10 CSR 40-3.160 - Training, Examination and Certification of Blasters
PURPOSE: This rule brings the Land Reclamation Program into line with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement rule on the same subject.
(1) Responsibility. The director shall-
(A) Ensure that persons responsible for the use of explosives in surface mining operations have attended training courses which satisfy the requirements set forth in subsection (3)(A) of this rule.
(B) Govern the training, examination, certification and enforcement of a blaster certification program for surface coal mining operations.
(2) Definitions and Standards.
(A) Application. The submittal of the following constitutes application to the blaster certification program: completed application form, completed verification forms and appropriate fee by an individual interested in becoming a certified blaster in Missouri. A satisfactory application allows the applicant to take the required examination.
(B) Blast. Any detonator(s), explosive(s), blasting agent(s), or a combination of these, being initiated simultaneously by a single energy source.
(C) Blaster. A person directly responsible for the use of explosives in surface coal mining operations who is certified under this rule.
(D) Certification. The issuance of a blaster certificate to those persons examined and found to be competent and possessing the necessary experience to accept the responsibility for blasting operations in surface coal mining operations. Certification will be for three (3) years.
(E) Examination. A test designed to verify the competency of persons seeking to become certified or recertified. The examination, consisting of, at a minimum, those topics set forth in subsection (3)(A) of this rule, will be given by the Land Reclamation Program.
(F) Experience. Persons seeking to become certified or recertified as blasters in Missouri must have gained experience either through 1) being directly responsible for the use of explosives and for the direction of the blasting crew in surface blasting operations or 2) receiving on-the-job training from the certified blaster in charge. The experience for both options listed must include, but not be limited to, the technical aspects listed in subsection (3)(A) of this rule for a period of twelve (12) months within the last five (5) years.
(G) Recertification. The reissuance of a blaster certificate to those persons examined and found to be competent and possessing the necessary experience to accept the responsibility for blasting operations in surface coal mining operations. The procedures for becoming recertified are in accordance with subsection (3)(A) of this rule. Recertific-ations are good for three (3) years.
(H) Reexamination. Individuals who did not pass the examination with an eighty percent (80%) score will be allowed to retake the test. Those individuals will have to pay an additional fee to retake the test. The examination procedures and topics covered will be the same as those required for the initial examination process.
(I) Revocation. As determined by the Land Reclamation Commission, the certified blaster will be relieved of all his/her rights and privileges granted by the certification for at least the length of time remaining on his/her certification. This individual will be considered a new applicant and will have to submit not only the application fee, but also a reinstatement fee at application time.
(J) Surface Blasting Operations. The on-site storage, transportation and use of explosives in association with coal exploration operations, surface mining activities and surface disturbances of underground mining activities. The term shall be interpreted broadly and shall encompass activities including, but not limited to, the design of individual blasts, the implementation of blast designs, the initiation of blasts, the monitoring of airblast and ground vibration and the use of protective measures such as access control and warning and all clear signals.
(K) Suspension. As determined by the Land Reclamation Commission, the certified blaster will be relieved of all his/her rights and privileges granted by the certification temporarily, as provided for by the terms of the suspension order. The suspension order may carry with it requirements for additional training or testing or other appropriate corrective measures.
(L) Temporary Certificate. A certificate strictly for those out-of-state blasters who presently have a valid certificate from a state with an Office of Surface Mining-approved program. These certificates are good for six (6) months or the time left on the valid out-of-state certificate, whichever is greater.
(A) Persons seeking to become certified or recertified as blasters in Missouri must successfully complete one (1) formal training course within the past year prior to certification or recertification. For certification in Missouri, the course shall be at least two (2) days in length and provide training and discuss practical applications of all of the following. For recertification in Missouri, the course shall be at least one (1) day in length and provide training and discuss practical applications of least one (1) of the following:
1. Explosives, including:
A. Selection of the type of explosive to be used;
B. Determination of the properties of explosives which will produce desired results at an acceptable level of risk; and
C. Handling, transportation and storage;
2. Blast designs, including:
A. Geologic and topographic considerations;
B. Design of a blast hole, with critical dimensions;
C. Pattern design, field layout and time of blast holes; and
D. Field applications;
3. Loading blast holes, including priming and boostering;
4. Initiation systems and blasting machines;
5. Blasting vibrations, airblast and fly-rock, including:
A. Monitoring techniques; and
B. Methods to control adverse affects;
6. Secondary blasting applications;
7. Current federal and state rules applicable to the use of explosives;
8. Blast records;
10. Preblast surveys, including:
B. Coverage; and
C. Use of preblast surveys in blast designs;
11. Blast plan requirements;
12. Certification and training;
13. Signs, warning signals and site control; and
14. Unpredictable hazards, including:
B. Stray currents;
C. Radio waves; and
(B) Training courses that are approved or sponsored by the following entities and fulfill those requirements outlined in paragraph (3)(C)1. of this rule will be deemed acceptable by the Missouri Land Reclamation Program for the purposes of meeting the training requirements of this rule:
1. The Office of Surface Mining of the United States Department of the Interior;
2. Other states with Office of Surface Mining-approved blaster certification programs; and
3. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
(C) Other training courses will be evaluated by the Missouri Land Reclamation Commission for acceptability.
1. These training courses shall be approved based upon their equivalency to the approved programs listed in subsection (3)(A) in terms of-
A. Course content;
B. Instructor qualifications; and
C. Number of instructional hours.
2. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to provide to the Missouri Land Reclamation Program the material as may be required by the program to conduct the evaluations.
(D) Direction and on-the-job training of those persons who are not certified and who are assigned to a blasting crew or assist in the use of explosives will be the responsibility of the blaster in charge.
(A) The following is a schedule of nonre-fundable fees, with the exception of subsection (4)(B) of this rule, to be submitted at the time of initial certification, recertification, reexamination, replacement, temporary certification or reinstatement:
1. Certification Application/ Issuance Fee $100;
2. Recertification Application/ Issuance Fee $100;
3. Reexamination Fee $ 25;
4. Certificate Replacement Fee $ 25;
5. Temporary Certificate Fee $ 25;
6. Reinstatement Fee $100.
(B) Time Frames and Administration of Fees.
1. Should the applicant's application be rejected, seventy-five dollars ($75) of the original fee will be returned.
2. These fees will be paid into the Mined Land Reclamation Fund.
3. Fees will be accepted by check, money order or cashier's check made payable to the State of Missouri and to be deposited in the Mined Land Reclamation Fund.
(A) Application Time Frames.
1. Application to the certification program must be received by the Land Reclamation Program no later than thirty (30) days before the date of the scheduled examination.
2. Any applicant whose application has not been received by the due date will be placed on the list for the next scheduled examination.
(B) Required Information and Supplemental Forms for Application.
1. Each applicant must fully complete and submit the following for application to the blaster certification program on forms provided by the Land Reclamation Program:
A. Application form #1. Completion of this form consists of the answering of the following:
(I) Name, address, home telephone number, birth date, age, Social Security number and occupation of applicant;
(II) Name, address, business telephone number of present or most recent employer;
(III) Type of certification requested by the application;
(IV) Whether or not the applicant has completed one (1) formal course within the past twelve (12) months, as specified in subsection (3)(A) of this rule;
(V) Whether or not the applicant has had on-the-job training or supervisory experience during the past twelve (12) months as specified in subsection (2)(F) of this rule;
(VI) Personal information as specified in subparagraph (5)(C)1.D.; and
(VII) Signature of and dated by the applicant and verified by a notary public;
B. Verification of applicant's training course-form #2. Completion of this form consists of answering the following:
(I) Name, address, birth date and Social Security number of the applicant;
(II) Name of employer(s) that provided such training;
(III) Name and address of trainer, name, dates, location and type of training course; and
(IV) Statement signed and dated by trainer as to whether the trainee successfully or unsuccessfully completed training course and why course was failed;
C. Verification of applicant's experience, on-the-job training, or both, by the employer(s) that provided the experience- form #3. Completion of this form consists of answering the following:
(I) Name, address, birth date, Social Security number and occupation of applicant;
(II) Name and address of employ-er(s) that provided such experience;
(III) Type of certification requested by the applicant; and
(IV) Statement signed and dated by employer that provided the experience as to whether the applicant has actively performed duties of responsibilities or has had active on-the-job training or job experience as specified in subsection (2)(F) of this rule for purposes of certification or recertification; and
D. The appropriate fee(s).
(C) Criteria for Complete Application.
1. The Land Reclamation Program will review the application fee and the other forms for completeness and accuracy. The acceptance of the application will be based upon the following:
A. Age. The applicant must be twenty-one (21) at the time of certification issuance;
B. Experience. The applicant must have successfully completed twelve (12) months of active blasting experience or on-the-job training within the last five (5) years;
C. Training. The applicant must have successfully completed training as per subsection (3)(A) of this rule;
D. Personal information. Complete and accurate information regarding the following:
(I) Whether the applicant has a current addiction to alcohol, narcotics or dangerous drugs. For the purposes of this rule, addiction does not include a person who has been treated for drugs and alcohol addiction and who has been declared free of his/her habitual use by a reputable drug or alcohol treatment program; and
E. The appropriate fee.
2. The applicant will be notified no later than seven (7) days before the date of the scheduled examination that the application has either been rejected or accepted. The notification will include the reasons for the rejection.
(D) Right to Appeal. If the applicant has had his/her application rejected, s/he may submit a written appeal within thirty (30) days of the denial.
(A) The competence of persons directly responsible for the use of explosives in surface coal mining operations shall be determined through a written examination in the technical aspects of blasting and state and federal laws governing the storage, use and transportation of explosives.
(B) Applicants for blaster certification shall be examined, at a minimum, in the topics set forth in subsection (3)(A) of this rule.
(C) Time Frames for Examination.
1. Written examinations for blaster certification shall be administered at least quarterly on dates, times and at locations determined by the Land Reclamation Program. Emergency testing situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
2. Due dates for the application will be included in official notices.
3. The Land Reclamation Program will make available the information specified in paragraph (6)(C)1. at least sixty (60) days before the date of the examination.
(D) Examination Day.
1. The applicant must show the following, upon entering the testing room, in order to be able to take the examination:
A. Two (2) forms of identification. One (1) form of identification must include a recent photograph of the applicant. The following forms of valid identification will be accepted:
(I) Current driver's license with blaster's photograph;
(II) Certified birth certificate or certificate of live birth;
(III) Immigration card;
(V) Court record;
(VI) Social Security card;
(VII) Current Missouri identification card; and
(VIII) Current credit card; and
B. Pass card. This card will be included in the correspondence that the applicant will receive notification of acceptance to take the test.
(E) Failure to Take Examination. Failure by the applicant to notify the Land Reclamation Program at least one (1) day in advance of the test of the applicant's inability to take the examination will result in the application being rejected and the fees forfeited.
(F) Test Results.
1. Passing the examination.
A. An eighty percent (80%) score on the examination constitutes a passing grade.
B. Those applicants who receive at least an eighty percent (80%) grade will be notified of the results within fifteen (15) working days of the examination date.
2. Failure of the examination.
A. Those applicants who did not receive at least an eighty percent (80%) grade did not pass the test. These individuals will be notified of the test results within fifteen (15) working days of the examination date.
B. Those applicants who did not pass the test may retake a reexamination at the next regularly scheduled date on the following two (2) conditions:
(I) The applicant must inform the Land Reclamation Program in writing of the desire to retake the examination at least thirty (30) days before the scheduled exam in order for that applicant to be on the testing list; and
(II) The applicant must submit the twenty-five dollar ($25) reexamination fee along with the statement of intent.
3. Review of failed examination.
A. The applicant may request to review the test at the Land Reclamation Program office during regular business hours.
B. Under no circumstances will any applicant or his/her agent be able to record examination questions by any means during this review.
