Holy Poulter Shot folks! I promised you a follow up article after the safety aspects of pole shooting and the word processor got right out of control in Rupert Goodhart's hands.
I guess I could say I was not at all aware of the geophysical ramifications of this type of energy source. The safety is basically simple and common sense. The technical aspects are somewhat more complicated.
What I'm trying to say is that the technical part of the program is an article in itself and we didn't budget sufficient space in this month's issue. I'm promised it will be a stand-alone article in an upcoming issue.
Not to disappoint you totally for a safety related column, I'd like to cover an issue concerning security of explosives.
Explosives stolen from users' magazines in Western Canada have turned up in countries across the oceans. This information is from what you would call a reliable source.
Just recently here in Alberta, the local newspapers reported explosives being stolen from users' magazines and being used to blow up mail boxes.
I would suggest that, from my observations, a mail box would be easier to break into than an explosives magazine. However, you likely wouldn't want to use explosives to break into an explosives magazine either. Does this read rather roundabout?
These magazines that were broken into recently were actually done quite easily, using keys that fit the locks. They didn't have keys that fit the locks in the mail boxes.
How did they get keys that fit the magazines? I don't know.
My point for the security of our industry and the safety of the public is that we should take a real hard look at the way we handle the acquisition of approved padlocks and how the keys for those locks are issued and kept.
At present the explosive distributor usually delivers a wheeled magazine, locks, keys and explosives, all at the same time. They are met by the designated magazine keeper (shooter, crew manager, etc.) who receives the explosives at an approved location, checks the count. secures the magazines with the locks provided and maintains security of those keys.
These locks are only opened while dispensing explosives to a drill push or drill mag or to receive more explosives. The keys are to remain in the custody of the magazine keeper only and not be accessible to anyone else.
Obviously these magazine keys were made available to someone with ulterior motives. Maybe they were copied and sold.
The above brings up two security concerns. Do unauthorized people have access to the keys? Are there lock styles with keys that can be copied without adequate security checks?
Without speculating as to how those keys got into the wrong hands, I have a recommendation to be considered seriously before someone is blown up.
The user of explosives should be responsible for purchasing the approved locks, with a key system that will not allow duplication without proper authorization or proof of ownership.
The RCMP conducted an investigation into the security of seismic explosives some years ago. They recommended the same procedure. I don't know the reason for not adopting this recommendation then and I can't see a good reason for not doing so now.
It is my intention to bring this matter up at a future meeting of the CAGC. I would hope that the members give serious consideration to improving explosives security and feel confident they will.
I trust that any readers who have any authority over such a matter will lend their influence to achieve this goal.
'Til next time, at work or play – LIVE SAFELY!