HSL makes explosive new appointment

Published:  06 January, 2010

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) has appointed Peter Shelley as director of the Explosives Notified Body. The Explosives Notified Body (ENB) is the UK’s independent authority providing assessment and CE-mark certification of explosives for non-military use.

Peter, who previously held the position of head of explosion and ballistic protection at the Home Office, is responsible for setting up the new Pyrotechnics Notified Body within HSL. He is now working with ENBs across Europe to define the policy and procedures governing the use of fireworks in the EU. A report is expected to be implemented into UK law in the summer of next year.

Peter commented: “Fireworks for public use are actually much less regulated than commercial explosives. However, by July next year the UK must comply with the EU directive on the use of fireworks.

“This means that all fireworks in the UK, whether imported or made within the UK, must comply with UK law. Fireworks will be categorised depending on their suitability for use at home or in public displays. It will give people peace of mind that the fireworks they are using, or watching, are safe for the use intended.

“This is a really positive step as every year nearly 1,000 accidents are caused as a result of fireworks. I’m confident that the legislation will reduce the number of accidents while ensuring that people can still enjoy both public and private firework displays.”

Ideally placed to drive the debate on the regulation of fireworks in the UK, Peter is a member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Explosives Industry Group (EIG). In his role as head of the ENB, Peter is responsible for the inspection and certification of commercial explosives and has the authority to affix the CE mark to explosives imported into or manufactured in the UK.

As part of his future plans for the unit, based at HSL’s Buxton headquarters in Derbyshire, Peter is also setting up a commercial blast mitigation survey which will enable businesses and manufacturers to source engineering advice on blast effects, instrumentation and mitigation.

Age 55 and originally from London, Peter started his career in the RAF aged 17, where he was trained in and worked on radar systems, and consequently went onto work for Lockheed and later BAE systems.

A member of the International Society of Explosives and Engineers, Peter has been developing his skills in explosives since 1984 and formerly held the position of senior explosives engineer at AIGIS Blast Protection.

Eddie Morland, chief executive of the HSL, said: “Peter’s understanding and experience of working with explosives is second-to-none. He is a great addition to the Laboratory, and indeed to our customers, who can now benefit from the huge amount of expertise he brings to the role and his new service in offering blast instrumentation advice.”

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