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Canada Oil and Gas Geophysical Operations Regulations (SOR/96-117)

Regulations are current to 2022-06-20

PART IIIOnshore Geophysical Operations (continued)

Preparation of a Charge

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when charges are being prepared, ensure that

    • (a) no tools other than tools made of bronze or another non-sparking material are used to cut or pierce a cartridge;

    • (b) there is no stripping of cartridges;

    • (c) priming is done only at the blasting site and all explosives, other than the charge to be loaded into the shot hole, are kept inside a magazine until the primed cartridge is loaded into the shot hole;

    • (d) no detonating cord is capped and no cartridge is primed in any place where explosives are stored; and

    • (e) the detonating cord is handled in a manner that prevents bending or pinching of the cord.

  • (2) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that all the electric detonators used in a circuit are of the same design and made by the same manufacturer.

Drilling Shot Holes for Charges

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when a shot hole is being drilled for a charge, ensure that

    • (a) no drilling is done within 5 m of a shot hole that contains a charge, whether or not the charge has been detonated; and

    • (b) the shot hole is of sufficient size to allow the insertion of a charge into position in the shot hole without the use of undue force.

  • (2) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when a shot hole is being drilled in an area that is prone to deposits of shallow gas, ensure that

    • (a) the drilling rig is positioned, with respect to the wind, so that gas encountered during drilling will not accumulate in the vicinity of the rig;

    • (b) the drilling rig is free from heat sources that might ignite any gas that has accumulated in the vicinity of the rig; and

    • (c) the engine is equipped with air intake shut-off valves that can be activated by the driller.

  • (3) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when gas is encountered during drilling, and where it can be done safely, allowing sufficient time to permit evacuation, ensure that the air intake shut-off valves on the engine are placed in the off position.

Loading Charges into Shot Holes

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when charges are being loaded into a shot hole, ensure that

    • (a) detonator lead wires are unravelled or unwound slowly when a charge is being lowered into a shot hole and are not unravelled or unwound by being thrown or dragged along the ground;

    • (b) damaged lead wires and damaged connecting wires are not used in blasting circuits;

    • (c) every member of the geophysical crew who is engaged in the handling of explosives or involved in the blasting operation is warned of the potential build-up of static electricity on the member’s clothing or in the atmosphere as a result of drifting sand or snow and of possible accidental firing of detonators if detonator lead wires are thrown to the ground;

    • (d) loading poles and pole extension fittings for them are made of non-sparking, anti-static material;

    • (e) undue force is not used to insert a charge into position in a shot hole; and

    • (f) any device that is used to decrease the buoyancy of a charge or to anchor a charge in a shot hole is made of non-sparking material.

  • (2) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, once a charge is loaded into a shot hole, ensure that

    • (a) the detonator lead wires remain shunted at all times except during circuit testing;

    • (b) detonation of the charge occurs within 30 days after the day on which the charge is loaded into the shot hole, or any longer period approved by a conservation officer; and

    • (c) in inhabited areas or areas where there is the possibility that the detonator lead wires or detonating cord of the charge may be tampered with, a temporary plug is placed in the shot hole and the ground in the vicinity of the shot hole is levelled.

  • (3) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that

    • (a) when blasting in the vicinity of buildings, railways, roads or inhabited areas, the charge used is no larger than required;

    • (b) when blasting within 50 m of an overhead power line, the shooter who is responsible for the blasting uses

      • (i) detonating cord as a downline to the charge, and

      • (ii) a short detonator lead wire to initiate the detonating cord if the total detonator lead wire length is less than the distance from the overhead power line to the nearest point on the ground at the blasting site;

    • (c) when blasting in the area of a commercial electromagnetic transmitter with power in an amount that is set out in column I of an item of Schedule III, a charge is not loaded into a shot hole, primed or detonated unless the shot hole is located at least the distance set out in column II of that item from the base of the transmitter mast; and

    • (d) the circuit of every electric detonator is tested with a blaster’s galvanometer immediately after the charge is loaded into a shot hole and, if the test indicates that the circuit is open, no attempt is made to remove the charge and a fresh primed cartridge is inserted into the shot hole.

  • (4) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that charges are not loaded into a shot hole during an electrical storm or when an electrical storm is imminent.

