Explosives workers prepare and set off explosives to blast areas of rock, ground, or structures so that work can be done.
Explosives workers generally work in the mining industry. They may also work for construction companies.
Explosives workers talk to the supervisor to find out what is needed. Explosives workers examine the blast area and decide what type of explosives to use and how much to use. They decide where to drill the blast holes and how deep they should be. Explosives workers use a jackhammer or drill to make the blast holes. They cut lengths of primacord and attach primer to the end of the cord. They lay out cord between the rows of blast holes and tie it into the main line to form a blast pattern. They tie specific lengths of delaying fuses into the pattern to time the sequence of explosions.
Before setting off the explosion, explosives workers place safety cones around the area and signal other workers to clear the area. Explosives workers set up radio equipment to communicate blast information.
They assemble the equipment to set off the blast. They load the explosives into the blast holes or an explosives gun. Depending on the structure of the area, they may have to use ropes and hoists to load the explosives. They light a fuse, drop a detonating device, or connect wires to set off the blast. Explosives workers watch the control panel and listen for the sound of the blast. They must be sure the blast is finished before workers can return to the area.
Explosives workers are usually responsible for moving and storing the explosives they use. They also repair the blasting equipment and electrical tools that they use on the job.