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First MPQC Blasting Card awarded overseas

Halsvik Quarry blast

Successful audit of BAM Ritchies senior blasting engineer Jim MacDougall at Halsvik Quarry in Norway 

EARLIER this month [6 July], Jim MacDougall, a senior blasting engineer with BAM Ritchies, was awarded the first MQPC Blasting Operations Card to be issued 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 Mr MacDougall at Halsvik Quarry, in Norway.

Under the MPQC Blasting Competence Scheme, a Blasting Operations Card has an expiry date of five years. To maintain the card and competence, a verified MPQC auditor is required to audit the operator before this expiry date. Upon completion of a successful audit, the card is renewed.

Until now all of these audits have been carried out in the UK, but in early 2017 Mr Donnachie spoke with MPQC about the possibility of carrying out audits in Norway.

Whilst the audit content and process is exactly the same as in the UK, the main issue is the application of the Quarries Regulation 1999 outside the UK. It was clear that the audit would depend heavily upon the content of the Norwegian site’s shotfiring rules.

As Norwegian standards are different and not as onerous as the UK regulations, 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 its rigorous audit verification process, MPQC requested a copy of the rules in place during Mr MacDougall’s audit.

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Submitted by Barry McCreadie (not verified) on

An Audit by an auditor from the same company as the Audited person does not seem to be right, in my opinion, and the gents are both of the same rank within the company as well?

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