Flagging Charged Shot Holes

 Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that all shot holes that contain a charge are clearly flagged.

Firing Charges

 Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that

  • (a) detonator lead wires remain shunted at all times except when the charges are ready to be fired and during circuit testing after loading;

  • (b) all blasting equipment at the blasting site is under the direct supervision and control of the shooter;

  • (c) when conducting a blasting operation in the vicinity of buildings, railways, roads or inhabited areas, the shooter

    • (i) takes adequate precautions to prevent any damage to property, and

    • (ii) places warning signs or barricades or uses flagpersons to ensure that no persons other than those engaged in the blasting operation remain in the area made dangerous by the blasting operation;

  • (d) when blasting operations are being carried out, the shooter takes adequate precautions to ensure that no charge is fired until all persons in the vicinity of the charge are protected by suitable cover from falling rocks, flying debris, mud and any other material disturbed or displaced as a result of the detonation or are at a safe distance from the charge;

  • (e) detonators that are used near the surface of the ground are covered in such a manner that any fragments of metal and debris resulting from the detonation are confined;

  • (f) a radio transmitter is not used at or near a blasting site when there are detonators outside of a magazine and above ground;

  • (g) all blasting equipment is maintained in good working condition;

  • (h) repair work to blasting equipment or to the firing cable is not conducted while the firing cable is wired to charges;

  • (i) the blasting equipment is disconnected from the blasting circuit and the ends of the lead wires connected to the charge are twisted together

    • (i) immediately after firing, if the charge fails to detonate, and

    • (ii) before any member of the geophysical crew inspects any shot hole that contains or may contain explosives;

  • (j) every detonator remains disconnected from the firing cable until the next charge or the next series or pattern of charges is ready to be fired and until the shotpoint is clear of all persons;

  • (k) all shot holes containing a charge are fired before the termination of the operation;

  • (l) blasting operations are not carried out during an electrical storm or when an electrical storm is imminent;

  • (m) anti-static detonators are used where possible for all blasting operations; and

  • (n) all electric detonator lead wires and other refuse from the blasting operation are retrieved from the field location of the operation.

Detonating Cords

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that, when a detonating cord is used in water,

    • (a) the end of the cord is sealed;

    • (b) the entire length of cord is submerged before the firing cable is connected to the blasting equipment; and

    • (c) the charge is detonated as soon as possible after loading.

  • (2) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that, when a detonating cord is used on damp ground, the charge is detonated as soon as possible after loading.

  • (3) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that no vehicle is driven over a detonating cord.

Misfired Charges

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, in respect of any charge that has not detonated as a result of misfire, ensure that

    • (a) no attempt is made to remove the charge from the shot hole; and

    • (b) an attempt is made to detonate the charge promptly by means of a fresh primer or by inserting and detonating another charge in that shot hole.

  • (2) When a charge fails to detonate after an attempt is made under paragraph (1)(b), the operator shall ensure that the charge and the lead wires that are connected to it are buried in the shot hole and that the shot hole is plugged in accordance with section 25.

  • (3) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, on completion of the operation, report in writing to a conservation officer the location of all charges that failed to detonate.

Plugging Shot Holes

  •  (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, after a charge has detonated, ensure that the shot hole is plugged by

    • (a) filling the shot hole with drilling mud or cuttings to the point where the plug required by paragraph (b) is to be inserted;

    • (b) inserting a shot hole plug of a type approved by the Chief Conservation Officer to a depth of at least 30 cm below the surface;

    • (c) filling the shot hole above the plug with drilling mud or cuttings and tamping the contents into the shot hole; and

    • (d) spreading any remaining drilling mud or cuttings over the ground in the vicinity of the shot hole.

  • (2) Where, during an onshore geophysical operation, water or gas comes to the surface of a shot hole, the operator shall

    • (a) in the case of water, immediately attempt to plug the shot hole to confine the water; and

    • (b) in the case of gas, immediately evacuate the site until the gas has dissipated.

  • (3) Every operator who, during an onshore geophysical operation, disturbs a shot hole from a previous geophysical operation shall ensure that the shot hole is plugged in accordance with subsection (1).

