Career Library

Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction

National Occupation Code (NOC): 7372

Drillers in this unit group operate mobile drilling machines to bore blast holes in open-pit mines and quarries and to bore holes for blasting and for building foundations at construction sites. Blasters in this unit group fill blast holes with explosives and detonate explosives to dislodge coal, ore and rock or to demolish structures. They are employed by mining, quarrying and construction companies and by drilling and blasting contractors.

Job Duties for Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction

Drillers
  • Drive and operate tracked or truck-mounted rotary drilling, air-track or other drilling machines to bore large blast holes to specified depths at staked positions in open-pit mine or quarry
  • Operate drilling machines to drill blast holes in rock at road or other construction sites
  • Operate tracked or truck-mounted drill equipped with auger or other attachment to drill holes for building foundations or pilings
  • May measure location and stake out pattern of holes to be drilled, load blast holes with explosives and detonate explosives to dislodge coal, ore or rock.
Blasters
  • Read instructions or diagrams, lay out drill pattern and determine depth and diameter of blast holes and conduct field tests to determine type and quantity of explosives required
  • Assemble or direct other workers to assemble primer charges using selected detonators, fuses, detonating cords and other materials
  • Load explosives in blast holes by hand or direct movement of bulk explosives trucks to load holes
  • Connect electrical wires, detonating cords or fuses into series and connect series to blasting machines; press handle or button to detonate charges
  • Handle, store and transport explosives and accessories in accordance with regulations and ensure that safety procedures are observed
  • May operate air-track, rotary, down-the-hole or other drilling machines to drill blast holes or may direct drilling of blast holes.

Working Conditions for Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction

Work is performed outdoors with heavy equipment and/or explosives; this makes attention to safety precautions very important for workers. Ear protection is necessary due to frequent loud noises.

Alternate Job Titles

  • Air-track Drill Operator - Construction
  • Blaster - Quarrying
  • Blaster - Surface Mining
  • Blaster (except Underground Mining)
  • Construction Blaster
  • Construction Driller
  • Core Drill Operator - Construction, Surface Mining And Quarrying
  • Diamond Drill Operator - Surface Mining And Quarrying
  • Driller - Quarrying
  • Driller - Surface Mine
  • Driller - Surface Mining
  • Drilling Machine Operator - Construction
  • Foundation Drill Operator
  • Foundation Drill Operator - Construction
  • Open-pit Blaster
  • Open-pit Driller
  • Quarry Driller
  • Rotary Drilling Machine Operator
  • Rotary Drilling Machine Operator - Surface Mining And Quarrying
  • Seismic Prospecting Driller
  • Blaster - Quarrying
  • Blaster - Surface Mining
  • Construction Driller
  • Driller - Surface Mine
  • Open-pit Blaster
  • Rotary Drilling Machine Operator
  • Directional Driller