"Accidents" or "incidents"



When I started writing about demining accidents I tried to form a sensible distinction between the terms "accident" and "incident". I decided to call an unintended explosive event (or an intended explosive event that resulted in injury) an "incident". This was because an "Incident report" would be generated from which lessons that might prevent repetition of the event might be derived. I noted that the word "accident" was used for all unintended occurrences, from dropping the kettle to a car crash, but did not always apply to an intentional event that resulted in an injury. So, at that time, the term "Incident" made most sense to me......

Later, the database was nominally managed by GICHD for a while and they imposed a reverse definition - and that definition was used within all of the IMAS documentation then. Confusion reigned, with many field people making no distinction between the two terms. GICHD also required that the Database of Demining Incident Victims (DDIV) be renamed the Database of Demining AccidentS (DDAS).

With the database under my sole management, I have decided to treat "incident" and "accident" as effective synonyms because many of those using this resource do not speak English as a first language, and any distinction between the terms is confusing.

Because the database itself is "relational" the correct name is probably DDAV, Database of Demining Accidents and Victims. Effectively, it is two databases intertwined - one of victims and one of incidents/accidents. The output of the entire database combines the two separate datasets into "Accident reports". Those accident reports are the main content of this website.

To avoid further pedantic confusion, I have continued to use the name DDAS - and refer to any unintended explosive event (or an intended explosive event that results in injury) as a "demining accident".