EPC-UK’s revised Underground Blasting Courses now supported with new training simulator

Mar 26, 2024

Taking training resource provision to the next level, EPC-UK is excited to announce the installation of a new training simulator tunnel, designed to make its Underground Blasting Course delivery more realistic, effective, and safer.

Ready for internal candidates to experience from April 2024, and planned for external delegate use during the 12-13 August course, the simulator presents a supportive, practical way to reinforce learning. 

Launched at the end of 2023, the Underground Blasting Course has been designed to help address an international shortage of blasting engineers working in the extractive industries. By teaching the skills to help new starters gain a foundation in both surface and underground mining principles, the course provides underground operators with skills and safety competencies. It also educates on different types of explosives and initiation systems, mining methods, the design and charging of different underground blasts, equipment, shotfiring operations, and legislation. 

Safer learning and development

Heading the simulator installation project has been Blasting Technology Development Manager, Dr. Geoff Adderley, who tells Onsite more about what the facility will enable and how it will further benefit the learning experience for Underground Blasting Course delegates:

“We’re delighted to have relaunched our Underground Blasting Course for a new generation of engineers,” Geoff says. “The programme, which is now ready for delivery at EPC-UK’s Alfreton site in Derbyshire, emphasises different types of blasting as well as new product innovations. To make learning the content more engaging for delegates, the delivery team wanted to create a practical way to reinforce learning that would go beyond computer-based simulator programmes or instructor presentations.

“Resonating with our SPIRIT values of Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork, we wanted to build a facility where we could safely demonstrate the experience of a blast and help delegates to practise new skills and better build knowledge from the outset without having to physically visit a mine during the initial learning stages.” 

Improved training facilities

“Our re-creation of two blast faces within a containerised unit is the perfect solution. Each is complete with different development round patterns and even includes cap lamps to simulate underground conditions. Together, the facility’s components help to make learning about the blasting environment as realistic as possible.

“The simulator will enable candidates to understand the scale of blast faces and typical distributions of holes and they will be able to practise loading with inert cartridges. They will learn how to connect and test the three main initiation systems — electric, non-electric, and electronic, using inert detonators. They will also practise timing the blast and learn how to deal with problems such as blocked holes.”

Future ready delivery

The revised two-day Underground Blasting Course covers: 

  • An introduction to the different types of explosives and initiation systems being used in underground mining, including advantages, disadvantages and prevalent safety features
  • An overview of the different mining methods and how explosives are employed in both development and production
  • An overview of the design and charging of different types of underground blasts, including development rounds, stoping and shaft sinking
  • An introduction to the key equipment used in blasting operations
  • Daily shotfiring operations, including pre and post blast inspections, charging operations and dealing with misfires
  • Legislation concerning the use of explosives in mining, and safety during storage and transport of explosives. 

A leading training provider

EPC-UK is constantly evolving its specialist training courses to ensure the content meets the industry’s requirements precisely.  To reserve a place for the 12-13 August course, or to make an enquiry about any other EPC-UK training programme, telephone: 01773 832253, or email: Learning@epc-groupe.co.uk

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