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a safe legal location for amateur experimentation and testing in N W Leicestershire


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#46 exat808

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 10:09 AM

Whilst Icarus is on his travels and in the absence of anything else new on the forums I thought that I would post a few thoughts on the ER2014 compliance issues surrounding the "safe legal location" scenario that has been proposed.

 

Much of ER2014 focuses on the concept of a "site" and what can and cannot be undertaken on the "site". The proposed field fits the definition of "site" namely the whole area under the control of the same person. Indeed the "site" in question will no doubt be much larger. "Site" appears in the elements of ER2014 that deal with licensing and matters that would affect a licence such as separation distances. "Site" however does not feature in our particular scenario which concerns the lawful unlicensed manufacture of explosive under the strict criteria at ER2014 Regulation 6(2)(a). The basic concept generally for Regulation 6 deals not with "site" but with "person" and states that no "person" shall manufacture explosives unless that "person" has a licence and then lists the exceptions to that statement of which 6(2)(a) is the one we are considering.

The point that I am putting forward is that on a "site" any number of "persons" can be lawfully benefiting from the 6(2)(a) exemption at any one time. From a compliance perspective the next hurdle to be overcome is that of lawful acquisition of the manufactured substance. My view is that each "person" who manufactures under 6(2)(a) should be the holder of an Acquire Only certificate authorising the acquisition of pyrotechnic substances using the UNMAN2 code that has been described elsewhere on the forums. I would initially anticipate that all manufactured substances will be tested and demonstrated on the "site" as per the criteria of 6(2)(a).

The nuts and bolts detail of safe siting of the sheds and other facilities will be discussed later after site visits.    



#47 Rip Rap

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

All sounds very positive :)


"Choose a job that you love & you will never do a days work in your life!"

#48 BlackCat

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:38 PM

I've been hoping that this project would eventually proceed so it's good to see that it hasn't simply died. My offer of help setting the site up still stands so I'll be watching this space with interest.



#49 exat808

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:17 AM

Some thoughts from the safety perspective when considering the location of buildings on the site:

 

 Although the site will not be subject to a licence it would be considered "best practice" to follow the safety guidance that sits alongside ER2014 when designing the layout. With this in mind we need to have some ideas regarding mitigating for "unintentional events" during the manufacturing process. I am comfortable when considering HT1 issues but I would seek the wider and deeper knowledge of the forums with regard to HT3 events in the 100g region. I am looking for verifiable, evidenced data concerning fireballs, radiated heat,gas and pressure production etc etc.  

Mitigation can take many forms, some used in conjunction with others:

Some examples: construction materials, alignment of structures to each other, blowout panels, mounding/traversing/bunding, control of activities, control of personnel.

 

May I respectfully suggest that those who may be involved in the project in its early stages put their thinking caps on and research the safety guidance that sits with ER2014 (HSE Document L150 is a good start, also the UKPS Best practice guide). 



#50 Vic

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

Danny. I can't give you evidential data that you require not without doing an awful lot of research and then it may not be relevant to this sort of situation. At a very basic level without going into details we will need a row of timber sheds adequately equipped with swing doors at both ends, these will be separated by blast walls, railway sleepers between RSJ's if that's appropriate. Controlled safety distances, we don't want people just wondering about.The HSE Document L150  Is a excellent and should be our main guidance.

My biggest concern would be the individual and their interpretation of working safely and how you monitor that.


Freud. Artists, in this view, are people who may avoid neurosis and perversion by sublimating their impulses in their work.

#51 exat808

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:27 PM

Hi Vic,

 

Your comment - "My biggest concern would be the individual and their interpretation of working safely and how you monitor that." - can be turned on its head. Under H&S legislation it is always for the "dutyholder" to ensure that the relevant legislation is being complied with, either by following Guidance or by establishing other practices that demonstrate a comparable level of safety.

As per my post above where I discussed "person" and "site" my view is that the "dutyholder" is the "person" conducting the Reg 6(2)(a) manufacture and provided that there is a robust audit process that puts the "person" in place as the "dutyholder" then monitoring should not be a part of the process. A further view is that if there are concerns regarding the competence of an individual he/she will not be the "person" conducting the manufacture. This establishment of competence s something that UKPS will have to consider. It might be that in the early days of the project only a select few "persons" conduct the 6(2)(a) processes with other members being in attendance as observers/assistants if the risks/hazards permit this.    

 

Your other comments re structures/construction etc are welcome. I would query blast walls and that is why I asked about HT3 data in my earlier post. 

You need site safety but dont need to over egg the pudding! There are lots of simple solutions out there to problems that may arise. For example - the use of 1 tonne bags filled with sand suitable stacked and used as mounds - especially on test areas/burning grounds.

 

So much to think about but it is good that the ideas can be shown in open forum and not hidden from suspicious minds.  



#52 Vic

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 10:08 PM

I do not wish to come across as difficult it is just the way I am.

