IMESAFR Peer Review Confirms Activities to be Meaningful and Appropriate


A peer review of the Institute of Makers of Explosives Safety Analysis for Risk (IMESAFR), and specifically IMESAFR’s probability of events (P(e)), has confirmed the various P(e) estimates for the reviewed activities to be meaningful and appropriate.  The findings of the review further substantiate IME’s request that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) grant IMESAFR-based variances within proposed tolerable risk criteria for explosives storage siting.
IMESAFR is a quantitative risk assessment tool used to calculate risk to personnel from explosives facilities and operations.  As compared to traditional quantity distance tables, the IMESAFR tool considers multiple factors related to the donor structure and activity, explosives type, and the exposed site to provide a more accurate assessment for explosives siting.  The peer review of IMESAFR was conducted by ACTA Inc. for the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) and the IMESAFR Science Panel in response to ATF’s request for third-party validation of specific values utilized in IMESAFR’s algorithms.  The IMESAFR Science Panel is an independent body consisting of government, academia, and industry personnel that serves to advance IMESAFR’s technical and scientific transparency and accuracy. 
In addition to the key findings above, ACTA Inc. also provided comments regarding the continued development of IMESAFR and related documentation. On September 7, 2018, the IMESAFR Science Panel issued a formal letter to ATF, articulating that the agency should consider the findings of the peer review as a foundation for accepting established risk criteria when evaluating IMESAFR-based variances.