New OSHA Rulemaking-Black & Smokeless Powder, Primers, Ammo

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Car Knocker, Jun 27, 2007.

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  1. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main
    Go to the Option 4 drop down menu and select "Document ID"
    Key this ID in to the action box ... OSHA-2007-0032
    Click on the SUBMIT button

    OSHA has proposed rules that may adversely affect the transportation of black and smokeless powder, primers and small arms ammunition, and may affect prices and availability. Below are some sections of the proposed rule (55 PDF pages) that I felt had a direct impact on shooters.

    Comments in italics are mine. Bolding is also mine.

    Explosive. This term would be defined to mean any device, or liquid
    or solid chemical compound or mixture, the primary or common purpose of
    which is to function by explosion. The term ``explosive'' would be
    defined to include all material included as a Class 1 explosive by DOT
    in accordance with 49 CFR chapter I. The term would include, but would
    not be limited to, dynamite, black powder, pellet powders, detonators,
    blasting agents, initiating explosives, blasting caps, safety fuse,
    fuse lighters, fuse igniters, squibs, cordeau detonant fuse,
    instantaneous fuse, igniter cord, igniters, pyrotechnics, special
    industrial explosive materials, small arms ammunition, small arms
    ammunition primers, smokeless propellant
    , cartridges for propellant-
    actuated power devices, and cartridges for industrial guns.

    Paragraph (c)(1)(ii) would require the employer to ensure that only
    persons trained in accordance with paragraph (j) of this section handle
    or use explosives. Loading and unloading of explosives are examples of
    handling, and blasting of slag pockets is an example of the use of
    explosives. This is a new requirement that reinforces the importance of
    training for all employees engaged in the handling and use of
    explosives.

    Paragraph (c)(1)(vii) would require the employer to ensure that no
    person is allowed to enter facilities containing explosives, or to
    transport, handle, or use explosives while under the influence of
    intoxicating liquors, narcotics, or other drugs that may cause the
    person to act in an unsafe manner in the workplace. Due to safety
    considerations, OSHA is proposing that such persons be completely
    restricted from access to a facility where explosives are manufactured
    or stored as well as restricting them from the handling and
    transportation of explosives.
    This would appear to require some sort of drug testing to be in compliance.

    Paragraph (c)(1)(ix) would require the employer to ensure that no
    flammable cleaning solvents are present in facilities containing
    explosives except where authorized by the employer and where their
    presence does not endanger the safety of employees. This is a new
    requirement and is based on a recommendation in the Petition (Ex. 2-1).
    Due to their potential to create a fire and thus cause an explosion, it
    is generally not safe to have flammable cleaning solvents in facilities
    containing explosives.

    Paragraph (c)(2)(i) would require the employer to ensure that the
    primary electrical supply to any part of the facility (e.g., building,
    loading dock, etc.) containing explosives can be disconnected at a safe
    remote location away from that part of the facility. A safe remote
    location from a part of the facility containing explosives is a
    location far enough away to ensure that, if all the explosives in that
    part of the facility detonated, a person at the remote location would
    not be injured by the explosion. In determining what a safe remote
    location is, the employer will need to consider factors such as the
    type and amount of explosives present.
    This is a new requirement
    Would this even be possible in a small gunshop?

    Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) deals with safety hazards caused by
    electrical storms. During the approach and progress of an electrical
    storm, paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) would require the employer to ensure
    that all explosive manufacturing and blasting operations are suspended,
    and paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B) would require the employer to ensure that
    employees located in or near facilities containing explosives, or in
    blast sites, are withdrawn immediately to a safe remote location.
    A
    safe remote location in this case would be a location far enough away
    from all the explosives in the facility or blast site so that a person
    would not be injured if there were an explosion. These proposed
    requirements are based on therequirements in existing paragraph (e)(1)(vii)(a) which requires
    employers to remove employees from the blasting area during the
    approach and progress of an electrical storm. However, proposed
    paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) has been expanded to require the suspension of
    explosive manufacturing operations and proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B)
    also requires the immediate withdrawal of employees located near
    explosives. This reduces the time the employees are exposed to a
    potential hazard. The expansion of the existing requirement is in
    recognition that an electrical storm may be hazardous to employees at
    facilities and blast sites containing explosives and that employees
    need to be kept a safe distance away from a potential explosion. This
    is standard practice in the industry and is consistent with a
    recommendation in the Petition (Ex. 2-1).

