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Stick to these rules when transporting explosives to avoid the N1 type disaster

by , 27 February 2014
Tragedy has struck once again on the country's roads. Early this morning, a grocery truck collided with another truck carrying blasting cartridges on the N1 highway in Limpopo. Four police officers and a truck driver died as a result of the explosion. This accident has raised questions around the safe handling of explosives. If your employees work with them, continue reading to find out how to transport them safely.

The N1 explosives disaster – here's a recap of what happened

Eye Witness News reports that when the police arrived on the scene in the early hours of this morning, the truck carrying the cartridges caught fire and exploded.

The four officers and the driver of the grocery truck were killed instantly while another three people were injured, one of them critically.

Latest reports are that forensic specialists and senior detectives are on the scene.

While investigations get underway, questions have already been raised about whether or not the truck carrying explosives adhered to safety laws.

If your employees work with explosives, you can bet that the spotlight will be on your industry in the days to come. And the best thing you can do is to ensure you're in line with safety laws around the safe handling of explosives.

So what are you required to do when transporting explosives?

The Health & Safety Advisor says you must transport explosives carefully to avoid accidental ignition and explosion.

That's not all. You must also

  • Keep the transport containers clean and free from foreign matter and in a good state; and
  • Not leave vehicles transporting explosives unattended, unless parked in a designated area.

Other safety requirements regarding explosives are that you must license your explosives workplace (Regulation 4(1), Explosives Regulations, OHSA).


Pass an HSE Inspection

Avoid Department of Labour Fines. Apply health and safety in one step


You must also train and certify all employees who handle explosives before you allow them to work in any explosives environment where you manufacture, store or transport explosives.

Your training for explosives work must include the following:

  • Developing and maintaining a safe attitude towards work with explosives.
  • Understanding the potential danger and risks involved.
  • Learning and applying the correct skills for safe performance of the task.
  • Preparing for unexpected emergencies and incidents.
  • Complying with the appropriate operating procedures.

Working with explosives is dangerous, so make sure your stick to safety laws when handling and transporting explosives.

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