MSHA issues blasting alert on Orica Uni tronic 500 electronic detonator
Product Recall: Uni tronic 500 Electronic Detonators
Date Code: 15NO09B4 and before
Product Involved: Uni tronic 500 Electronic Assemblies
Date Code: 15NO09B4 and earlier date codes
Assembly Length: All length assemblies
Region: North America
Reason for the Alert: Product Recall
Issue with Product: Unplanned detonation
Bulletin Issued on: May 5, 2010
Effective May 5, 2010, Orica is recalling all Uni tronic™ 500 assemblies with date code 15NO09B4 and prior throughout North America. Orica continues to believe there is not a threat of injury or likelihood of property
damage given the associated blast procedures which strictly follow Orica’s UT Basis of Safety.
However, at MSHA’s request,Orica is conducting a product recall.
Since 2006, more than 7 million Uni tronic assemblies have been safely used without any incidences of personal injury or property damage. However, there have been six unplanned detonations world wide. Four of the unplanned detonations occurred upon the act of aborting the programming sequence and two occurred during programming of the detonators. An investigation surrounding the aborted programming incidents resulted in an upgrade to the Blast Box.
There has not been an unplanned detonation during an aborted programming procedure in over 5,000,000 Uni tronic 500 detonators since the Blast Box upgrade was instituted. To address the two incidents with unplanned detonation during the programming cycle, Orica has implemented an enhanced test protocol to detect faulty devices.
Since implementing this new testing protocol, there has not been an unplanned detonation during the programming sequence using the tested electronic detonators in the over 1,100,000 Uni tronic™ 500 detonators sold since.
As a safety leader, Orica is committed to all its products and procedures. Orica’s UT Basis of Safety on a blast site requires that the blast area be cleared and guarded before sufficient energy to fire a detonator is applied and these safety guidelines were successfully implemented in each of the incidents above. A safety feature built-in to the Uni tronic™ 500
system is that the Uni tronic Network Tester and Scanner for use on bench equipment have neither the sufficient voltage nor current to fire a detonator regardless of the fault conditions that may exist within the detonator.
Although the combination of Orica’s UT Basis of Safety on blast sites coupled with the safety features built into the Uni tronic 500 system provide a very safe operating condition, Orica has decided to take the added step of recalling all Uni tronic 500 assemblies that have not been subjected to the additional test protocol as an additional safety measure.