Citation Details

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Section: 56.6100a
Date: 01/12/2012
District: NC
Negligence: Low
Injury or Illness: Unlikely
Injury or illness could be expected to be: Permanantly Disabling
Significant and Substantial: No

Condition or Practice: Detonators were being stored in the same magazine with other explosive material. The magazine has one door with two locks when door is open accesses is open to both, explosive materials and detonators separated by hard wood as in a powder chest(day box).
But this is used as a magazine not a day box. Is not emptied at end of the shift. This condition exposes miners to the hazard of an unexpected explosion. Result in injuries to the miners.

Action to Terminate: The explosive supplier removed the material from the mine site,terminating this citation.

Why this concerns you: Once again the inconsistent citation writing from one inspector to another. This Type 2 magazine has been inspected by other MSHA inspectors and just recently a State Fire Marshall Inspector and each inspector has had no problems with the construction and materials in the magazine. The explosives are kept separated from the caps which the MSHA inspector does state in his citation. Also if you read 56.6100(b)When stored in the same magazine, blasting agents shall be separated from explosives,safety fuse,and detonating cord to prevent contamination, which we are doing. You can see by the pictures two distinct departments are used to keep explosives and caps separated. Covers are in place under the main steel locked lid to better keep one area closed while another is being accessed. The other concerning event with this citation was the MSHA inspector made our explosive supplier make a special trip to come to the quarry and remove all explosive material off site until this explosive box situation was resolved. This box has been in place and being used for a number of years and all of a sudden this magazine is a hazard to miners in the area. This information and pictures were shared with our State Fire Marshall inspector and in his opinion there is no concern or hazard with this storage explosive box we are currently using.

Abatement Suggestions From Industry

This citation should be vacated. In putting together the conference request on this, I recommend looking at the (free) guidance available from the Institute of Makers of Explosives ( which has created many of the guidelines for explosives storage and transportation - some of which MSHA has incorporated by reference. If your storage meets these requirements, that should be sufficient to get this vacated. An affidavit from your explosives supplier stating that the storage conforms to these specifications and ATF requirements may also be helpful. Good luck!
- posted on 01/13/2012

Another tactic, if you must take this to court, is to fight it on a legal definition ground. MSHA's definition of explosive is tied to a DOT regulation that no longer exists. Argue that point, that MSHA has no definition of explosive (the DOT law has been expunged) and thus, cannot claim that what you have in that magazine is an explosive.
- posted on 02/09/2012

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