WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about ensuring the security of stored explosives following a number of incidents in which thieves have targeted magazines containing explosives.
In another recent incident, display fireworks were allegedly stolen from storage at a public fireworks display. Victoria Police is currently investigating the incidents.
Fireworks and blasting explosives are highly sought after on the black market, according to the safety alert, which said that unauthorised, unlicensed, and improper use of explosives has resulted in injury, damage to property and death.
Explosives storages can be vulnerable targets because they are often isolated by distance from public roads, dwellings, workplaces and points of assembly.
The alert recommended licensees, occupiers or persons in charge of premises review all aspects of the storage design, security, access and record-keeping for explosives received, stored, used or sold.
The regulator reminded duty holders of their obligations in relation to storing, securing and record-keeping for explosives.
persons with a licence to store dangerous goods
persons in charge of blasting explosives at a blasting site
For occupiers and persons in charge who don’t have the duties mentioned above, WorkSafe recommended to:
Maintain records that can accurately account for all explosives received, stored, used and sold.
Conduct regular stocktake and maintenance checks of explosives storages to ensure contents are accounted for.
Review storage design to ensure that the explosives are kept secure.
Review locking mechanisms. Fit lock covers that prevent easy access to locks, ensure the mechanism is high-tensile steel and that cutting equipment cannot easily access the locks.
Implement an authorised personnel access list. Ensure all approved people are licensed or under direct supervision of a licensed person, trained and have current police clearance.
For storages that are in remote locations, have security systems in place, such as active warning CCTV with person and motion sensors. Examples of effective CCTV system features include solar-powered with battery backup, storing images in the cloud (for at least 2 weeks), feedback to one or more mobile phones to start immediate responses and the ability to be readily downloaded.