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OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
October 27, 2003
Curtis H. Childress, CSP, ALCM
Risk Control Training Manager
The St. Paul Companies
2327 Flint Hill Road
Powhatan, Virginia 23139
Re: Whether it is permissible to transport blasting caps with other explosives in the same vehicle where an IME 22 container is used; 29 CFR 1926.902(d).
Dear Mr. Childress:
This is in response to your letter dated February 20, 2002, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requesting an interpretation of 29 CFR 1926.902(d). We apologize for the long delay in providing this response.
We have paraphrased your question as follows:
Question: 29 CFR 1926.902(d) prohibits the transportation of blasting caps (including electric caps) with other explosives in the same vehicle. However, would this be acceptable if the caps and explosives are in a container or compartment that is constructed and used in accordance with IME 22 (May 1993)?
Section 29 CFR 1926.902(d) states:
Explosives, blasting agents, and blasting supplies shall not be transported with other materials or cargoes. Blasting caps (including electric) shall not be transported in the same vehicle with other explosives.
The Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) has developed what is commonly known as Safety Library Publication 22, May 1993, "Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Detonators in a Vehicle with Certain Other Explosive Materials" (IME 22-1993). IME 22-1993 contains charts, appendices and specifications for transporting detonators with certain other explosive materials in a container or compartment on the same vehicle. The specifications include limitations on what class detonators may be transported in the same vehicle with which class explosives using its specifications, detonator packaging requirements, container/compartment construction, placarding and identification requirements, and container/compartment use requirements.
The use of the IME 22-1993 container has been a longstanding practice in industries that use explosives. We note that in 1996, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) updated its standards for explosives at metal and nonmetal mines. In that rulemaking, MSHA incorporated IME 22 by reference (see the Federal Register, July 12, 1996, 61 FR 36790-36792; 30 CFR 56.6201). Therefore, the transportation of detonators (including electrical blasting caps) with certain other explosives in the same vehicle, when done in accordance with IME 22-1993, would be considered a de minimis violation1 of 29 CFR 1926.902(d).
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. If you need any further clarification on this subject, please contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Directorate of Construction, [Office of Construction Standards and Guidance], fax #202 693-1689. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.
Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction
1 Under OSHA's de minimis policy, de minimis violations are those which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. Consequently, no citation is issued. [ back to text ]