Certificates of competence required.
(a) General. Not withstanding any other provisions of the law or of this Part (rule), no person or employer who holds a valid license issued pursuant to section 458 of the Labor Law shall designate any other person to be a blaster unless such other person holds a valid certificate of competence which has been issued by the commissioner.
(b) Categories of certificates of competence. There shall be three categories of such certificates of competence as follows:
(1) Class A. The holder of a class A certificate of competence may supervise and perform the preparation for and the detonation of any blast.
(2) Class B. The holder of a class B certificate of competence may supervise and perform the preparation for and the detonation of any aboveground blast.
(3) Class C. The holder of a class C certificate of competence may supervise and perform the preparation for and the detonation of any underground blast.
(c) Application forms, photographs, medical waiver and fingerprint card. An application for a certificate of competence or for a renewal thereof shall be made on forms provided by the commissioner. Along with such application forms, every applicant shall submit photographs of himself in such numbers and sizes as the commissioner shall prescribe. Such photographs shall have been taken within 30 days of such submission. Applicant shall be required to sign a medical waiver and may be required to submit a fingerprint card.
(d) Physical condition. No person suffering from an uncontrolled physical handicap or illness, such as epilepsy, heart disease or from an uncorrected defect in vision or hearing, which might diminish his competence in relation to the handling or use of explosives, shall be certified by the commissioner.
(e) Age and experience required. (1) Every applicant for a certificate of competence shall be at least 21 years of age.
(2) Every applicant for a certificate of competence shall have at least three years of practical experience in the handling and use of explosives. Such experience shall include a knowledge of explosive safety precautions, three years' employment with a certified blaster and successful completion of at least two training courses recognized by the Blaster's Board totaling 16 hours. Exceptions for an out-of-State blaster will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
(f) Examining board. (1) The commissioner shall appoint an examining board which shall consist of at least three members. At least one member of such board shall be a blaster who holds a valid certificate of competence and at least one other member of such board shall be a representative of explosive manufacturers. The members of such board shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner and their duties shall include the following:
(i) The examination of applicants and their qualifications and the making of recommendations to the commissioner with respect to the experience and competence of such applicants.
(ii) The holding of hearings regarding appeals following denials of certificates.
(iii) The holding of hearings prior to determinations of the commissioner to suspend or revoke certificates or to refuse to issue renewals of certificates.
(iv) The reporting of findings and recommendations to the commissioner with respect to such hearings.
(2) The acts and proceedings of the examining board shall be in accordance with regulations issued by the commissioner.
(g) General examination. Each applicant for a certificate of competence shall, and each applicant for a renewal of such certificate may, be required by the commissioner to take an appropriate general examination.
(h) Practical examination. An applicant who passes the general examination may also be required to take a practical examination in the use of explosives.
(i) Issuance of certificates without examinations. (1) The commissioner may issue a certificate of competence without such examinations to the holder of a license or certificate issued by a political subdivision of the State which allows such holder to engage in blasting operations when, in the opinion of the commissioner, the standards used by such subdivision for the certification or licensing of blasters are comparable to the State standards.
(2) The commissioner may issue a certificate of competence without such examinations to any person who files an application prior to January 1, 1973 and who, in the judgment of the commissioner, meets the minimum qualifications in regard to experience with explosives.
(j) Contents of certificates of competence. Each certificate of competence issued by the commissioner shall include the name and address of the certified blaster, a brief physical description and photograph of such blaster for identification purposes.
(k) Term of certificate of competence. Each certificate of competence or renewal thereof shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance, unless such term is extended, suspended or revoked by the commissioner.
(l) Carrying certificate. Each certified blaster shall carry his certificate of competence on his person when working with explosives. Failure to produce such certificate upon request by the commissioner will be presumptive evidence that the blaster is not certified.
(m) Certificate renewal. An application for the renewal of a certificate of competence shall be filed with the commissioner not more than six months nor less than three months prior to the expiration date of the certificate sought to be renewed, except that the commissioner may alter such time limitation to prevent undue hardship to any certified blaster.
(n) Suspension, revocation, refusal to renew, denial of certificates; hearings.
(1) The commissioner may, upon notice to the interested parties and after a hearing before the examining board, suspend or revoke a certificate of competence upon finding that the certified blaster has failed to comply with an order of the commissioner or that the certified blaster is not a person of proper competence, judgment or ability in respect to the use or handling of explosives or for other good cause shown.
(2) Prior to a determination by the commissioner not to renew a certificate of competence the commissioner shall require a hearing before the examining board, upon notice to the interested parties.
(3) (i) Any applicant whose application for a certificate of competence has been denied by the commissioner may, upon his written request made to the commissioner within 30 days after the mailing or personal delivery to him of the notice of such denial, have a hearing before the examining board.
(ii) The examining board shall make its recommendation to the commissioner within three days after such hearing has been concluded. A written notice of the commissioner's decision, containing the reasons therefor, shall be given promptly to the certified blaster or applicant, as the case may be, and to any interested party who appeared at the hearing. Every such hearing shall be held in accordance with such regulations as the commissioner may establish.
Historical Note: Sec. amds. filed: March 23, 1972; April 2, 1991 eff. April 17, 1991. Amended (c), (e).
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