    Static electricity as a potential source of ignition is probably
    the single greatest concern for facilities and blast sites containing
    explosives. The Petition (Ex. 2-1) recommends new requirements for
    static electricity protection that would require any new static
    electricity protection system to comply with NFPA 77, Static
    Electricity (Ex. 2-7). However, it recommended limiting the application
    of the requirements only to systems installed after the effective date
    of the new standard and would not require an existing manufacturing
    facility to install a new system or modify an existing system to meet
    the requirements of NFPA 77. IME informed OSHA that certain explosives
    are not static-sensitive and do not require protection. IME further
    argues that, since explosives manufacturing is subject to the
    requirements of OSHA's PSM standard at Sec. 1910.119, areas in an
    explosives manufacturing facility where static electricity protection
    systems may be needed should already have been identified through the
    process hazard analysis requirements of the PSM standard, and adequate
    safeguards should have been instituted in accordance with the PSM
    standard.
    OSHA believes that static electricity protection systems can be
    important safety features for facilities containing explosives. The
    Agency considered proposing a requirement in paragraph (c) that would
    require the employer to ensure that all facilities containing
    explosives have appropriate and effective static electricity protection
    systems, with suggested methods of compliance found in NFPA 77. The
    Agency decided not to propose such language because it lacked
    sufficient data and information on the types and effectiveness of
    static electricity protection systems. OSHA is seeking additional
    information on these issues through public comments.

    The hazards of flame, matches, and spark producing devices are
    dealt with in proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) by requiring the
    employer to ensure that no open flames, matches, or spark producing
    devices are located within 50 feet of explosives or facilities
    containing explosives. As mentioned earlier, ``facilities containing
    explosives'' refers to any building on a site where explosives are
    manufactured, handled or stored.
    Stripsearch customers?

    Issue #4: OSHA seeks specific comments on the impact proposed
    paragraph (c)(3)(iii) would have on the storage and retail sale of
    small arms ammunition, small arms primers, and smokeless propellants.
    Do open flames, matches, or spark producing devices create a hazard
    when located within 50 feet of small arms ammunition, small arms
    primers, or smokeless propellants, or facilities containing these
    products? Can employers involved in the storage or retail sale of small
    arms ammunition, small arms primers, or smokeless propellants prevent
    all open flames, matches, or spark producing devices from coming within
    50 feet of these products or facilities containing these products? If
    not, why not? Should proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii) use a protective
    distance other than 50 feet and, if so, what distance should it be and
    why? Should OSHA exclude small arms ammunition, small arms primers, and
    smokeless propellants from the requirements of proposed paragraph
    (c)(3)(iii)?

    Proposed paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(C) would require the employer to
    ensure that no person carries firearms, ammunition, or similar articles
    in facilities containing explosives
    No armed employees in gunshops? No legally-armed customers? How about cops?

    Issue #9: Should OSHA require lightning protection systems for any
    facility that contains ammonium nitrate or explosives? What would these
    systems cost?

    Proposed paragraph (e)(1) addresses general provisions associated
    with the transportation of explosives. Proposed paragraph (e)(1)(i)
    would require the employer to ensure that no employee smokes, carries
    matches or any other flame-producing device, or carries any firearms or
    cartridges (except firearms and cartridges required to be carried by
    guards) while in, or within 25 feet (7.63m) of, a vehicle containing
    explosives.

    Paragraph (e)(1)(iii) would require the employer to ensure that
    explosives are not transferred from one vehicle to another without
    informing local fire and police departments. This will help to ensure
    that the transfer is performed in a safe manner. In addition, a
    competent person must supervise the transfer of explosives. This is
    applicable to all transfer work whether it is done within private
    facilities or on public highways.
    UPS, Fed-ex & DHL will just love this.

    Proposed paragraph (h)(2) would require the employer to ensure that
    small arms ammunition is separated from flammable liquids, flammable
    solids, and oxidizing materials by a fire barrier wall with at least a
    1-hour fire resistance rating or by a distance of at least 25 feet.
    Small gunshops better get bigger.

    Paragraph (h)(3)(i)(B) would require the employer to ensure that no
    more than 20 pounds of smokeless propellants, in containers not to
    exceed 1 pound, are displayed in a commercial establishment.

    Paragraph (h)(4)(i)(B) would require the employer to ensure that
    small arms ammunition primers be separated from flammable liquids,
    flammable solids, and oxidizing materials by a fire barrier wall with
    at least a 1-hour fire resistance rating or by a distance of at least
    25 feet.

    Paragraph (h)(4)(i)(C) would require the employer to ensure that no
    more than 10,000 small arms primers be displayed in a commercial
    establishment.

    Issue #21: Proposed paragraphs (h)(3)(i)(B) and (h)(4)(i)(C) place
    restrictions on the quantity of smokeless propellants and small arms
    primers, respectively, that can be displayed in commercial
    establishments. Should OSHA further clarify the quantity limitations
    for smokeless propellants and small arms primers to allow multiple
    displays in commercial establishments? If so, what quantities should be
    allowed and should the quantities be based on the size of the
    commercial establishment? Should there be a minimum distance between
    displays to ensure employee safety? Should the same limitations placed
    on commercial establishments also apply to gun shows?

    Paragraph (j) Training. Proposed paragraph (j) is new and contains
    proposed training requirements for employees in the explosives
    industry.
    This proposes training and re-training commensurate with each employee's duties and the requisite record-keeping.
     
  2. never_retreat

    never_retreat Member

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    Oh this can't be good. Nothing good ever comes from OSHA.:scrutiny::scrutiny:
     
  3. bumm

    bumm Member

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    We hear of so MANY work place accidents involving these materials that OSHA just HAD to do something. :(
    Government does little except make rules and "govern" even if there's no need for it. It's just what govenment does. Government will keep on doing it, and things will keep getting worse, for as long as the people quietly accept it.
    Marty
     
  4. obxned

    obxned Member

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    So I guess now OSHA is just a branch of BATF. Fed-Ex and UPS and other carriers are screwed, many small shops will not be legal anymore, and the big box stores may be required to drug test each and every employee repeatedly. And what will happen with the small manufacturers of ammo?

    If all this serves any purpose other than to make doing business more costly, more difficult or even impossible, I sure don't see it. I haven't seen anything in the news to indicate there has ever been a problem.

    This has nothing to do with employee health or safety, and everything to do with destroying the 2nd Amendment.
     
  5. alan

    alan Member

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    One wonders as to who or what it is that winds OSHA up?

    Any and all powers granted to bureaucratic agencies will, sooner or later, quite often sooner, be abused or via the exercise thereof, being party to something really dumb.
     
  6. Optical Serenity

    Optical Serenity Member

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    The type of people who work at OSHA, they were the same kids in school with the socks rolled up to their knees and the lunch bags with their full names written on them. Sigh.
     
  7. trapperjohn

    trapperjohn Member

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    i doubt it will affect the transportation of it. transportation of such stuff is handled by the DOT. Looks to me that they are just proposing that powder be considered an explosive rather than a flammable substance and that facilities that handle it have safeguards in place appropriate for handling explosives.
     
  8. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    Pray tell, how many people die every year from smokeless-powder-related explosions in gunshops? Thousands, I'm sure.

    What is the likelihood of this passing, and how can I stop it?
     
