A blasting crew had drilled holes into some rock outcroppings
and loaded these holes with explosives in preparation for
blasting. The proper equipment to test and fire the blast
was not available at the work site. The blaster used an
old discarded line and tried to fire the blast first with
a 6-volt flashlight battery and then a truck battery. These
The road foreman stayed at the firing position, while the
blaster went to the blast site to investigate why the blast
had not detonated. The truck battery was reconnected to
the firing line while the blaster was still at the blast
site. Two workers began testing the cable using a
12-volt light bulb to locate any breaks or poor connections.
While they conducted this test, the blast detonated. The
blaster was fatally injured.
Safe work practices:
- Use only a proper blasting machine to fire the blast.
Never use a battery.
- Do not use a firing line that is broken or damaged and
always test the line before use.
- Always use a blasting
galvanometer to test the firing line.
- Appoint a qualified and competent blaster-in-charge
who understands the responsibilities of a supervisor.
- Establish, review, and enforce written safe work procedures for all blasting operations.
Watch a slide show on another blasting incident:
"It was raining rocks" is a short audiovisual presentation on the dangers of fly rock. View
the slide show on WorkSafeBC.com (see Publications, Multimedia).