Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 10/26/23 (replaces 9/17/19 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 60.20: Handling and Storing Explosives

DATE: October 26, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure the protection of all employees required to handle and store explosives while performing their duties and experiments.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of odd-numbered years by the Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety with substantive revisions forwarded through the Associate Vice President for Research (Responsible Research) to the Vice President for Research & Innovation.


1.  Intent

Protection of employees will be accomplished by complying with Title 27, Part 555, Code of Federal Regulations (27 CFR 555), as outlined in the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) publication, Federal Explosives Law and Regulations (ATF P 5400.7 9/00), and the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title XI, (PL 91-452) (the Act). The purpose of the Act is to protect persons and property against misuse and unsafe or insecure storage of explosive materials. No employee will work with explosives until trained on the hazards and handling of explosive materials. Refer also to 29 CFR 1910.109 for workplace safety regulations on explosives.

2.  User's Basic Guide

Explosives may not be distributed to any person who:

• Is less than 21 years of age;

• Has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year;

• Is under indictment punishable by imprisonment of more than one year;

• Is a user of unlawful drugs;

• Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution;

• Is a fugitive from justice; or

• May not lawfully purchase or possess explosives under state or local laws at the place of distribution.

3.  Responsibilities

The Texas Tech University Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department will be charged with the task of ensuring that all employees using explosives receive training on the hazards and dangers associated with them. This will be accomplished by reviewing the documentation of the training the employee has received.

EHS will be furnished copies of each department's protocol on handling and storing explosives on or off the campus. Users of explosive materials will be responsible for following this OP and the protocol set forth in the department. Each department will develop a written plan detailing the specifics of handling and storing explosives. This plan will be forwarded to EHS for review before the use of explosives is approved.

4.  Training

All employees required to work with explosive materials will receive training through any ATF agency or approved training facility that trains on explosives before they are allowed to handle or store explosive materials. Training will include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Handling explosive material [29 CFR 1926.900–914]

• Storing explosive material

• Evaluation of facility

• Documenting usage of explosive materials

• Avoiding electrostatic charges

• Safe operation of the firing chamber

• Handling a misfire correctly

• Maintaining a certified user list for ordering and accepting orders of explosives

5.  Storage

Storage must be in accordance with § 555.201–555.224 of 27 CFR 555 and 29 CFR 1910.109(c). The storage standards prescribed by this subpart confer no right or privileges to store explosive materials in a manner contrary to state or local law. Storage magazines will conform to § 555.203–§ 555.213, which cover the five types of magazines.

6.  Records and Reports

Records shall be kept in permanent form (record book, invoices, etc.) according to § 555.121 of 27 CFR 555. Daily summary of magazine transactions required by § 555.122, § 555.123, § 555.124, and § 555.125 are to be maintained at each magazine for each facility. These records may be kept at one central location if separate records of daily transactions are kept for each magazine. No later than the close of the next business day, the total quantity received in and removed from each magazine will be recorded. Any discrepancy that may indicate theft or loss of explosive materials is to be reported in accordance with § 555.30, which is within 24 hours to ATF (toll free 800.461.8841). A completed Form 5400.5 (see attachment) must be filed with the nearest ATF District Office. A report must also be made to local authorities.

7.  Transportation

There shall not be any transportation of large amounts of explosives performed by any Texas Tech University employee. The delivery of explosives shall be coordinated so that the explosives are delivered at the location of the magazine.


Attachment: Report of Theft or Loss-Explosive Materials (ATF F 5400.5)

Operating Policies & Procedures