There are classes of construction (and destruction) business for which surety bonds are readily available. Most surety companies prefer bonding jobs that they consider “sticks and bricks”. Unfortunately, that leaves many professional contractors that might offer specialty services in a difficult position when asked to offer financial assurance to a project owner. Surety bonds for the blasting industry fall in that category, albeit unfairly.
Breaking up earth or edifices with the use of explosives is considered one of THE most dangerous activities in the contracting sector. Surety companies equate work involving explosives with demolition. The unexact science of knocking large things down and in the case of explosives use, flying debris and damage to a neighboring property and/or persons from air or ground waves create nightmare scenarios in underwriters’ minds. This position is not fair to an industry that has matured from ‘guestimating how many sticks and pushing the plunger’ to laser blast design and computer-executed blasts. While performance bonds are scarce, surety bonds for the blasting industry that fall into the commercial surety class are much easier to provide.
The most important part of underwriting a commercial surety bond is the ability to read and clearly understand the nature of the obligation that the surety is undertaking. A few states and many municipalities now require blasting operators to file a surety bond before a permit is granted to accomplish work with explosives. Most of these obligations guarantee some simple things, generally;
- Indemnify parties that might suffer damage to property.
- Comply with all laws and local codes that regulate the blaster’s activity.
- Exercise safe handling of explosives, i.e., transportation, secure explosives magazines and the removal of unexploded ordinance from the blast site.
These obligations are common sense. It would be rare for a licensed, professional blasting operator not to adhere to industry best practices and even rarer to violate the laws guaranteed by a blasting bond. Blasting contractors register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and possess the appropriate warehousing and user certificates. A blaster’s fingerprints are retained by the BATF, a background check on all “responsible persons” identified on the application is accomplished and a field office supervisor will assign an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) to conduct a face-to-face qualification inspection before a license is issued. The industry is truly professional in every sense of the word.
National surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc. is a specialist in surety. We offer surety bonds for the blasting industry in EVERY state where blasting operators must be bonded. Surety One, Inc. is a member in good standing of the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) and our company principal a graduate of the ISEE’s certificate program. We know your business!