• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
  • Subpart:
    1926 Subpart U
  • Subpart Title:
    Blasting and the Use of Explosives
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Initiation of explosive charges - electric blasting.
  • GPO Source:
Electric blasting caps shall not be used where sources of extraneous electricity make the use of electric blasting caps dangerous. Blasting cap leg wires shall be kept short-circuited (shunted) until they are connected into the circuit for firing.
Before adopting any system of electrical firing, the blaster shall conduct a thorough survey for extraneous currents, and all dangerous currents shall be eliminated before any holes are loaded.
In any single blast using electric blasting caps, all caps shall be of the same style or function, and of the same manufacture.
Electric blasting shall be carried out by using blasting circuits or power circuits in accordance with the electric blasting cap manufacturer's recommendations, or an approved contractor or his designated representative.
When firing a circuit of electric blasting caps, care must be exercised to ensure that an adequate quantity of delivered current is available, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Connecting wires and lead wires shall be insulated single solid wires of sufficient current-carrying capacity.
Bus wires shall be solid single wires of sufficient current-carrying capacity.
When firing electrically, the insulation on all firing lines shall be adequate and in good condition.
A power circuit used for firing electric blasting caps shall not be grounded.

In underground operations when firing from a power circuit, a safety switch shall be placed in the permanent firing line at intervals. This switch shall be made so it can be locked only in the "Off" position and shall be provided with a short-circuiting arrangement of the firing lines to the cap circuit.


In underground operations there shall be a "lightning" gap of at least 5 feet in the firing system ahead of the main firing switch; that is, between this switch and the source of power. This gap shall be bridged by a flexible jumper cord just before firing the blast.


When firing from a power circuit, the firing switch shall be locked in the open or "Off" position at all times, except when firing. It shall be so designed that the firing lines to the cap circuit are automatically short-circuited when the switch is in the "Off" position. Keys to this switch shall be entrusted only to the blaster.

Blasting machines shall be in good condition and the efficiency of the machine shall be tested periodically to make certain that it can deliver power at its rated capacity.
When firing with blasting machines, the connections shall be made as recommended by the manufacturer of the electric blasting caps used.
The number of electric blasting caps connected to a blasting machine shall not be in excess of its rated capacity. Furthermore, in primary blasting, a series circuit shall contain no more caps than the limits recommended by the manufacturer of the electric blasting caps in use.
The blaster shall be in charge of the blasting machines, and no other person shall connect the leading wires to the machine.
Blasters, when testing circuits to charged holes, shall use only blasting galvanometers or other instruments that are specifically designed for this purpose.
Whenever the possibility exists that a leading line or blasting wire might be thrown over a live powerline by the force of an explosion, care shall be taken to see that the total length of wires are kept too short to hit the lines, or that the wires are securely anchored to the ground. If neither of these requirements can be satisfied, a nonelectric system shall be used.
In electrical firing, only the man making leading wire connections shall fire the shot. All connections shall be made from the bore hole back to the source of firing current, and the leading wires shall remain shorted and not be connected to the blasting machine or other source of current until the charge is to be fired.
After firing an electric blast from a blasting machine, the leading wires shall be immediately disconnected from the machine and short-circuited.

[63 FR 33450, June 18, 1998]