Safety Library Publications (SLPs)
In 1914, IME published our first safety publication. Since then, as our industry has continued innovating, IME has developed and published a suite of best practices and guidelines to help ensure the safety and security in the manufacture, transport, storage, distribution, and use of commercial explosives.
As evidence of IME's strong reputation as a trusted resource, federal agencies have adopted a number of IME's SLPs into regulation. These include the "American Table of Distances" (SLP-2); SLP-22 "Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Detonators in a Vehicle with Certain Other Explosive Materials;" and SLP-23 "Recommendations for the Transportation of Explosives, 1.5 and Ammonium Nitrate Emulsions, Division 5.1 in Bulk Packaging". IME does not charge for these three SLPs.
SLP 1: Construction Guide for Storage Magazines
(October 2017 Incorporates changes through January 2022)
SLP-1 sets out guidelines for the construction of structures, known as “magazines” that are used for the safe and secure storage of explosive materials. The construction of magazines is primarily controlled by regulations administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The SLP describes the various types of magazines, the construction requirements for each type, and the explosives products that are permitted to be stored in each type. The SLP is not a substitute for applicable federal, state, or local regulations, but does provide a succinct guide to the complex regulatory scheme surrounding the storage of explosives.
SLP 2: The American Table of Distances
(June 1991 - Incorporates changes through April 2017)
SLP-2 is known as “The American Table of Distances” or “ATD.” It was originally developed by IME to establish safe distances for the location of explosives storage magazines to protect the public, workers, and infrastructure. Published in 1910, the ATD has been updated several times and is still widely used today in the US and internationally. Even with the growing use of quantitative risk analysis (see IME SLP-31), the ATD is remains a valuable tool for assessing potential storage locations.
SLP 3: Suggested Code of Regulation
SLP-3 was developed by experts in the field of explosives manufacturing and management, and serves as a model for the effective, practical, and secure regulation of commercial explosives. The SLP covers all aspects of explosives management from initial licensing to the manufacture, sale, storage, transportation, and use of these products. It is intended to assist government regulators in crafting consistent and comprehensive rules that will safeguard the products, workers, transporters, and the public.
SLP 4: Warnings and Instructions
SLP-4 was developed by IME to provide specific, accepted warnings and instructions for the safe and secure transportation, storage, handling, use, and disposal of explosive materials. Written in an “ALWAYS” and “NEVER” format, the SLP sets out procedures and practices designed to ensure that explosives products are managed and handled responsibly and safely.
SLP 12: Glossary of Commercial Explosives Industry Terms
SLP-12 is IME’s glossary of terms used by the commercial explosives industry. The SLP includes definitions and technical descriptions of various types of explosive devices and tools, as well as words, phrases, and acronyms commonly used in the industry. The SLP is intended to serve as a reference for terminology used in other IME SLPs.
SLP 14: Handbook for the Transportation and Distribution of Explosive Materials
SLP-14 sets out IME’s guidelines for the safe and secure transportation, distribution, and storage of explosive materials manufactured and handled by IME’s member companies. While the recommendations included in the SLP are consistent with laws and regulations governing commercial explosives, some of IME’s recommendations exceed federal and state requirements, in furtherance of IME’s important mission of safeguarding our products, workers, the public and the environment.
SLP 17: Safety in the Transportation, Storage, Handling & Use of Commercial Explosive Materials
Originally published in 1932, SLP-17 discusses explosives products that are currently in use, and outlines best practices for their manufacture, transportation, storage, and use. The SLP covers, in part, the types of commercial explosives products in use today, and the various machines, initiating systems, and other tools necessary for their use in the field. It also describes common applications where explosives are used, including mining, quarrying, seismic prospecting, and agricultural blasting. Lastly, it provides information on pre- and post-blast practices used by the industry to ensure the safety of workers and the public.
SLP 20: Safety Guide for the Prevention of Radio Frequency Radiation Hazards in the Use of Commercial Electric Detonators (Blasting Caps)
SLP-20 is intended to inform users of explosives of the potential hazards presented by sources of radio frequency (RF) in the vicinity of blasting operations. This highly technical SLP addresses current sources of RF, the general precautions that should be considered, and alternative means of dealing with the potential or realized presence of RF sources.