Walkaway Vertical Seismic and Resistivity Surveys

 Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that

  • (a) in the case of a walkaway vertical seismic survey, all shot holes in an area where drilling operations for a well are being conducted are clearly marked; and

  • (b) in the case of a resistivity survey, all electrodes are clearly flagged or cordoned off to prevent accidental human contact with the electrodes.

Archaeological Sites

  •  (1) Where an archaeological site or a burial ground is discovered during an onshore geophysical operation, the operator shall so inform a conservation officer and suspend the operation in the immediate area of the discovery until permitted by the conservation officer to resume the operation in that area.

  • (2) A conservation officer shall permit the resumption of a geophysical operation that was suspended under subsection (1) if the conservation officer, after consultation with the Minister of Communications, is satisfied that the operation will not disturb the archaeological site or the burial ground and will not affect the archaeological or other special characteristics or the nature of the site or ground.

PART IVOccupational Safety and Health

Radio Communication

 Every operator shall ensure that radio communication is maintained

  • (a) in the case of an onshore geophysical operation, with all vehicles in the vicinity of the operation, to the extent possible; and

  • (b) in the case of an offshore geophysical operation, with all vessels and platforms in the vicinity of the operation and with a shore-based station.

Safe Working Practices

 Every operator shall ensure that all equipment and materials that are used during a geophysical operation are handled, operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications.

 Every operator who is conducting an offshore geophysical operation shall ensure that every member of the geophysical crew

  • (a) wears a suitable personal flotation device at all times when the member is working on deck;

  • (b) is equipped with a safety belt and a safety line whenever the member is positioned or working near the cable reel or working on the back deck during periods when there is any possibility of the member falling or being thrown or swept overboard;

  • (c) does not work alone on the back deck; and

  • (d) wears high visibility clothing.

 Every operator who is conducting a geophysical operation shall ensure that an evacuation route is set up from each work station and that the route is accessible to every member of the geophysical crew who is working at that station.

 Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that

  • (a) every member of the geophysical crew wears high visibility clothing when working at the field location of the operation; and

  • (b) every vehicle used in the geophysical operation is equipped with at least one portable fire extinguisher with a 5B rating.

No Smoking

  •  (1) No person shall smoke near a marine recording cable or in any area where inflammable materials or explosives are being used or stored in the course of any geophysical operation.

  • (2) Every operator shall post, near the cable and in each area referred to in subsection (1), a sign prohibiting smoking.

Hours of Work

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), every operator shall ensure that no member of the geophysical crew is required to work

    • (a) a shift in excess of 12 consecutive hours; or

    • (b) two successive shifts the combined total of which exceeds 12 hours unless that member has had at least 6 consecutive hours of rest between those shifts.

  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any member of the geophysical crew who is required to work in the case of an emergency.

Training of Geophysical Crew

  •  (1) Every operator shall ensure that every member of the geophysical crew

    • (a) is familiar with the safety equipment that the member may use, and with the safety procedures that the member may have to carry out during the operation;

    • (b) undergoes the instruction, training and drills necessary to enable the member to cope with both normal operations and emergency situations; and

    • (c) is familiar with the Safety Manual for Geophysical Field Operations, 6th edition, 1986, published by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, as amended from time to time.

  • (2) Every operator who is conducting an offshore geophysical operation shall ensure that every member of the geophysical crew has successfully completed

    • (a) a survival course approved by the Chief Safety Officer; and

    • (b) a helicopter underwater escape course approved by the Chief Safety Officer, where regular changes of geophysical crew by helicopter are planned.

  • (3) The Chief Safety Officer shall approve

    • (a) a course referred to in paragraph (2)(a) if the Chief Safety Officer is satisfied that the course will provide an adequate level of knowledge of the hazards and emergencies that are likely to be encountered on a vessel or platform that is engaged in a geophysical operation and of techniques for surviving those hazards and emergencies; and

    • (b) a course referred to in paragraph (2)(b) if the Chief Safety Officer is satisfied that the course will provide adequate training in the methods of escaping from a helicopter that is underwater.

  • (4) Every operator shall ensure that only those members of the geophysical crew who are trained in the operation and maintenance of the seismic energy source and the components of seismic energy systems will be responsible for their handling and maintenance.

 
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