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MPQC Blasting Card Awarded Overseas

On the 6th July 2017, Jim MacDougall (BAM Ritchies Senior Blasting Engineer) was issued the first MQPC Blasting Card for blasting operations overseas for Explosive Supervisor, Blast Designer, Shotfirer, Face Profiler and Explosives Storekeeper.

As an approved MPQC Auditor, Ben Donnachie (also a BAM Ritchies Senior Blasting Engineer) carried out the first overseas MPQC Blasting Competence Audit on Jim at Halsvik Quarry, Norway.

Ben commented, "There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this achievement is entirely down to the professionalism and work ethic of Jim MacDougall."

Under the MPQC Blasting Competence Scheme the Blasting Operations Card has an expiry date of five years. To maintain this card and competence, Operators are audited by a verified MPQC Auditor before the expiry date shown on their card. Upon completion of a successful audit, the Operator's Blasting Operations Card is renewed. Until now all of these audits have been carried out in the UK.

Ben spoke with MPQC in early 2017 about the possibility of carrying out audits in Norway. The audit content and process is exactly as it would have been if carried out in the UK; the main issue is the application of the Quarries Regulation 1999 outside the UK and it was clear that the audit would depend heavily upon the content of the site Shotfiring Rules.

Norwegian standards are different and not as onerous as the UK regulations so Jan Cordon, BAM Ritchies’ Overseas Project Manager, produced a set of Shotfiring Rules for Halsvik Quarry that integrated both the UK and Norwegian legislation. As part of the rigorous audit verification process MPQC requested a copy of the rules in place during the audit.

BAM Ritchies Drill & Blast Department prides itself on the fact that the employees operate to the highest standards and carry out their duties to the same UK standards wherever work is carried out.

For a video of the largest blast undertaken in Norway, which was carried out by BAM Ritchies, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMuT6yQFApI&t

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Halsvik Quarry before the blast                                                           Halsvik Quarry after the blast


Jim MacDougall



Article written by David Gibson, Bam Richies Business Development Manager, and Ben Donnachie, Bam Richies Senior Blasting Engineer.