About IME

The IME is the Safety and Security Institute of the commercial explosives industry. The Institute represents U.S. manufacturers of high explosives and other companies that distribute explosives or provide related products and services.  An average of 3 million metric tons of explosives are consumed annually in the    United States, of which IME member companies produce over 95 percent. They are essential to energy production, highway and building construction, and the manufacture of almost all metal and mineral products.  Click to view IME Brochure. click to view IME Organizational Chart.

The Institute has promoted safety and security practices throughout the life cycle of industrial explosive products for more than 100 years. It was founded with the encouragement of the government to develop best practices for the industry shortly after the turn of the last century to stem the proliferation of accidents accompanying explosives operations. In response, the Institute has led the explosive industry in the development of comprehensive    recommendations and guidelines for the distribution and use of commercial explosives to ensure the safety of its employees, consumers, the public and protection of the environment.

These recommendations have been incorporated into many federal, state and local regulations governing safety and security in the manufacture, transportation, storage, handling and use of explosive materials used in blasting and other essential operations.   

The institute publishes these recommendations in a series of Safety Library Publications and Recommendations covering all aspects of operations throughout the life cycle  of industrial explosive products and services. These may be downloaded at no cost from this web site. 

Our Mission

To promote safety and security for the commercial explosive industry.

Our History

Early attempts to organize an association representing the makers of commercial explosives lacked success in attracting all manufacturers to membership and thus these organizations did not survive. The Gunpowder Trust Association was founded and disbanded in 1904, followed by the formation of the Association of Independent Powder and Dynamite Manufacturers and in 1906 by the Association of Manufacturers of Powder and High Explosives.

On July 15, 1913, the first organizational meeting of the Institute of Makers of Explosives took place at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The Institute was organized to gather and distribute accurate information regarding the industry; to maintain high and uniform explosives manufacturing standards and inform the public regarding the proper use of same.


Founding Members

The following companies attended the first meeting of the IME and became the founding

  • Aetna Powder Company
  • American Powder Mills
  • Atlas Powder Company
  • Austin Powder Company
  • Burton Powder Company
  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
  • Equitable Powder Manufacturing Company
  • Fort Pitt Powder Company
  • Hercules Powder Company
  • Illinois Powder Company
  • Independent Powder Company of Missouri
  • Jefferson Powder Company
  • Keystone National Powder Company
  • King Powder Company
  • Miami Powder Company
  • Rand Powder Company
  • Senior Powder Company
  • Standard Powder Company
  • United States Powder Company

Five working committees were formed:

  • Committee on Trade Conditions and Promoting the Use of Explosives
  • Committee on Traffic and Storage Conditions
  • Committee on Welfare of Employees
  • Committee on Uniform Legislation
  • Committee on Standardization.

Year by Year History