The IME was founded in 1913 by the manufacturers of commercial explosives to develop safety and security standards for use in explosives operations. The institute was founded with the encouragement of the federal government to develop best practices for the industry to stem the proliferation of accidents accompanying the expansion of explosives operations throughout the nation.
In response, the IME developed comprehensive Safety Library Publications and Recommendations for the the manufacturing, transportation, storage and use of explosive products to ensure the safety of employees, consumers, the public and protection of the environment. These recommendations have been incorporated into many federal, state and local regulations governing the safety and security of explosives used in blasting and other essential operations.
As you might expect, commercial explosives are very carefully engineered to produce the energy required for mining, construction, petroleum exploration and agricultural purposes. Since the turn of the last century, when modern explosives ushered in the industrial age, our paramount guiding principal has been to be 100% safe, all of the time. We are proud to be one of the safest industries in America. Our attention to safety has made this one of the most accident free industries in the nation. Safety is non-negotiable – it is the industry’s #1 value.
Commercial explosive products are not used for recreation or display and are not used by the general public. They are sophisticated industrial power tools produced and used by highly trained engineers to provide the raw materials to build and maintain the national infrastructure. Every aspect of their life cycle is very tighly controlled and regulated, requiring government licenses and approvals for all operations.
These products are some of the most secure and highly regulated commodities in commerce today. Federal Regulations require the identificaton marking of explosives and precise recordkeeping as these products move through commerce in the United States. Federal law prohibits any individual who cannot meet strict background criteria from posessing explosives.
Explosives must be stored securely in theft-resistant structures and containers. Rarely do thefts of commercial occur. The latest data from the ATF shows that annual thefts are under 19 per year, a declining trend. In those cases, when a theft does occur, intense law enforcement efforts recover stolen explosives and the perpetrators are subjected to severe penalties.