur in most underground coal mines. Explosive use today is generally confined to shooting a dyke, excavating an overcast in stone, for fault drivage, and for shaft sinking or drifting in cases where use of a road header is considered to be uneconomical. Explosives have also been successfully used in triggering goaf falls to prevent wind-blast or for remote mining through areas where methane gas does not drain below the ‘outburst threshold limit’ It is therefore essential that among the mine personnel there are employees qualified in the handling of explosives under varying conditions, and these qualifications should be up to date. This paper proposes that all shotfirers should undergo a refresher course in blasting at intervals of five years, so that up-to-date knowledge is disseminated. The essential modules of such a refresher blasting course should consist of the following: a) Familiarisation with current types of explosives and accessories; b) Types and modes of initiation; c) Blast design and calculation; d) Precautions to be taken before and after firing; e) Consideration of environmental factors; and f) Dealing with misfires. Above all, a safety culture amongst the personnel who handle explosives needs to be established, and strictly adhered to.