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Seismic Blasting Safety

In December 2001, the Branch of Geophysics sponsored S-1008: Seismic Blasting Safety, a one-day course for USGS personnel and cooperators on the handling of explosives and blasters in field situations.  This site was developed as a result of that course in order to provide resources and information about personnel safety when using explosives as seismic sources in field work.

This site is a resource only; it does not provide comprehensive training on seismic blasting safety. According to USGS regulations, all persons who handle or use explosives shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of basic explosives safety, with refresher training provided every 3 years. Use of this web site does not fulfill these training requirements. Contact your USGS safety officer for training information. It is the blaster's responsibility to be informed of and in compliance with all USGS, local, state, and federal regulations.


Related Regulations and Guidelines
U.S. Geological Survey Manual 445-2-H:
USGS Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook (December 2001)
See "Chapter 38: Blasting Safety"
OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR)
Explosives and blasting agents. - 1910.109

US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations Part 55 -- Commerce in Explosives


US Department of Transportation
Title 49 CFR Parts 100-185


These links are provided for information purposes only.  It is the blaster's responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable and current USGS, local, state, and federal regulations.


Support Materials
Sample Blasting Plan
Example of questions and information to be included in a blasting plan.
Example Blasting Plan (35 KB PDF)
Example of actual blasting plan, courtesy of USGS/WRD Connecticut District Office
Questions to answer
Example questions blasters should be able to answer after a blasting safety training course
Explosives Safety Tips
Some general safety tips for when working with explosives.


Online Resources
Resource URL
RISI Technical discussions on explosives
The Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME)
Arson and Explosives Industry Newsletter
International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE)



Haeni, F.P., 1988, Application of seismic-refraction techniques to hydrologic studies: US Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 2, chap. D2, 86 p.

Haeni, FP, 1986, Application of seismic-refraction methods in groundwater modeling studies in New England: Geophysics, v. 51, no. 2, p. 236-249.

Miller, R.D., Pullan, S.E., Waldner, J.S., and Haeni, FP, 1986, Field Comparison of shallow seismic sources: Geophysics, v. 51, no. 11, p. 2067-2092.

Hypertext links and other references to non-USGS products, trade names, and (or) services are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, express or implied, by the USGS, USDOI, or U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.

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