The History of Intraline Distance in the United States
ARMY TECHNICAL CENTER FOR EXPLOSIVES SAFETY SAVANNA IL
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In 2007 the US Army Technical Center for Explosives Safety USATCES funded the US Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville USAESCH to perform a historical study on intraline distance and how the explosives safety distance evolved over time. Through an extensive search of historical explosives safety standards, USAESCH developed a 60 page report entitled The History of Intraline Distance Standards that details the history of standards related to Intraline Distance including definitions, required separation distances, and permissible exposures. Explosives safety requirements in the United States began in 1909 when the American Railroad Institute questioned explosives manufacturers regarding distances necessary to protect employees and property. In response to this inquiry, a group of explosives manufacturers collaborated to study over 200 explosive accidents. This study resulted in the 1914 American Table of Distances ATD published by the Institute of Makers of Explosives IME. The 1914 ATD provided suggested separations between explosives and inhabited buildings, public highways, and public railways. Intra-plant distance first appeared in explosives safety standards in the 1925 New Jersey State Law which would become the basis for explosive safety laws in the U.S. Intra-plant distance was defined as the distance required between various explosive operations on an explosives plant. The intra-plant distance defined in the New Jersey Law has since evolved into todays intraline distance. Intraline distance today is specified in multiple explosives safety standards. However, the true intention of the separation distance has been lost or buried deep within the fine print of the standards. This paper will outline the history of intraline distance and describe how the use and perceptions of intraline distance have changed over the last 85 years.
- Safety Engineering
- Ammunition and Explosives