This graphic shows the relative frequency of accidents during the various demining activities over the five years from 2005 - 2010. There are far fewer Missed-mine accidents than in previous years. This is most likely to be a result of the introduction and refinement of the new generation of ground-compensating metal-detectors which allow minimum-metal mines to be found at depth in ground with electromagnetic interference.
Excavation is now the activity in almost two-thirds of all accidents. Severe hand and arm injury is the most frequent severely disabling outcome of a demining accident, with severe eye injury a very close second.
Most excavation accidents occur after a metal-detector has signalled the presence of a target. The deminer then goes on to excavate directly on top of the mine. This illustrates the fact that a detector's ability to signal on a target is only addressing half of the detection problem. The detector must also be easy to use to accurately pinpoint the precise position of that target.
The victim is often blamed for a failure to pinpoint and excavate appropriately. While deminers are not required to be deep thinkers, and many have clearly either not been trained or not learned from the training, all deminers know that anti-personnel pressure mines are activated by pressure from above. Common sense stops them deliberately digging on top of a pressure-plate. I believe that their equipment, training and supervision are more likely causes than deliberate risk-taking.