Also known as:

  • Powder Monkey

What they do

Shotfirers usually decide on the quantity of explosives required and check blasting areas to make sure they have met safety regulations before positioning explosives in bore holes and priming explosives using detonators and explosive cartridges.

They connect the wires, fuses and detonating cords to explosive cartridges and detonators, making sure they test electrical circuits and repair any malfunctions before detonating the explosives.

They will inspect the area to make sure all explosives have been detonated and that the site is safe after blasting has been completed.

Work will involve frequent squatting or crouching, twisting of the body and bending.

Working conditions

Shotfirers usually work outdoors or underground in underground mines, opencast mines, quarries and demolition sites.  Shotfirers may be required to work underground at considerable depth in cramped conditions.  They may also be required to work in remote areas where conditions can be hot, wet, dirty and dusty.

Workers wear protective clothing such as hard hats, safety boots and other safety equipment.  Shotfirers may be required to work shifts.

Tools and technologies

Shotfirers are required to use a range of tools and technologies including hand tools and power equipment such as explosives, detonators, drills, bores, chisels, pliers and detonators.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To work as a shotfirer in Western Australia (WA) you must complete specialised training and obtain a shotfiring licence from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. The Department maintains a list of training providers accredited to deliver the necessary training. Training delivered by providers not on this list will not be accepted as evidence of competency for a shotfirer licence application.

Required registration and licensing

To be eligible for a shotfirer’s licence you must be at least 18 years of age, hold a current WA Dangerous Goods Security Card or recognised security clearance, and pass a medical assessment and a National Police Check.

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