Dr Mark Pegden is a Specialist Explosives Inspector working for the Health and Safety Executive and is also the Portfolio Specialist for the Civil Explosives Sector. He has extensive experience throughout the explosives industry with regard to manufacture, transport, storage, blasting technique and environmental impact.
Before joining the HSE, Dr Mark was formally a Research Fellow with the Blasting and Environmental Research Group (University of Leeds), Senior Explosives Engineer (EPC-UK) and Strategic Director (Chai Explosives, Thailand). The mining and quarrying industries commonly require the storage of explosives. For mines, the underground storage of explosives can have several advantages over above-ground storage such as reduced transportation, proximity to a working area, increased security and increased containment should an explosion occur. When assessing the suitability of an underground explosives storage location it is necessary to consider the likely outcome of an accidental store detonation and the subsequent propagation of the blast through the tunnel system.
Dr Mark's presentation is a summary of the work that has been carried out between the Health and Safety Executive's Explosives Inspectorate and Science Division towards determining how such a blast would propagate to assess whether overpressure limits would be exceeded. This modelling approach now forms the foundation for the licensing of explosives storage underground for the United Kingdom.