PLEASE READ THIS.
This website is widely used. For example, during July 2011 there have been more than 450 unique visits each day (each visiting more than one page for more than 30 seconds). The most frequently visited page is DEMINER TRAINING. Responding to requests - a page giving access to accident reports by the year in which they occurred (from 2005) is being prepared.
Despite its popularity, and the frequent reference made to the database when updating international and national Mine Action standards, the DDAS remains entirely my work without formal support or payment. The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has provided nominal support for several years by making a few accident reports available. But, with the retirement of key UNMAS staff, this support has stopped and I have been unable to elicit any response from UNMAS for some time. Requests for support have gone unanswered for more than two years.
UNMAS could be a world leader in Mine Action.The success of their International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) in terms of take-up by national authorities could give UNMAS a huge potential authority - but it has yet to exercise that authority. UNMAS staff did not write the IMAS and have hitherto done little to control the updating procedure that has made the IMAS relevant and useful. It was only in 2010 that they appointed the IMAS Steering Group that was a requirement when the IMAS began. IMAS drafting and revision has been done by active members of the IMAS Review Board and GICHD. The lack of authority that UNMAS wields is partly because other UN organisations (such as UNDP and UNICEF) do not automatically accept its authority - and this may be justified when UNMAS does not even enforce adherence to the IMAS in the programmes it controls. There is a case for UNDP to take over leadership in Mine Action - because it has the experience and is better able to integrate Mine Action into broad post-conflict recovery and development aims. Certainly, it seems to understand the "humanitarian" prefix rather better than UNMAS. But UNMAS is currently in the process of revising itself and there is hope that things will change.
While UNMAS do not make any effort to collect and study accident records, they have begun to support GICHD in an effort to collect IMSMA tick-box data sheets (not full accident reports). These reports are summaries often made by clerical staff with no knowledge about what they are summarising, Their utility is limited and, without collecting full accident reports, there can be no way to make them more useful after entry by re-visiting the source material. This means that there is little chance of recognising "new" trends or checking new claims about risk and successful risk mitigation. If the only record is to be undetailed and often inaccurate summaries that fail to inform about the causes of accidents, the keeping of the records serves little purpose. In 2011, I have proposed that the summarised record be augmented by an archive of the original records, and suggested again that UNMAS should control the DDAS.
In July 2011 I have just added 250 accident records - and have more to add. A few of these are spreadsheet records, but the majority have enough detail to reward study, even when they do not arrange the data in any particular format.
At present, the international mine action industry does not oblige the sharing of accident details, keeps no centralised accident record, and does not itself disseminate lessons learned from accidents. These failings illustrate a lack of concern for the safety of deminers that is surprising. It would be unprofessional in a nominally "safe" industry - but in "Humanitarian Mine Action", I believe that it indicates gross negligence by those responsible. Certainly, it illustrates lack of leadership and a lack of genuinely "humanitarian" concern.
If lessons were "learned" and applied from the demining accidents on record, it is a very conservative estimate to claim that more than 40% of demining injuries could be avoided. The people who first need to learn the lessons are the managers, supervisors, and trainers.
By accessing these records you are agreeing to be restricted by the following…
This resource is provided as a tool for those working in Humanitarian Demining or engaged in work in support of the aims of Humanitarian Demining. While every effort has been made to ensure that the data herein is accurate, the author and distributors accept no liability for errors or omissions or any loss resulting from the use of records provided here.
Reproduction for publication of any data provided is expressly prohibited. Do you agree to this condition? If not, please stop using this website.
Please preserve the principle of victim anonymity that I established in 1998 when I started to collect accident data.
The most common use of these records in training is to provide an example of what happens when things are done incorrectly. This can be a powerful reinforcement of a lesson about doing things correctly. This database can also be a training aid for paramedics and for field and office managers, and should be required reading for anyone with any responsibility for deminer safety.
The links below only take you to a few examples of accidents that illustrate the need for appropriate equipment, training and disciplined procedures in demining. There are many others among the database records.
SUPERVISOR/FIELD MANAGEMENT TRAINING