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Safety and Suitability for Service

Safety and Suitability for Service (S3) refers to a risk based assessment, set against internationally recognised standards, of an individual item of Explosive Ordnance (EO) to determine its ability to remain safe and suitable for service within the ADF. The assessment of a new munition is done within the concept of system safety and examines the energetics of the item and how it functions in the context of the environment that it will be exposed to throughout its life from manufacturer to target, or disposal.

Given the nature of ammunition and explosives, the Australian Government Solicitor has advised that the Commonwealth's Duty of Care to its personnel is absolute.

The S3 team within DOS liaises closely with the EO Procuring Authority, usually the Explosive Materiel Branch within Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, to assist with the development of an EO Design Assessment supported by appropriate objective evidence. In doing so the S3 section provides support to the EOSAB through the review and staffing of documentation submitted to the Board. This assistance covers requirements detailed in Defence Explosive Ordnance Publication (DEOP) 102, Technical Integrity of Explosive Ordnance, (available on request from DOS) and includes the use of the S3 Assessment Planning Tool (SAPT) and associated EO Hazard Assessment / Life Cycle Questionnaire.  To access these tools please contact the Directorate of Ordnance Safety via email  The necessary evidence comes from a multiplicity of sources including design specifications, trial results and demonstrated experience of service use in the Configuration, Role and Environment needed by the ADF. The EOSAB also considers requests for waiver of Insensitive Munitions requirements and may be used to peer review requests for Qualification of energetic materials and the issue of Manned Firing Advice required at trials of EO.