SLP 22: Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Detonators in a Vehicle with Certain Other Explosive Materials
SLP-22 describes the conditions under which detonators may be transported on the same motor vehicle with other explosive materials. In particular, the SLP provides readers with information on the construction and use of acceptable containers, known as “IME SLP-22 Boxes,” and the appropriate placement of these boxes on a motor vehicle. SLP-22 has been incorporated into federal regulations administered and enforced by the US Department of Transportation.
SLP 23: Recommendations for the Transportation of Explosives, Division 1.5, Ammonium Nitrate Emulsions, Division 5.1, Combustible Liquids, Class 3, and Corrosives, Class 8 in Bulk Packaging
SLP-23 covers the safe and secure transportation of explosives and blasting agents when transported by motor vehicle, rail, or vessel in bulk form. SLP-23 has been incorporated into federal regulations administered and enforced by the US Department of Transportation.
SLP 24: Recommendations for Handling Explosives at Designated Waterfront Facilities in the United States
SLP-24 covers the safe and secure handling of explosives at port facilities. Topics addressed by the SLP include training, transportation, loading/unloading, packaging, quantitative risk analysis, maritime equipment used for explosives movement, and the various responsibilities of port officials in ensuring safety and security. The SLP also includes a list of documents that will be useful to those involved in transporting commercial explosives by vessel.
SLP 25: Explosives Manufacturing & Processing Guideline to Safety Training
SLP-25 describes industry recommendations for the design and implementation of a safety and health training curriculum.
SLP 27: Security in Manufacturing, Transportation, Storage and Use of Commercial Explosives
SLP-27 is dedicated to explosives security. The SLP sets out best practices for preventing, recognizing, and responding to potential threats. It includes both general and specific procedures for ensuring that commercial explosives do not fall into the wrong hands. In addition, SLP-27 sets out IME’s recommendations for members of the explosives industry in responding to threat alerts issued by government authorities, including alerts issued by the US Department of Homeland Security using the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS).
SLP 28: Recommendations for Accountability and Security of Bulk Explosives and Bulk Security Sensitive Materials
SLP-28 provides general information on maintaining inventories of certain bulk explosive materials and oxidizers used in the manufacture of explosives and blasting agents. The SLP covers the considerations that underlie the selection and use of inventory control systems, devices, or methods for detecting and preventing any unexplained or unexpected losses of bulk materials.
SLP 29: Recommendations for the Environmental Management of Commercial Explosives
SLP-29 is IME’s guide to federal environmental statutes and regulations that may impact explosives manufacturing and disposal operations. The SLP is intended primarily as a reference source for managers with responsibility for compliance with environmental laws and regulations. It describes, in part, the types of operations at a typical explosives facility that could be subject to such requirements. The SLP also includes appendices covering the disposal of empty explosives packaging, the decommissioning of buildings contaminated with explosives, and industry best practices for blasting.
SLP 30: Safe Handling of Solid Ammonium Nitrate
SLP-30 sets out sound and established best practices for the safe and secure management of ammonium nitrate (AN). These guidelines are based on decades of direct experience and technical expertise, and are intended to safeguard our industry, workers, users, the public and the environment. Certain best practices described in the SLP exceed existing federal and state standards. IME discourages the recreational sale, distribution and use of any form of AN and we strongly recommend that the sale and distribution of AN be limited to licensees authorized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
SLP 31: Methods and Algorithms Used for Quantitative Risk Analysis
(June 2018 - Includes July 2020 Amendments)
SLP-31 provides general information on quantitative risk analysis (QRA) used by the explosives industry to locate structures associated with the manufacture and storage of commercial explosives. The SLP describes accepted fundamentals of risk-based decision making and the methodologies and algorithms used for calculating the risk of certain explosives operations.
SLP 32: Recommendations for Safe and Secure Use, Storage, and Transportation of Commercial Explosives in Oil and Gas Operations
SLP-32 describes best practices in the manufacturing, testing, transportation, use and disposal of explosive products used by the oil and gas industry. The SLP also includes guidelines for explosives security in various oil and gas operations. The best practices described in the SLP are considered by IME to be minimum requirements for safety and security.