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Blaster certification

Blasting exam registration is now open

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, blasting exams will now be held via online platform. Registration is now open, so please see How to register for more information.


In B.C., anyone working as a blaster must have a current blasting certificate issued by WorkSafeBC or BC Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. Any blasting work performed must be within the scope of the qualifications and endorsements of the certificate. To become certified and maintain certification, blasters must provide documentation supporting their practical competency, and pass a written exam.

Blasting certificates must be valid and up-to-date. Those issued by WorkSafeBC expire on the date indicated on the certificate. Certificates issued in another jurisdiction may be eligible for WorkSafeBC out-of-jurisdiction blaster certification. Initial/new blasting certifications are issued for a period of two years.

A blaster whose certification has expired must write and pass another blasting exam to be recertified. Renewal blasting certifications and out-of-jurisdiction blasting certifications are issued for a period of up to five years.

All blasting certifications may be endorsed with any restriction that WorkSafeBC deems necessary. See Qualifications and endorsements, for more information.

To become certified, blasters in B.C. must provide documents supporting their eligibility, practical competency, and pass a written exam. WorkSafeBC blasting exams are done online. Please ensure you read the Blasting Registration Packages in their entirety, and submit all of the requested documents together.

Missing documents will delay your request from being processed. Once they are received they will be reviewed by an officer, and you will be sent a link to prepay for your exam. Once received, exam scheduling will be processed in the order they are received. Blasting exams occur on Thursdays. Space is limited so it's advisable that blasters register early.

New and upgrading blasters

Please complete and submit the following:

Renewing blasters

Please complete and submit the following:

Blasters from outside B.C.

Please complete and submit the following, to register for an out-of-jurisdiction interview with an examiner:

For general blasting examination questions, or to ask about examination accommodations, please contact Certification Services.

Phone: 604.276.3090, or
Toll-free: 1.888.621.7233 local 3090

Review blasting resources. Before attempting to write or rewrite a blasting exam, candidates must be knowledgeable about Part 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation and applicable sections and appendices of WorkSafeBC's Blaster's Handbook. You can also view a summary of changes to Part 21 from April 9 and June 3, 2019. Other important material can be found in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, the Explosives Act and Regulations and the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations.

Supporting documents for the exam. In order to register for a blasting exam, applicants are required to provide the following documents:

  • Natural Resources Canada Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD)1 Approval Letter, PAL, Permis General, Nexus or Fast Card (excluding propellant exams),
  • Photo Identification
  • Blasting Log Books (indicating 6 months experience and/or training)
  • Employer Letter2 (for initial certification or upgrade) specifying employer training to competency of certification class and endorsement sought
  • Blasting Certificate if holding
  • Digital photo of the candidate (specifications provided in the registration package)
  • Blaster's Application Form

Notes:

  1. The information on obtaining an ERD Approval letter can be found at the following link: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/explosives/resources/guidelines/13963

The employer letter must outline and attest to the candidate’s experience and competency in conducting blasting operations under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) Part 21. See more details and letter requirements in WorkSafeBC's Blasting Exam Package.

The following table outlines WorkSafeBC’s Blasting re-examination waiting periods for applicants who are rewriting full exams, endorsement portions only, or upgrades to existing certificates.

Blasting Re-exam Re-exam Wait Time
2nd Attempt 48 hrs.
3rd Attempt 30 days
4th and Subsequent Attempts 90 days

Front

A photo of the certificate holder appears on the front of the certification card.

Front of WorkSafeBC blasting certification card sample

Back

The back of the certification card includes three sections: qualifications, endorsements, and comments. Restrictions will be placed in the comments section on the back of the certificate.

Back of blasting certificate

Certificate endorsements and/or restrictions will be based on the nature of the work performed by the applicant, and the applicant’s experience.

The blasting examiner chooses what appears in the three sections shown on the reverse side of the blasting certificate. This determines the scope of work allowed by the holder of the certificate.

  • Qualifications — Only one qualification will appear in this field, from the "Blasting qualifications/Type" column.
  • Endorsements — Up to four different endorsements can appear here. The content comes from the "Initiation systems" or "Endorsements" columns.
  • Comments — Any additional qualifications, endorsements, restrictions, or other comments can be added here. This content can come from any of the three columns, or a blasting examiner's notes/comments.

The Qualifications and Endorsements sections always include text. The Comments section may be filled out or left blank.

The following shows the list of qualifications and endorsement currently used in BC:

Blasting qualifications/Type

  • Avalanche control
  • Surface Blaster 1st Class
  • Surface Blaster 2nd Class
  • Surface Blaster 3rd Class
  • Danger tree
  • Seismic
  • Underground
  • Demolition
  • Other (propellants, law enforcement/metal hardening/explosive joining/EOD/as specified)

Initiation systems

  • Safety fuse
  • Shock tube
  • Electric (single series or multiple series)
  • Electronic (manufacturer-specific)
  • Unrestricted

Endorsements

  • Hand charging
  • Cornice
  • Avalauncher
  • Helicopter deployment
  • Other (powerline/pipeline/as specified)

Energy Safety Canada issued Oilwell Perforators Safety Training and Seismic Blaster Safety Training Certificates are recognized by WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC also recognizes blasting certificates issued in other Canadian jurisdictions. Blasters with out-of-jurisdiction certificates can be issued a WorkSafeBC blasting certificate if they meet the following criteria:

  • Certificates must be valid and up to date. Certificates issued by WorkSafeBC will expire on the same date as the out-of-jurisdiction certificate or 5 years, whichever occurs first. Certificates with no expiry date are acceptable; however, certificates issued by WorkSafeBC will only be valid for up to five years and may be endorsed with any restriction that WorkSafeBC deems necessary.
  • The out-of-jurisdiction blasting certificate must have been required by a Canadian government body or regulatory authority or issued by a training and certification provider recognized by the Canadian government body or regulatory authority in the issuing jurisdiction.
  • The out-of-jurisdiction blasting certificate is required in order to perform blasting operations in the issuing province or territory.
  • The scope of activities covered by the out-of-jurisdiction blasting certificate are similar to the blasting codes recognized by WorkSafeBC's blasting certification scheme.

Out-of-jurisdiction blasting packages can be found here:

Jurisprudence package for other jurisdictions: A self-directed study guide for blasters from other Canadian jurisdictions to obtain blasting certification in British Columbia.

For information on Avalanche Control Blasting, contact the Canadian Avalanche Association.

For information about blasting specific to the oil and gas industry, see Oilwell Perforators Safety Training and Seismic Blaster Safety Training.

To obtain an avalanche control blasting certificate you must have a minimum of 6 months blasting experience working under another blaster of record along with 6 missions and 25 shots in for each endorsement sought. Only 2 missions per day can be included as part of this prerequisite.

Each avalanche control blasting ticket will be issued for use with safety fuse initiation unless otherwise specified. There are currently 4 endorsements that may be sought:

  • Hand Charging
  • Cornice
  • Helicopter Deployment
  • Avalauncher

Hand Charging – An avalanche control technique where personnel on the ground throw or place explosives into the avalanche path start zone. Often performed while wearing skis. Also includes case charging, tram charging and rope charges for cornice.

Cornice – An avalanche control technique where personnel on the ground use mountain rope access techniques to place charges and/or detonate several charges at once with detonating cord.

Helicopter Deployment – The dropping of explosives from a helicopter to perform avalanche control.

Avalauncher – Is a nitrogen-powered launcher designed for delivery of explosive rounds to the intended target.

See Certification requirements and How to register for more information on how to acquire a WorkSafeBC avalanche control blasting certificate.

Other jurisdictions in B.C. also issue blasting certificates: