Management training



Increasingly, managers in HD are management specialists with little or no field experience. If so, they usually delegate responsibility for training and operational needs to another person, often an 'Operations Manager' (Ops Manager). The manager or Ops Manager will be in charge of all training and/or refresher training, so they should read the training suggestions for deminers, paramedics and field supervisors as well as those given here.

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.


Examples of the consequences of applying pressure to work quickly:

There is considerable evidence that when deminers are obliged to work too quickly, accidents result. Sometimes deminers compete between themselves, or feel pressure to complete a task at the end of a working day. This behaviour should be discouraged. Pressure to "perform" may also be imposed from above with field supervisors putting pressure on the deminers. This may include turning a blind-eye to breaches of operating procedures in order to gain the approval of their managers by clearing a lot of land in a short time.

Risking accidents by hurrying does not only put the deminers at risk from missed mines/devices. It also puts the end users of the land at risk because it may not be properly cleared. Both of these consequences are contrary to the principles of humanitarian demining - which are that it must be conducted for humanitarian purposes, and performed with due humanitarian concern for those doing it and those using the land later.


Examples of the consequences of making inadequate medical provision

Failure to provide trained medics, ambulances or equipment have made injuries more severe and been the direct cause of fatalities. Managers should always ensure that the minimum requirements of the IMAS are met. Using medics to also work as deminers or using ill-equipped ambulances as transport are clear examples of the abrogation of an employer's duty of care and could lead to legal action at a later date.


Examples of the consequences of failing to train senior staff appropriately

Inadequately trained supervisors cannot train those underneath them appropriately and may promote behaviour that is not approved within the organisation. Few demining groups train their own ex-patriot staff and many do not correct them when they make errors. This is especially true when Managers are not experienced in the field themselves.

Quite apart from the risk that this lack of professionalism will result in accidents, it is a breach of the requirements of the IMAS. Failure to ensure that the senior field and training personnel are appropriately experienced and/or trained is a clear abrogation of the employer's duty of care and could lead to legal action at a later date.

The examples below are of accidents in which senior demining staff have shown that they lacked appropriate experience or training to conduct their role safely. In some cases this was highlighted by the original investigators. In other cases the incompetent personnel conducted the investigation and failed to recognise their own failings.






The accident case studies here.