Landmines and Humanitarian Mine Action

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Landmines and HMA glossary

The Database of Demining Accidents (article)

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 a device as they work, see the Database of Demining Accident victims at DDAS online. These reports are often snapshots of minefield 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 find that I am frequently contacted with questions about Mine Action. 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)nolandmines.com and I will try to answer in a timely and appropriate manner.

This website provides a gateway for people to read or download a wide range of documents and materials on Mine Action - 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 as well.

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 Humanitarian Demining 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)nolandmines.com

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

And thanks to 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.

Landmines, submunitions, etc

Featured in accidents
AP blast mines
AP Fragmentation mines
AT mines
Submunitions
Explosive (HE) in mines
HSE mines

Training mines (link)

 

   

 

 

 


Issues and comment

Do insects eat High Explosives?
Is it safe to prod for mines?

Wearing blast goggles instead of blast visors?
Wearing a chin-strap with a visor or helmet
Device atrophy
What are the IMAS requirements for hand tools?
Are tripwire operated mines the greatest danger to deminers?
Is it safe to use free running EDD/MDD?

Magnets and safety
The Arjun Demining System
Why isn't it safer for a deminer to work lying down?

MRRE Resources
The death of International Standards
Reducing areas as part of Land Release
UNMAS in Libya - another critical failure
How to make flexible ceramic armour
Training mines (link)
Site A-Z

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 an exclusive manufacturer of PPE for humanitarian demining in an emergent economy.

Generic SOPs Handbook V2
(Demining Handbook)
(for access to both *. doc and *.pdf files, click here*)

This is a fully detailed "how to" document covering all key aspects of humanitarian demining. It serves as a template for demining SOPs, and also a demining handbook (copyright free).


Introduction to Humanitarian Demining


Protective equipment (PPE)


U
K's debt to Libya over explosives

The UN and demining - my experience
Field Risk Assessment

Metal-detector Handbook for HD
IMAS and its 2009 PPE Requirements

Demining accident records online

Using accident records for training

Trials comparing manual demining methods

Military demining is not Humanitarian Demining

Mined area Indicators – Angola
MRE Resource Kurdistan / Iraq

Myths, Mines and Ground Clearance
Using the database of demining accidents
Crunching data from the Database of Accidents
Developing safer demining handtools
A dialogue about the past decade
Introducing handheld magnets
The truth about ARESA red plants or PWS

Raking it all up after ten years


 
2003 - 2014 Andy Smith, AVS Mine Action Consultants