A good accident investigation need not be lengthy, but they generally are. The reports show that all avenues are explored in search of the truth, and the record is shared.
ENFORCING WORKING DISTANCES
The need to keep a safe distance between working deminers has always been recognised but there is a lot of argument about what a safe working distance actually is. Working distances should be determined during a risk assessment and can vary from site to site, or even between different parts of the same site.
Imposing too great a working distance should be avoided because it can make supervision and communication difficult and have a negative effect on site safety and efficiency.
Working distances should be determined in three categories:
- between working deminers;
- between deminers and supervisors;
- between persons conducting (or observing) a demolition and the demolition site.
These distances will vary considerably. Generally the field supervisor must be allowed to approach within a few metres of a working deminer in order to ensure that he/she is working appropriately. Generally, there is no need for anyone to be anywhere near the person conducting a demolition and distances may be extended considerably.
When working distances are ignored, more than one deminer may be injured by a single anti-personnel blast mine. More than one deminer may be killed by a fragmentation device. So the appropriate distances must be determined and enforced.
Here are some examples of working distances being ignored: