RF Hazards to Electric Detonators

An old discussion on radio frequency (RF) hazards on Linked In’s Blasting Professionals group resurfaced recently.  Several participants have asked ERM for RF incident reports from our files, which we gladly provided.

We understand completely the desire for documentation, but it strikes us that some people may doubt whether or not an electric detonator can be initiated with RF.  Uhh, let’s see here…every wireless device created by man converts radio wave energy into electricity and we’re wondering what again?
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ERM Anticipates FAA Exemption under Section 333 to Operate UAS Commercially

Explosives Risk Managers LLC applied for exemption to various FAA rules under Section 333  to operate unmmaned aircraft systems (UAS) commercially in support of blasting activity in mines and on construction sites.  The FAA accepted ERM’s petition and published it under docket FAA-2015-0217-0001 on January 29, 2015.  ERM was the first company involved in the commercial explosives industry to apply for exemption.

The terms proposed by ERM mirror those of applicants who have received exemptions from FAA under Section 333.  In addition, ERM proposed conducting a quantitative risk analyses of missions if explosives are present.  Based on the current rate of FAA exemption request processing, approval is expected in 3-5 months. Continue reading

Five Dominant Fatality Mechanisms in One Scenario

One of the major advantages of doing quantitative risk analyses (QRA) is that it takes into account all of the the five major hazard mechanisms in an explosives event.  Those mechanisms are full body displacement from overpressure, lacerations from broken glass, injury from building collapse, and being struck by vertical or horizontal debris.

Usually two or three mechanisms share dominance in a particular scenario as one moves downrange from ground zero.  But recently we came across a few scenarios where all five mechanisms have dominance at some point. Continue reading

FAA Publishes NPRM on Commercial Use of UAVs

Yesterday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) posted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones.

The NPRM appears to take a practical approach to regulating the burgeoning UAS industry and will provide a platform for services that ERM plans to provide to the blasting industry.  Final rules may be in place Continue reading