  9. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    alan: "One wonders as to who or what it is that winds OSHA up?"

    ALL gov. agencies want to grow larger, more people more chances of promotion and better retirements for themselves! Thus, it doesn't take much to wind them up.

    One of the "intellectual" concepts is that such agencies should be "pro-active", meaning they should dream up things that could happen instead of things likely happen or have happened, and make provisions to prevent them before they happen. That mindset opens some small doors very wide!
     
  10. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    It is my understanding that because this is a regulation and not law per se there is no passing involved. Regulations have the weight of law without the representative process.
    I could be wrong.

    Jefferson
     
  11. Owens

    Owens Member

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    This appears to be (based on the OP) a proposal for a change of rules. there should be time for comment, as most regulatory agencies solicit commentary before making a rule effective.
    OSHA may at times seem overbearing, but if you knew some of the things they did get corrected, it would all be a bit more sensible to someone looking in. No, I don't work for them, but I do deal with some of their General Industry regulations.

    EDIT: Further info - This is open to public comment until 7-12-07. Refer to OP on locating this document. You will have a link for submitting comments.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
  12. jselvy

    jselvy member

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    Public comment does not equal representation. I find it highly unconstitutional that any regulation with the force of law can be foisted off on the American People without so much as a by your leave from our soi disant representatives.

    Jefferson
     
  13. Owens

    Owens Member

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    Our concerns

    Quoted from the 55 page document:


     
  14. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    If OSHA is trying to get small arms ammunition and components (read smokeless powder) to be classified as EXPLOSIVES, we are in deep do-do.

    I imagine us reloaders would then need many more permissions to store powder at home, not to mention the shipping hassles and costs.
     
  15. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    OSHA has jurisdiction over the safety of the people transporting explosives and thus can make rules affecting their safety. Read the justification that OSHA included in the rulemaking to justify their position re: BATF, DOT, etc.
     
  16. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Member

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    Reading this is causng me to have a What Ronald Said Moment: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

    S-
     
  17. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    I always figured that they would ban the use of firearms by banning ammo or ammo components first...
     
  18. obxned

    obxned Member

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    I always figured that they would ban the use of firearms by banning ammo or ammo comp

    "I always figured that they would ban the use of firearms by banning ammo or ammo components first..."

    Yup, and it sure seems possible now.
     
  19. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    OK, I found the docket, but how do I submit a comment?
     
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    I followed the link. The proposed rules are on Page 20. (Use the double arrow, first, and then back up three pages.) I clicked on the right end of the segment and submitted my comment.

    I suggest others here do the same...

    Art
     
  21. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Anything eloquent to send other than I think the proposed portion is a steaming pile?

    I'm not too eloquent at times...
     
  22. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I don't know about where you live but in my state if it is classified as an explosive then you would need a license to buy it.
    Rusty
     
  23. ServiceSoon

    ServiceSoon Member

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    I work in the paint industry and have a decent knowledge about hazardous classes 3(Flammable Liquid), 8(Corrosive), 5(Oxidizer) & 9(ORMD).

    Products that can be dangerous are classified to communicate a possible danger and naturally rules about storage and transportation are made to protect people from themselves. Aren’t boxes containing small arms primers already classified as Class 1.C? What about this proposal don't you like?

    I haven't heard anything about primers exploding. So I guess I dont see why a rule needs to be changed.
     
  24. FlaXD

    FlaXD Member

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    Remember the "E" added to BATF not so long ago?

    Right now BATFE doesn't consider smokeless powder and gunpowder (less than 50lbs) as explosives. This could change that. And then the following from BATFE:

    and
    and finally
    Yep, things just keep getting better and better.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    ServiceSoon, read the text. It puts costly requirements onto store owners.

    A legitimate question would be whether there has been any increase in accidental fires or explosions? And, are these attributed to open flames from daily-work sources? Or, from static electricity?

    If not, then there seems to be no justification for the added expenses to store owners.

    Art
     
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