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Reporting explosives incidents

In an emergency call 000.

After the immediate threat to life has been averted, call the Explosives Emergency Hotline (1300 739 868) to report an explosives incident.

Under the Explosives Act, an 'authority holder' must notify the Chief Inspector of Explosives of any explosives incident resulting in loss of life, personal injury or property damage.

Initial advice

Immediately after the incident, call the explosives response number to advise what has happened.

The regulator must be aware of explosives incidents as soon as they happen so they can initiate an appropriate response, from confirming the incident issues to sending inspectors to the incident site.

Formal written advice

Shortly after, send an email (preferred), fax or letter to the Explosives Inspectorate. This should contain the telephone reporting details of the inspector you reported the incident to, and the date and time you reported it.

Reporting under multiple legislation

Mining legislation and Petroleum and Gas (P&G) legislation may also cover the use of explosives at mine sites or on P&G tenures where it may be necessary to report to more than one inspectorate within the Safety and Health Division.

If you report an explosive incident to the Mines Inspectorate, P&G Inspectorate or Explosives Inspectorate, the incident report will be passed on by the receiving inspectorate to the other affected inspectorates.

So you may provide the single incident report to 1 inspectorate, who will ensure it's distributed within the Safety and Health Division.

However, if you also need to report the incident to the Queensland Police Service, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, or another government department or agency, you'll need to provide separate advice to them.

The guidelines for reporting an incident are clear. However, if there is any doubt, you should submit an incident report to the Explosives Inspectorate.

What is an incident?

Examples of explosives incidents are:

  • a misfire, where the explosive did not perform in the manner expected
  • a vehicle transporting explosives or ammonium nitrate that catches fire
  • explosives stolen or missing from a magazine
  • a misfire during an attempt to fire a shot
  • inventory records not agreeing with stock on hand
  • a significant fume event
  • an occurrence of flyrock, the effects of which go beyond the exclusion zone.

If in doubt as to whether an event is an incident that needs to be reported, contact the Explosives Inspectorate on 1300 739 868 and you will be advised on the requirement to report or otherwise.

Incident reports

It is important that incident reports are completed and sent promptly to the Explosives Inspectorate.

Timely incident reporting is good practice, and enables the production of industry-wide alerts about safety and security issues, which help prevent similar incidents.

Incident reports are essential in giving industry and regulators data that can be used to identify trends that may affect safety and security.

Requirements of safety management systems

All licence holders conducting explosives activities must have and use a safety management system (SMS). Part of that system should be clear procedures for incident reporting.

It is to include a standard incident report form, incident reporting contact numbers and email addresses, and a process to support the incident reporting system.

A record of all incidents should also be maintained. This will include appropriate level investigations with recommendations and follow-up to ensure that recommendations are implemented.

An incident should trigger a review of process, the plant or equipment involved, and personnel training and interface.