EPC-UK, a leading UK force in the field of commercial explosives, services and training, has supported the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) since 2013, providing a legally compliant solution for the storage, collection, transportation and disposal of Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) from selected MCA Sites around the UK.

At the heart of EPC-UK’s service is the development and delivery of training to HM Coastguard (HMCG) on how to safely handle TEPs. Working with HMCG, EPC-UK re-designed their General Handling training to formalise theoretical and practical assessments, with a focus on the changes to relevant explosive legislation, the safe system of work and its applicability to the ADR regulations for the carriage of dangerous goods.

Most recently, Operations Manager (Disposals) Gavin Shiell and his team of experienced trainers have delivered courses at receiving stations including Falmouth and Holyhead, as well as on the Humber and in Shetland.

The General Handling module is supported by the newly designed Continuation Training course to maintain Continuous Professional Development. Both General Handling and Continuous Training courses are quality assured and formally accredited by the UK Institute of Explosive Engineers. EPC-UK is presently delivering these training packages to HMCG staff handling TEPs at various coast guard sites around the UK.

Gavin, who has been involved with the conception and design of the course, explains more: “Here at EPC-UK training is a specialism and we were able to apply our experience of working with explosives to develop the course, in close consultation with the MCA and HMCG, to include the latest changes in Explosive Regulations after the onset of Explosive Regulations 2014 (ER2014) and drawing on our extensive working relationship with HMCG over the past six years; safely collecting, processing and disposing of TEP’s”.

Gavin continues, stating that: “EPC-UK created a course to effectively teach highly competent Coastguard and MCA staff vital safety skills when handling TEPs in the day-to-day performance of their coastguard operations. As such, we’re providing a level of education that can improve systems of work, especially when CG and MCA operatives find themselves involved in unexpected situations.

“We work together with Coastguard and MCA staff through education and shared best-practise regarding safe handling, storage and disposal of marine pyrotechnics to ensure that the Coastguard and MCA maintain the highest safety standards – it’s a great fit, given that we at EPC-UK also put safety at the centre of everything we do,” concludes Gavin.

Further information about the ‘General Handling Course’, as well as other courses offered by EPC-UK, can be found at www.epc-groupe.co.uk/courses/.