Supervisors/field managers



Field supervisors or managers should also read the suggested training needs for deminers because they will often be in charge of the deminers' training and/or refresher training. When they have any training concerns, they must report this in writing to the Senior Management in order to avoid censure if accidents result from inadequate training.

Because the accident database is a collection of reports covering events when things did not go as planned, the examples drawn from it are usually "negative" - what not to do, rather than what to do. They can be useful to explain the need for rules. Parts of the reports may be used in lectures or presentations or they can be distributed for critical discussion.

The links below only take you to a few examples. There are many others among the database records.



Field managers sometimes undertake accident investigations. When they do not, they are usually involved in any investigation for an accident that occurred on a site for which they are responsible. They can influence its content in a positive way as long as they have the confidence and integrity to be honest.

Generally, an investigation that blames the victim indicates an incomplete investigation that lacks objectivity. Whatever the Victim was doing, he was equipped, trained and supervised by others. If he did the wrong thing, his equipment, training and supervision also falls into question and causes for his actions should be identified.

An accident investigation is not a police investigation and should not be concerned to find people who are "guilty" or deserve punishment. An accident investigation should be concerned to find out what really happened and make any recommendations that may be necessary to prevent the same accident occurring again.

Here are some examples of inadequate accident investigations:


The worst accident reports are not listed because they were never written. Failing to investigate or share an accident investigation indicates a lack of realism. Accidents will happen. As long as the lessons that can be derived from an accident have been learned and shared, the demining group can move on and the whole community benefits. Investigating accidents and disseminating the findings is a requirement for any group claiming to work to the IMAS.

And here are some examples of good accident investigations

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.



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:

  1. between working deminers;
  2. between deminers and supervisors;
  3. 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:






The accident case studies here.