C. Applicants will not be allowed to review their tests less than fifteen (15) days prior to their scheduled reexamination.
(A) Issuance of Certification.
1. The director shall certify, for a period of three (3) years, those candidates examined and found to be competent and to have the necessary experience to accept the responsibility for blasting operations in surface coal mining operations.
2. Certificates will be issued within fifteen (15) working days after the date of the examination.
(B) Criteria for Certification. The following is a list of criteria which will be used to determine whether or not a certificate will be issued at the time of initial certification or for recertification:
1. Age. The applicant must have turned twenty-one (21) at the time of certification issuance;
2. Experience. The applicant must have had twelve (12) months of active blasting experience as specified in subsection (2)(F) of this rule;
3. Training. The applicant must have had one (1) formal training course within the past year. The course must cover at least one (1) of those technical aspects as specified in subsection (3)(A) of this rule;
4. Personal information. The applicant shall not-
A. Be currently addicted to alcohol, narcotics or dangerous drugs; or
B. Exhibit a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the acceptance of responsibility for blasting operations; and
5. Pass the examination with at least an eighty percent (80%) grade.
(C) Certificate Conditions. The following conditions must be met for a blaster to maintain certification:
1. A blaster shall immediately exhibit his/her certificate to any authorized representative of the Land Reclamation Commission or the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement upon request;
2. Blaster's certifications shall not be assigned or transferred;
3. Blasters shall not delegate their responsibility to any individual who is not certified;
4. Blasters shall take every reasonable precaution to protect their certificates from loss, theft or unauthorized duplication. Any such occurrence shall be reported immediately to the director;
5. The blaster must have the certificate on his/her person at the mine site;
6. The blaster's responsibility is to conduct blasting and provide on-the-job training to noncertified crew members; and
7. The blaster must submit a written notification as soon as practicable to the Land Reclamation Program when there is a change in his/her name, address, phone number of place of employment.
(D) Right to Appeal. If the applicant has had his/her certificate denied, s/he may submit a written appeal within thirty (30) days of the denial.
1. To maintain certification, blasters are required to receive additional training that meets the applicable requirements of subsection (3)(A) of this rule every three (3) years.
2. After completion of the updated training and prior to the expiration of their current three (3)-year certification period, blasters must retake and pass the examination required in section (6) of this rule to keep their certification valid.
3. The Land Reclamation Program will notify the certified blaster before his/her certification is scheduled to expire.
4. The certified blaster will have a ninety (90)-day grace period from the date of expiration of his/her certificate in which to become recertified without a lapse of certification.
5. Administration actions on recertifica-tion applications.
A. If a blaster's certificate is suspended or revoked, a recertification applica-tion will be accepted and processed only in accordance with the regulations and only if the terms and conditions of the suspension or revocation orders have been met.
B. If an application for recertification has been submitted, and prior to recertifica-tion, the certificate is suspended or revoked, the recertification application will be rendered null and void and returned to the applicant.
1. Any person who holds a valid certificate of registration as a certified blaster in another state may be granted a temporary blaster certificate as specified in this rule on the conditions that-
A. The state which issued the certificate has an office of surface mining approved blaster certification program; and
B. The blaster presents to the Land Reclamation Program his/her valid blaster certificate or provide the Land Reclamation Program with the name of the state where the certificate was issued and the certification number.
2. The period of the temporary certificate shall not exceed the balance of the time left on the blaster's original certificate, or six (6) months, whichever is greater.
3. Prior to the expiration of a temporary certificate, the blaster must reapply under the requirements for recertification. Temporarily certified blasters will have a ninety (90)-day grace period from the date of expiration of his/her certificate in which to become recertified without a lapse of certification.
(G) Suspension and Revocation.
1. The permittee shall be responsible to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that blasting operations conducted on a permit issued to him/her are conducted under the direction of a certified blaster in accordance with the applicable laws and the regulations of the Land Reclamation Commission.
