Mine health and safety: Regulations relating to competent persons for explosives

On 14 September 2018, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, amended Chapter 4 and Chapter 22 of the Regulations under s8(1) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act, No 29 of 1996) (MHSA).

8 Oct 2018 2 min read Employment Alert Article

Chapter 4 of the Regulations to the MHSA deals with explosives. In particular, regulation 4.4 (1) dictates that a competent person should be appointed to be a custodian of explosives and blasting procedures.

With the promulgation of these amendments, the MHSA regulations now prescribe the form and manner of appointment(s) of a competent person(s) who work with explosives.

Chapter 22.4 of the regulations has been amended and it provides as follows:

“22.4 Competent persons for explosives

22.4.1 For purposes of regulation 4.4(1) “competent person” means a person who is a holder of the following certificates recognized by the Department for this purpose, valid for the class of mine to which the mine belongs:

(a) Blasting certificate issued by the Department until 30 June 2009; or

(b) Rock breaker or equivalent certificate issued by the Mining Qualifications Authority from 1 July 2009 to 31 May 2017; or

(c)   Blasting certificate issued by the Department with effect from 1 June 2017.”

“22.4.2 For the purposes of regulation 4.4(3) “competent person” means a person who:

(a) has been assessed and found competent against a skills programme issued by the Mining Qualifications Authority for this purpose; or

(b) is qualified by:

(i)    virtue of his/her knowledge, training, skills and experience to perform the activities contemplated in regulation 4.4(3);

(ii)   being familiar with the provisions of regulation 4 which apply to the work to be performed by such person; and

(iii)  being trained to recognise any potential or actual danger to health or safety that may arise from the work to be performed by such person.”

Chapter 4 of the Regulations in the MHSA sets out the various obligations and responsibilities on employers when it comes to explosives, which include inter alia the following:

  • what security steps an employer must take when it comes to explosives and the accessibility of explosives;
  • employer’s obligations in relation to the receipt storage and transportation of explosives as well as how to dispose explosives upon mine closure;
  • approved explosives and usage of explosives at mines; and
  • individuals competent to perform blasting and the management control over explosives;
  • certification of blasting equipment.

These amendments will take effect three months after publication (ie on 14 December 2018).

The information and material published on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make every effort to ensure that the content is updated regularly and to offer the most current and accurate information. Please consult one of our lawyers on any specific legal problem or matter. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct or consequential, which may arise from reliance on the information contained in these pages. Please refer to our full terms and conditions. Copyright © 2023 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce an article or publication, please contact us cliffedekkerhofmeyr@cdhlegal.com.