WorkCover NSW recently issued a reminder to businesses and individuals with explosives licences due to expire that they need to apply for a new one.
Licences issued from 1 September 2005 had begun to expire and that all businesses and individuals that use or handle explosive materials are reminded to check their licence expiry dates and apply for replacements early, said general manager of WorkCover NSW's work health and safety division, John Watson.
"Any business or individual handling explosives or security sensitive ammonium nitrate is required by law to hold a WorkCover licence," Watson said.
"The licence holder must re-apply for a licence well in advance of its expiry date if they wish to continue handling these materials."
All individuals involved in the handling of these materials must undergo a rigorous national security check and hold a current unsupervised handling licence, said Watson, who added that national security checks can take some time to complete, so licence applicants should not expect a licence to be issued immediately.
"Business operators need to be aware that without a current licence, the legal supply of ammonium nitrate and other materials to customers will be interrupted," he said.
WorkCover NSW has commenced a program which involves contacting licence holders in writing several months before their licence expires and advising them of their responsibilities.
"I encourage all businesses and individuals with an explosives licence to reapply at least two months prior to the expiry of their licence if they wish to continue using these materials," Watson said.
Industries affected by the licence scheme include mining, chemical, transport and agricultural ‘users' of ammonium nitrate.
In addition to those who handle ammonium nitrate, companies that import, export, transport, store, manufacture or supply explosives or ammonium nitrate to others also require a licence.