Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters

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ABOUT EXPLOSIVES WORKER, ORDNANCE HANDLING EXPERT, AND BLASTER CAREERS
Video transcript

Bringing down a building with the press of a button, or making a giant boulder disappear in a flash of light and sound, these controlled explosions may be sensational, but they can only go forward under the watchful eye of skilled explosives workers. They carefully plan and execute detonations to demolish structures or displace rock and other materials. Explosives workers examine a blast area to determine the amount and type of explosives to use, and to establish safety parameters. They prepare explosive materials, pack them into blast holes, and, after detonating, write detailed records to comply with local and federal laws regulating the use of explosives. Ordnance handlers move munitions and other explosive materials for storage or transportation, typically via rail car or airplane. Positions for these workers are located in construction companies, airlines and airplane manufacturers, rock and gravel quarries, the oil and gas industry, and the military. Explosives workers generally need a high school diploma or equivalent.

SNAPSHOT
Place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
MED
Daily tasks

Cut specified lengths of primacord and attach primers to cord ends.

Lay primacord between rows of charged blast holes, and tie cord into main lines to form blast patterns.

Tie specified lengths of delaying fuses into patterns in order to time sequences of explosions.

Repair and service blasting, shooting, and automotive equipment, and electrical wiring and instruments, using hand tools.

Compile and keep gun and explosives records in compliance with local and federal laws.

Verify detonation of charges by observing control panels, or by listening for the sounds of blasts.

Move and store inventories of explosives, loaded perforating guns, and other materials, according to established safety procedures.

Mark patterns, locations, and depths of charge holes for drilling, and issue drilling instructions.

Insert, pack, and pour explosives, such as dynamite, ammonium nitrate, black powder, or slurries into blast holes; then shovel drill cuttings, admit water into boreholes, and tamp material to compact charges.

Examine blast areas to determine amounts and kinds of explosive charges needed and to ensure that safety laws are observed.

Maintain inventory levels, ordering new supplies as necessary.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.