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MISFIRES IN BLASTING

One of the most common sources of accident in mining operations is due either to carelessness or to the use of defective material in blasting. A shot misses, generally for one of two reasons; either the explosive, the cap, or the fuse (most often the latter), is inferior or defective; or the charging is incompletely performed. Sometimes the fuse is not placed properly in the detonator, or the detonator is not properly enclosed in the cartridge, or the fuse is injured by improper tamping. If several shots have been fired together, particularly at the change of a "shift," the men who have to remove the broken material may in so doing explode the missed charge. Or, more inexcusable still, men will often be so foolish as to try to clear out the drill hole and remove the missed cartridge. When a charge is known to have missed all that is necessary to do in order to discharge it safely is to remove a few inches of "tamping" from the top of the drill hole, place in the bore a plug of dynamite with cap and fuse attached, put an inch or two of tamping over it and fire, when the missed charge will also be exploded. Of course, judgment must be used and the depth of the drill taken into consideration. As a rule, miners use far more tamping than is at all requisite. The action of the charge will generally be found quite as effective with a few inches of covering matter as with a foot or more, while the exploding of misfire cartridges is rendered simple, as no removal of tamping is required before placing the top "plug" in case of misfire.


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