IMAS 10 .60 gives guidance on how to investigate and report demining incidents. Information from these investigations should be widely disseminated so that others may learn from any lessons immediately apparent. In addition, all Mine Action Programmes have been requested to forward demining accident reports to the Database of Demining Accidents (DDAS) held, and maintained, by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). The DDAS is introduced below.
With the flow of information immediately following an accident, or incident, in the demining work place, a number of general conclusions and lessons can be immediately obvious. UNMAS, as the central coordinating body for mine action, has a responsibility to disseminate lessons learnt to all other programmes and this TN is a means by which immediate safety lessons can be disseminated.
It is intended that this TN will be periodically updated with new issues including new information being extracted from demining accidents. Before information is published in this TN it will be discussed within the UN agencies concerned with mine action support (UNMAS, UNDP and UNOPS) and GICHD. The information will be supported by a notification to all mine action programmes and extracted abbreviated information will be posted on a safety page of the E_MINE Website, mineaction.org. At the same time the James Madison University Lessons Learnt database will extract and include relevant lessons.
The dissemination of information from accident reports and incident investigations is not an exercise to apportion blame. The intention is only to pass on general lessons learnt and safety messages and the source of the information will not be published, nor will names of units or individuals.
Safety issues considered relevant but not resulting from demining accidents or incidents should be sent to UNMAS or GICHD for possible inclusion in subsequent versions or updates of this TN and other lessons learnt databases.
While many of these safety messages included below may seem obvious they have all been highlighted as a result of recent accidents or have been extracted from a large number of accidents and so should be shared. Section 1 contains observations extracted from recent accidents and Section 2 contains recommendations taken from the Database of Demining Accidents. In this case hard evidence, extracted from several accident investigation reports, has indicated trends and so the recommendations should be taken most seriously.
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