How to Become a Shotfirer?
To be able to use explosives in Western Australia, you need to obtain a Shotfiring Licence.
The licence is granted upon successful completion of a shotfiring course approved by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
However, before enrolling in a shotfiring course potential students must obtain a Dangerous Goods Security Card (DGSC). The DGSC is a special security clearance, which allows you to work with or around explosives unsupervised in WA. (The DGSC can be applied for at most major Post offices.). A student must also be at least 18 years old and be able to demonstrate a minimum of 6 months’ experience as part of a shotfiring team for surface operations or on charge up for underground operations.
All licenced shotfirers in WA need to undergo nationally recognised shotfiring training, consisting of a theoretical and a practical part.
Typically, people new to the industry, or without experience, will apply for their DGSC and then work as a shotfirers assistant with the blast crew or on charge up, helping with basic blasting operations for at least 6 months. They will then apply to attend a shotfiring course and complete the theory training and assessment. Due to the nature of report writing and calculations required for shotfiring tasks, a minimum standard of numeracy and literacy as well as basic computer skills are a must.
The practical component of the course is completed onsite through the student’s workplace.
Inspecting a magazine or interpreting a blast plan takes time and experience to do well. It is at this stage where students really grasp the importance of completing the tasks safely and soundly.
Once the theory assessment and the work-based assessment components are satisfactorily completed a student is issued a Statement of Attainment (SoA). The SoA can then be used to apply to DMIRS for a shotfiring licence.