CBI Explosives Industry Group

Representing the UK Explosives Industry

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logo (1)Welcome to the UK Explosive Industry Group (EIG) website.  

The Explosives Industry Group of the CBI represents the majority of the UK industry explosive companies including the UK Ministry of Defence.

EIG acts as a lobby group and information source for members and includes members with interests in:-

  • Manufacture, import and export of explosives
  • Transport and Storage of explosives
  • Explosives for Civil Uses
  • Fireworks and Pyrotechnics

The EIG is represented on many Government committees and works with many UK Government Departments including:-

The EIG publishes a number of FREE guides for Industry which are available for members and non-members to download

Following the introduction of the Explosives Regulations 2014 EIG has produced a series of Brief Guides to assist members of the explosives industry.  These brief guides are not intended to replace the HSE sub-sector guides to ER2014 but to point users where to find more information.  The guides are subject to review and users should ensure they have an up to date copy from this website.

eigbriefPlease read the Introduction for more information.

#1 – Commercial manufacture of explosives

#2 – Commercial storage of larger quantities or higher hazard explosives

#3 – Storage of explosives at mines, quarries and in support of similar activities such as demolition

#4 – Professional firework display operators

#5 – Manufacture and storage of ANBI

#6 – Wholesale storage of hazard type 3 and hazard type 4 fireworks

#7 – Retail of hazard type 3 and hazard type 4 fireworks

#8 – Retail of pyrotechnic articles

#9 -Storage of pyrotechnic articles in support of other commercial activities

#10 – Using explosives in an educational environment

#11 – The 24 hour rule

#12 – Military explosives and CE marking

Following the M5 incident in 2011 and many meetings with both the Coroner and various Government departments we agreed to highlight some of the potential issues surrounding the generation of firework smoke and fog – particularly in the run up to the November 5th period.

Firstly, however, it is important to appreciate that the Coroner found that firework smoke was not to blame for the tragic accident on the M5 near Taunton, but he did state that it could not be ruled out as a contributory factor.

In conditions of very high humidity it is possible that smoke from any source can trigger and contribute to the production of a dense fog.

This possibility should form part of the overall site and product specific risk assessment at any display but particularly when:-

  1. The location is near to a river or other source of high humidity (eg dew)
  2. When certain wind directions could carry smoke towards a road
  3. There is little wind to disperse fog or smoke

The Coroner recommended that all display sites should have some means of assessing the wind strength and direction and had means to stop the display if smoke became a serious issue.  As part of the risk assessment process therefore we recommend that you consider:-

  1. Whether the site and the display have the potential to impact on local roads should the conditions become foggy
  2. What cancellation or curtailment criteria are appropriate for the display – and that all parties understand and “sign up” to these
  3. How the wind strength and direction can be assessed – this could be from local measurements and/or from local sources
  4. Whether the site merits “spotters” to be able to report back to the firers if smoke becomes an issue
  5. How the information will be communicated to the firing team
  6. How the emergency services (usually through the Police) might be alerted and by whom in case smoke and/or fog threatens a nearby road

The UK has an excellent safety record for professionally fired displays, and no-one wants to see displays cancelled or not commissioned because of the M5 accident.  The consideration of the effects of firework smoke in a sensible and proportionate risk assessment, taking into consideration all the above factors, is the best way (alongside training) to prevent any similar occurrence in the future.

The BPA firers and senior firers qualifications now include a section on the effects of smoke, and we recommend that your firing teams are brought up to date with this new section before the time of their next renewal of their qualification.   A special short presentation is available on the BPA website titled smoke issues click here

The Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER2014) came into force on 1st October 2014.  They replace many old explosive specific Regulations (including MSER and COER) and although the layout of the Regulations has changed significantly, the general content of them remain the same.

Two overarching guides  have been published .

The Regulations

The text of the Explosive Regulations can be found here

Overarching guidance

In addition to the Regulations themselves there are 2 “Overarching” guides published by HSE

Safety of explosives L150

Security of explosives L151

Subsector guidance

The use of explosives in educational demonstrations

The Home Office will be implementing EU regulation 98/2013 on the Marketing and Use of Explosives Precursors on 2 September 2014.

The Control of Explosives Precursors Regulations 2014 restricts the sale of certain chemicals that can be used in the illicit manufacture of explosives precursors to members of the general public unless they hold a licence. Businesses selling restricted chemicals must  ensure a warning label is affixed and must verify the buyer has a licence.

The regulation also introduces requirements to report suspicious transactions and significant thefts and disappearances.

More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/licensing-for-home-users-of-explosives-precursors.

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