Explosives Safety Management (ESM)


Expose the minimum number of people to the minimum quantity of explosives for the minimum amount of time.

Program Drivers

The Department of Defense (DOD) Explosives Safety Management Program is implemented by Army Regulation (AR) 385-10, Army Safety Program; DA Pam 385-10, Army Safety Program; and DA Pam 385-64, Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards. Education is an important part of explosives safety management.

Policy Principles

  • Provide the maximum possible protection to people and property from potentially damaging effects of military munitions (explosive and chemical).
  • Enhance readiness and mission capability by providing for ESM considerations throughout the military munitions life-cycle.
  • Implement and maintain an effective ESM program.
  • Give precedence to ESM principles and requirements that provide for immediate protection of people and property, while complying with applicable environmental regulations.
  • Use quantitative risk-based explosives safety assessment tools and criteria as decision-making aids.
  • Prohibit disposal, by burying or dumping, of military munitions on land or in water except when specifically authorized by SA - does not preclude in-situ capping as part of an approved response, or tamping for explosives safety reasons.
  • Conduct munitions responses (cleanup) actions on real property known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions or munitions constituents per applicable laws and regulation using the best available and appropriate technology, with the goal of making the property safe for its intended use.