Explosives Rulemaking: Safety standards for possession, handling, and use of explosives

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is conducting rulemaking related to Chapter 296-52 WAC, Safety standards for possession, handling and use of explosives.

See all the rulemaking activity for Explosives on our L&I Rulemaking page.


L&I filed a preproposal (CR-101) (41 KB PDF) with the Washington State Code Reviser January 23, 2018, to officially begin the rulemaking process. We are currently working with the Explosives Safety Stakeholder group (ESSG) Stakeholder Group to determine the scope of our proposed rule changes and will continue working with the group as we begin drafting proposed rule language.

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


This chapter details the requirements for the manufacture, possession, storage, selling, purchase, transportation, and use of explosives, including blasting agents.

Explosives, including blasting agents, are used in many industries: mining, quarrying, construction and demolition, avalanche control, manufacturing, firefighting, local and state law enforcement, entertainment industry, pyrotechnics (fireworks), logging, agriculture, and even medicine to fracture kidney and gall stones.

Many sections of the chapter have not been updated in 10 to 30 years. Changes are needed to reflect current industry best practices and align with federal regulations.

L&I formed an Explosives Safety Stakeholder Group (ESSG) in 2017 in cooperation with explosives industry, government and law enforcement leaders. It is an advisory group for L&I regarding explosives safety, policy, and procedures in Washington. The mission of the ESSG is simple: Keep Washington safe and working — with explosives.

Washington Explosives Safety Stakeholder Group (ESSG) Guidelines

The group meets annually, except during times of code revision (quarterly then). The goal of bringing representatives from business, labor, and state entities, to name a few, is to develop recommendations to update the current occupational explosives standards; and, provide a safe and healthy environment for employees.

Stakeholder meetings and Public Hearings will continue to occur. Meetings are open to the public and will include representatives from business, labor, and government. Meeting dates and locations will be posted on this page.

Meetings & Timeline

Upcoming Meetings:

The next Explosives Safety Stakeholder Group (ESSG) meeting will take place Tuesday, January 10, 2023, beginning at 8:30 a.m. At this time, we are planning for a half-day virtual meeting only.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss with stakeholders the comments and suggested edits received.

Please find attached an updated draft in both Word and Adobe format, containing the feedback and suggested changes received. Please note the words triggering encryption have been removed. In their place, you will see “xxxxx xxxxxxx.”

The information to join the meeting via Teams is below. On the day of the meeting, simply “click” the link below to join using a computer; or, smartphone. The meeting will open 15 minutes before the start of the meeting to allow everyone time to sign-in and tackle any issues, should they arise.

If unable to attend, we encourage you to review the draft and submit comments and/or suggested changes for the group to discuss during the meeting.

If you encounter technical difficulties joining the meeting or during the meeting, please reach out to me via email.

Please contact Cathy Coates with questions about this rulemaking: Cathy.coates@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5432.

Please contact Dan Massey with any technical questions about this rule: Daniel.massey@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5569.

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Meeting Materials

Draft WAC 296-52

Previous Meetings

Rule Drafts & Documents Additional Resources

Get updates via email

An email list has been set up for L&I to share information about this workgroup and the meetings. Select the "Explosives Rulemaking" topic when you sign up to receive email updates.

Please contact Cathy Coates with any rulemaking questions: Cathy.coates@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5432.

Please contact Dan Massey with any technical questions about this rule: Daniel.massey@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5569.