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Landmines and HMA glossary

Database of Demining Accidents website

Last updated: ongoing

Disclaimer: the content of this site reflects my personal experience and opinions: these should not be presumed to represent the opinion of any of the people or organisations I have worked with.

For detailed reports on accidents in which deminers have detonated an explosive hazard as they work, see the Database of Demining Accident victims at DDAS online. These reports are often snapshots of demining activity and can help you to understand the varied processes involved, and the varied risks associated with them.

Having been involved in Humanitarian Demining for longer than I care to remember, I am frequently contacted with questions about Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA). Some are technical questions from professionals, others are more basic questions from newcomers. At times I find it hard to find the time to answer appropriately, so I put this website together to try to answer the more common questions generically. If you cannot find the answer you need, write to me at avs(at) and I will try to answer.

This website provides a gateway for people to read or download a wide range of documents and materials on HMA - including operating procedures for demining groups to adapt, and training materials for both the experienced and the inexperienced.

If you are a newcomer, when you have finished looking through the introduction I recommend that you read the paper:- Myths, Mines and Ground Clearance.

The documents and materials are divided into the categories shown on the right and there is an Index here.

This site will always be "under construction" because I am always learning. I have tried to keep the site simple and hope that sharing information will reduce the number of well intentioned but "cowboy" operators at all levels in the HMA community, from researcher to hands-on deminer.

If you have comments or criticisms - please send them.

About Andy Smith or email me at avs(at)

Many thanks to Craig and Hum Relyea in the USA who gave me this website in 2002.

And thanks to the late Hans Georg who (many years ago in Mozambique) awarded me the above sculpture in recognition of my work in demining. It is made from recycled assault rifles. While I am no kind of knight, I do wear armour, like horses, and I advocate using long handtools - and I believe in tilting at the odd establishment windmill, of course.





Platinum visor

Designs of improved full-face visors (lighter and more comfortable), head-frame and frontal PPE are all in production. The designs and production support were given in a technology transfer to a manufacturer of PPE for humanitarian demining in an emergent economy.

Introduction to Humanitarian Demining

Protective equipment (PPE)

Articles and Books

PPE development and needs in HMA
Black Adder disrupters
Small Unmanned Aircraft in HMA
Three failings of the campaign to ban landmines
Seeking cooperation between field and research
The way forward for R&D
Is it safe to prod for mines?
Trials comparing manual demining methods
Mined area Indicators – Angola
MRE Resource Kurdistan / Iraq

Metal-detector handbook for HD
Using accident records for training
Military demining is not Humanitarian Demining
Myths, Mines and clearing ground

2003 - 2018 Andy Smith, AVS Mine Action Consultants