What is required for explosives licences?

Common features of explosives licensing

A key feature of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 is a focus on security. People must have a specific authority to possess explosives except for a select list of low-risk explosives widely available to the community (e.g. emergency devices, cartridges for nail guns and safety devices, sparklers and various toy fireworks, and ammunition held by holders of a firearms licence issued by the WA Police).

Overview of explosives regulations - information sheet - 267 Kb

This document is for guidance only and the definitive statutory requirements are contained in the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 (the Explosives Regulations).

Individual requirements unique to an explosives licence are addressed in the licence application document.

Management of the security of explosives as well as safety is a requirement under the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 (Explosives Regulations).

Security requirements for the management of explosives - information sheet - 119 Kb

This information sheet summarises the applicable requirements and guidance for key issues in the security management of explosives under the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 (Explosives Regulations).

Security clearance

Personal explosives licences are only issued to applicants in possession of a valid security clearance.  Similarly, individuals applying for explosives trading licences or persons nominated to be responsible for security management for these licences must hold a security clearance.

A licence held by an individual only remains valid while the security clearance of the individual is current.

Accessing explosives

People with unsupervised access to explosives require a security clearance (typically a dangerous goods security card). Additionally, the card holder also requires authorisation from the explosives licence holder to have unsupervised access to the explosives.

This establishes that the employee has an operational need and the competence to have unsupervised access to explosives, and gives the person the legal status of a secure nominee.

Meaning of ‘controlled by the other person’ for security purposes - information sheet - 232 Kb

This information sheet covers many of the licences with activities involving explosives and security sensitive ammonium nitrate that require the possession of a valid dangerous goods security card.

It is an offence for an explosives licence holder or secure nominees to allow unsupervised access to explosives by a person without a security clearance.

There are templates available for authorisation of unsupervised and supervised access to explosives.

Authorisation to secure nominees for unsupervised access to explosives or security sensitive ammonium nitrate - template - 38 Kb

This template records details of the authorisation to secure nominees for unsupervised access to explosives or security sensitive ammonium nitrate.

Authorisation for supervised access to explosives or security sensitive ammonium nitrate - template - 37 Kb

This template records details of the authorisation for supervised access to explosives or security sensitive ammonium nitrate

A security clearance or authorisation as a secure nominee is required for any unsupervised activity associated with explosives of any quantity.

Explosives management plans

Under regulation 157(7) of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007, an explosives management plan (EMP) is required for review as part of the approval process for a licence to:

  • manufacture explosives
  • manufacture explosives for a mobile processing unit (MPU)
  • store explosives
  • transport explosives
  • be a fireworks contractor.

This is in addition in addition to completing the application form and providing any supporting documentation requested in that form.

Regulation 161 of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007 describes what is required in the EMP.

The EMP must demonstrate that risks have been adequately assessed in relation to safety, security and emergency response matters, and provide assurance that the measures in place to minimise those risks are adequate.

Where a generic EMP has been prepared, this will be satisfactory provided it is revised to take into account site-specific factors and the particular circumstances to which licence relates.

Under regulation 162(1)(d) of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007, the Chief Officer may ask for the EMP to be amended and resubmitted if not satisfied that it is adequate.

Refer to rr. 161 and 162 of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007.

EMP must address a number of matters which are detailed in the regulations, including:

  • a detailed site plan of the place drawn to scale
  • emergency management plans
  • incidents involving dangerous goods – preparedness and response
  • training of people to comply with the regulations and the EMP
  • monitoring of compliance with the EMP
  • review of the EMP to ensure its effectiveness
  • assessment of risks in relation to safety of people, property and the environment
  • assessment of the risks of the sabotage, theft or unexplained loss of or access by unauthorised persons to any explosives possessed under the licence.

A guide and template are available below to assist with the preparation of an EMP.

Explosives management plan - guide - 631 Kb

This guide and its accompanying template will assist industry to prepare an explosives management plan (EMP). Use of the template is not mandatory but will ensure consistency in its application and streamline the review process.

Explosives management plan - template - 43 Kb

This template records details of the individual nominated responsible for the safety and security of explosives for the licence to which this EMP relates.

Disclosure of offences

All applicants for an explosives licence must disclose details in their licence application of:

  • any relevant offence for which they have been convicted
  • any charge of a relevant offence that is pending.

Important note: A relevant offence is an offence against:

  • the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004, or any regulations made under the Act
  • a law of another place that substantially corresponds to the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 or the regulations made under it
  • the law of this State or another place and where an element of that law is the handling, storage or transport of explosives.

For a list of associated regulations visit Dangerous goods safety legislation.