Just to clarify Steve is the duty holder and you are the advisor so the buck stops with him?

There would be no manufacturer of flash on site?


Edited by Vic, 09 January 2017 - 10:15 PM.

Freud. Artists, in this view, are people who may avoid neurosis and perversion by sublimating their impulses in their work.

#53 exat808

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:12 PM

Hi Vic,

 

I would rather people challenge and debate the processes and that we then get it all right the first time.

 

Answering your points above:

 

1.The "dutyholder" is the person who has a duty to be compliant under the Regulations. It may not be the owner of the  site if he is not engaged in any manufacture/storage/disposal/acquisition activities. Potentially Icarus can sign a shed over to you for you to be the "person" conducting 6(2)(a) activities and he can then leave the site.

 

2. I see myself acting as an unpaid compliance consultant to Icarus. I am not engaged by UKPS and that is why I feel that any advice that I offer should always be in open forum. If I was engaged by any society or professional body then my advice remains with the client. If Icarus wants anything to remain in confidence I will respect his wishes.

 

3. The decision to manufacture flash type pyrotechnic compositions in my view rests initially with Icarus as the owner of the "site". It will be he who permits others to benefit from 6(2)(a) in his buildings. Initially he alone should decide on the competence of the "person" perhaps guided by those he considers best qualified to determine competence. I will happily assist if required in developing competence mapping processes.  


Edited by exat808, 10 January 2017 - 06:21 PM.


#54 Vic

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 07:44 PM

One important question I would like to ask that's not to do with regulation.

 

The facility would be independent of the UKPS and there will not be a prerequisite to be a member of the UKPS to use that facility.


Edited by Vic, 12 January 2017 - 07:48 PM.

Freud. Artists, in this view, are people who may avoid neurosis and perversion by sublimating their impulses in their work.

#55 exat808

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:34 PM

Hi Vic,

 

Matters concerning the running of the site in my view can only be the decision of Icarus.

Beyond ER2014 there are other issues for Icarus to consider if the site moves beyond " a group of friends who get together to enjoy a hobby":

eg

Planning

Liability

Fire Safety Regulations

Other H&S legislation

 

My thoughts - Start small, get it right first time, build the confidence of the authorities, develop the site.



#56 icarus

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:51 AM

Hi  I am now back in the UK. 

  I do not have any plan to develop the site into a commercial facility . The last thing I want is a full time commitment ,The annual running costs  of such a facility precludes any profitable business if run on a part time basis.  . The  new clear explanation of what is available in the UK under the constraints  of MSER  offers a fantastic opportunity for amateur hobby research .  As I  travel around the midlands it is wonderful to visit other amateur researchers . Working in sheds, garages and old caravans  they  pursue their hobby . I cite by way of example , Arthur A   who as a retired shed dweller  held patents for tilt and steer vehicles ,linear motors , and improved steering of hovercraft , Marek who showed me the mysteries of a passive craft hovering in his garage over a high voltage array . Jim who designs and flies high altitude kites often receiving letters of complaint from the  civil aviation agency . 

 

Until now amateur pyrotechnic research has been difficult , not fully knowing the legal implications of what we wished to do. Many people living in towns cities or villages are so close to there neighbors they have not got room to safely manufacture even small quantities of energetic substances and would be unable to undertake amateur research.

I can offer  a safe secure private location. Pyrotechnics is not my only hobby . Working alone is not very rewarding.Working together in small informal groups is far more enjoyable.

 As to flash compositions- if a competent person wished to research for example shock sensitivity , or effects of granular separation by mixing in for example polystyrene micro-beads  or comparative testing of different compositions . this would be possible . However if you wished to produce and fire a 99g flash salute this would not be possible . It would be great to build test machinery to measure shock sensitivity by falling weights and propellant power by a swinging arm as at the royal powder mills . a rocket motor thrust test rig would be good . along with drying and milling facility . The emphasis at all times would be on safe shared research with documented results on site . The ukps  is a superb organisation whose members have made this idea possible I welcome the support of ukps but if i do not limit it to members only then the  ukps would not be liable for what occurs .This would be casual regular meeting of friends sharing a common hobby and totally open in all that we do

 

Thanks for the fantastic offer of unpaid compliance consultant  --Open Q and A on the forum is perfect

 

here we go

 

I have not applied for EPP  yet as applying to  storing larger quantities of for example perc for at cost transfer to other members would be difficult to justify  prior to this venture.

 

would you recommend that I apply on EPP  to hold larger quantities , and if so what quantities?    or form a small chemical sales company that holds the stock and sells to epp holders?

 

I have undertaken shotgun training safety and competency courses . at some future date i would like to apply for shotgun certificate and explosives cert to store black powder . I intend then  to buy a muzzle loader for clay pigeon shooting .

Would this be better left in abeyance for a year or more or should i apply rapidly to obtain confirmation that i am a fit and proper person?? there is also of course the totally different use of the black powder that would have to be specified on the application .

is it easier to initially go for pyrotechnic use only??. 

 

And now the big questions

what type and size of small sheds would be appropriate?- Initially as small and as few  as is practical as it is easier to increase the number of them later ......What simple modifications could we do to  make them  safer  and compliant? . I like the concept of sand bagging around our test area as it is also noise deadening is it possible to place a corrugated steel sheet and sandbag roof on the back 60 cm of for example a 1square metre test area  to direct the noise??.

 

So far I have deliberately done nothing so that you have a completely blank canvas to work with . The site has been agricultural farmland for the last 100 years and registered with defra as a smallholding  for 20 years. There is a polytunnel and veg garden at the furthest point from the house and stables and garden at the rear of house .There  are no declared demarcation lines in between  as to what constitutes garden or field..  google earth gives a reasonable view( i can pm an exact location if required) you would be very welcome to visit anytime. Advice as to optimal placing and spacing would be greatly appreciated .. . It would be good to mark out the sheds etc with bamboo stakes and bailer twine    showing position and direction faced

add a bonfire barbecue and charcoal making fire pit  and safety distance line  for pitched tents for summer visitors and we have a perfect site

I can get a 100th scale plan drawn showing the placing of your layout and i have the ordnance survey extract of the house and fields  . Would it be better at that stage for you to approach Leicestershire  constabulary with the proposal as it is very easy to make any changes at the planning stage if required ?????

I have been told by the council planners no consent for small sheds for hobby use is required . They welcomed my offer to paint/stain them dark green .  .


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#57 exat808

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:12 PM

Hi Icarus.
I am just setting off to run a course in Derbyshire for a couple of days. Could you email or PM the site plans and anything else that may be beneficial.
Email Danny at skewenergetics dot co dot UK
Catch up next week and will arrange a site visit.

#58 icarus

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 01:54 PM

brilliant will do .  I will also take the first photographs of the empty field we had the field mown recently .so we can start a photographic record . .At the moment the 3 resident geese are barn dwellers due to risk of bird flue spread from wild birds, they are excellent guards  normally  


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#59 exat808

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 05:45 PM

Icarus,

A few responses for your post dated 130117 1251 - 

 

You said - I have not applied for EPP  yet as applying to  storing larger quantities of for example perc for at cost transfer to other members would be difficult to justify  prior to this venture.

 

would you recommend that I apply on EPP  to hold larger quantities , and if so what quantities?    or form a small chemical sales company that holds the stock and sells to epp holders? - We need to consider chemical storage as part of the whole "site" scenario. My thoughts are that you should concentrate on your own supplies/stock initially. I would certainly avoid the corporate route at this time it may prove problematical at a later stage.

 

I have undertaken shotgun training safety and competency courses . at some future date i would like to apply for shotgun certificate and explosives cert to store black powder . I intend then  to buy a muzzle loader for clay pigeon shooting .

Would this be better left in abeyance for a year or more or should i apply rapidly to obtain confirmation that i am a fit and proper person?? there is also of course the totally different use of the black powder that would have to be specified on the application .

is it easier to initially go for pyrotechnic use only??.   There should be no reason for you not to apply for the shotgun certificate whenever you wish. provided that you have "good reason", security installed to the required standard and that the police can find no objection to the grant then go for it. If you are going to require BP for both shotgun and pyro purposes then I would suggest submitting that A&K certificate application at the same time as your shotgun certificate and then additionally and also at the same time an application for an AO certificate for UNMAN2 (pyro substances). Perhaps you should draft all the applications and I will peer review them prior to submission? I think also that a covering report from me to accompany the applications might be beneficial.  

 

what type and size of small sheds would be appropriate?- Initially as small and as few  as is practical as it is easier to increase the number of them later ......What simple modifications could we do to  make them  safer  and compliant? . I like the concept of sand bagging around our test area as it is also noise deadening is it possible to place a corrugated steel sheet and sandbag roof on the back 60 cm of for example a 1square metre test area  to direct the noise??. Size, type and number are all down to you - sorry to turn this on its head! ER2014 is not prescriptive about construction requirements for unlicensed manufacture. However, you should study ER2014 Guidance document L150 in depth and use some of the criteria for the prevention of fire and explosion as the basis for internal modifications to the shed(s). For the test area, yes directing noise is a good idea but timber rather than steel would be a preferred material, a couple of sleepers or 1 sleeper halved? 

 

I will get back again once I have some photos/plans etc. There is a chance that I can visit 24th January but this is dependent upon other clients around the country confirming visits to them.



#60 exat808

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:06 PM

brilliant will do .  I will also take the first photographs of the empty field we had the field mown recently .so we can start a photographic record . .At the moment the 3 resident geese are barn dwellers due to risk of bird flue spread from wild birds, they are excellent guards  normally  

We have 2 avian flu confirmed outbreaks within 5 miles of us. We are just outside Settle in North Yorkshire.  - Slightly off topic! 






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