Explosives in the NSW mining industry

Handlers of explosives need to hold a Blasting Explosives User Licence (BEUL) before they can be the responsible person for the use of explosives or explosive precursors or directly supervise those who do not hold either the BEUL or Security Clearance. The licence is administered by SafeWork NSW

Anyone needing a BEUL must first obtain a Security Clearance (previously known as an unsupervised handling licence) from SafeWork NSW. This requires a national police and security check that is valid for five (5) years.

Mining reference

Anyone applying for a BEUL who works on a mine site in NSW (coal or metalliferous/extractives/opal mining) must also gain a reference from the Resources Regulator. This reference must accompany the BEUL application to SafeWork NSW.

Note: if you are seeking mutual recognition of an interstate or New Zealand BEUL equivalent, then you do not require a reference.

The application form and guide can be downloaded below. Forms must be sent to minesafety.competence@planning.nsw.gov.au

Legislation

The use of explosives in a workplace is covered by the Explosives Act 2003 and Explosives Regulation 2013. The main purpose of the legislation is to improve public safety and security of explosives (as well as concentrated ammonium nitrate) by preventing unauthorised access.

Copies can be downloaded from the NSW legislation website, follow the direct links below;

Past exam papers and guidance

A written examination will be undertaken by applicants for a BEUL at a coal mine (surface). The examination will assess competencies relevant to the BEUL, ‘which allows you to purchase, possess, use, dispose and if approved, store explosives and/or security sensitive dangerous substances’ (source: SafeWork NSW). Areas that are covered include:

  • WHS, WHS (Mines and Petroleum Sites) and explosives legislation, its requirements and how they apply to blasting at a Coal Mine (surface)
  • the responsibilities of the shotfirer under legislation
  • an understanding of blasting terminology, processes and systems, and their application for WHS. Questions may assess technical knowledge and how it applies to scenarios.
  • calculations of powder factor for a blast in a given scenario – Note: this question must be answered so 50% of the total mark available is achieved otherwise the applicant will not pass the exam.

Further information