Safety and security obligations for security-sensitive explosives

Security clearances

Security clearances are required for work involving security-sensitive explosives.

The requirements apply to holders of explosives licences and permits and employees who have unsupervised access to the explosives.

Find out more about the requirements for security clearances and how to apply.

Safety and security management systems

All authority holders (prescribed under section 46 of the Explosives Regulation 2017) who have 1 or more employees who conduct activities under the authority, must have a safety and security management system (SSMS) under the Explosives Regulation 2017.

Employee definition

An employee, in relation to SSMS requirements, means any of these:

  • a contractor or subcontractor
  • an employee of a contractor or subcontractor
  • an employee of a labour hire company who has been assigned to work in the person's business or undertaking
  • an apprentice or trainee
  • a student gaining work experience
  • a volunteer.

However, an SSMS isn't mandatory for a prescribed individual licence or permit holder who is a sole operator working under the licence or permit.

The safety and security management system must include the following:

  1. A description of the holder's safety and security policy.
  2. Details of the organisational structure of the holder's operations, including details of the personnel responsible for performing all the functions provided for under the system.
  3. A system procedure for each matter stated in schedule 3, part 1 of the Explosives Regulation 2017.
  4. An operational procedure for each matter stated in schedule 3, part 2 of the Explosives Regulation 2017 that applies to the place or activity to which the system applies.
  5. A security plan that complies with section 46C.
  6. An emergency response plan to manage risk to the safety and health of persons and the security of explosives in an emergency event.
  7. A process for ongoing consultation with employees and contractors of the holder who are engaged in carrying out activities under the prescribed authority, at least once in each month, about safety and security in relation to the activities.

Your SSMS must cover every activity you conduct under the licence and be based on a risk management approach. To make the SSMS effective, you must:

  1. Document it.
  2. Communicate it to all relevant people.
  3. Implement it.
  4. Enforce it.
  5. Review it regularly.

Penalties apply for non-compliance.

Security plans

All prescribed authority holders must have a security plan based on section 46C of the Explosives Regulation 2017. The plan must cover all activities conducted under the licence or permit.

Your security plan should be appropriate to your circumstances. For example, a security plan for the seller of propellant powders from a shop wouldn't need the same detail as a security plan for a transporter of explosives or major explosives seller.

All security plans should be based on the following principles:

  • Keep explosives secure at all times or under an appropriate person's control (i.e. someone with an explosives security clearance who has appropriate competencies and general conduct).
  • Implement a documented chain of custody as explosives pass from one licence holder to another (or their representative).
  • Ensure that explosives are always in the possession and control of either you or your authorised representative.
  • Be able to account for explosives accurately and quickly to assist in investigations of theft, loss or stock discrepancies.

Reviewing your security plan

You must review your security plan every year, and whenever there is a change in the national counter-terrorism alert level or level of risk.

You must also review your security plan whenever you experience any of the following:

  • loss of explosives or a stock discrepancy that cannot be accounted for
  • unauthorised entry or attempted break-in to your explosives storage place
  • theft of explosives
  • explosives obtained fraudulently
  • intentional damage to one of your explosives facility
  • loss or theft of information about explosives
  • failure to deliver a shipment by the expected delivery time.

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