2. After a finding of willful misconduct, and following written notice and opportunity for a hearing, the commission may suspend or revoke the certification of a blaster or take other action for any of the following reasons:
A. Noncompliance with any order or notice of the director or commission;
B. Current addiction to or unlawful use of alcohol, narcotics or other dangerous drugs in the work place;
C. Violation of any provision of the state or federal explosives laws or regulations including subsection (7)(C); and
D. Providing false information or a misrepresentation to obtain certification.
3. If the director determines that a certificate should be revoked or suspended pursuant to paragraph (7)(G)2. of this rule, s/he shall issue an order to the blaster by certified mail or hand delivery requiring him/her to show cause why his/her certificate and right to conduct blasting operations under the regulatory blaster certification program should not be suspended or revoked.
A. Upon receipt of the show cause order, the blaster shall have thirty (30) days in which to request a hearing before the commission to show cause why the certificate should not be suspended or revoked. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the request by the commission.
B. If the permittee fails to request a hearing within the time allowed, the matters set forth in the show cause order shall be conclusive and the commission shall declare the certificate revoked or suspended at the first regularly scheduled commission meeting following the expiration of the thirty (30)-day period provided to request a hearing.
C. The blaster shall be provided with a copy of any inspection report prepared by an authorized representative of the commission which discusses or notes any aspect of the blaster's performance or the conduct of blasting operations under his/her supervision.
4. The director or an authorized representative of the commission shall immediately issue a suspension order if s/he determines that any condition or practice, listed in sub-paragraphs (7)(G)2.A.-D. or any condition outlined in paragraphs (7)(C)1.-7. imposed upon a certificate issued by the program, or any violation of the regulatory blaster certification program outlined in this rule-
A. Creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public; or
B. Is causing or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air or water resources.
5. If advance notice and opportunity for a hearing cannot be provided due to the circumstances described in paragraph (7)(G)4., an opportunity for a hearing shall be provided as soon as practical following the suspension and, in any case, no later than fifteen (15) days after the suspension.
6. If a hearing is held pursuant to paragraph (7)(G)3. or 5. of this rule, or upon failure of the blaster to request a hearing as provided for, the commission shall issue written Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and, if appropriate, an order suspending or revoking the certificate within forty-five (45) days after the hearing.
A. An order of suspension shall include:
(I) The termination date of the suspension; and
(II) The conditions that must be complied with prior to termination of suspension.
B. An order of revocation shall include:
(I) The period of time, if any, beyond the expiration date of the blaster's current certification during which s/he shall be ineligible to apply for recertification; and
(II) The conditions that must be complied with prior to the applicant being eligible for recertification.
C. An order of revocation or suspension may include requirements that the blaster complete additional training or testing or for other appropriate corrective measures.
7. All notices, suspension or revocation orders will be served to the blaster promptly after issuance. Service may be in person, certified mail, return receipt requested.
A. Service by mail will be deemed complete upon deposit with the United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the address provided by the blaster to the Land Reclamation Program.
B. A copy of the notice or order will be mailed to the permittee, the primary employer and any other person who employs that blaster.
8. Upon issuance of a suspension or revocation order, all rights and privileges granted by certification are suspended or revoked until the order is vacated or the certification is restored in accordance with the suspension or revocation order.
9. The blaster will surrender his/her certificate when an order is issued by the director or commission. If the order is hand delivered, the certificate will be immediately surrendered. Otherwise, the certificate may be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested or by registered mail.
10. Prior to a hearing, a suspension or revocation order determined to have been issued in error may be vacated immediately by the director.
11. The terms and conditions of each order given by the Land Reclamation Commission will be commensurate with the following:
A. Seriousness of the violation;
B. The blaster's culpability for the violation;
C. The history of the blaster's performance; and
D. Consideration of whether the blaster took precautions to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations.
12. All hearings conducted under the authority of this section shall be in accor-dance with the applicable provisions of section 444.875.7, RSMo.
*Original authority 1979, amended 1983, 1993.
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