Accident (Demining accident): following ordinary use of the term, an HMA ‘accident’ is any damaging or injurious event that occurs during working hours. This includes road traffic accidents and other events that give rise to injury which do not involve explosive hazards. Whenever an accident involving explosive hazards occurs (whether injurious or not), a detailed and objective accident report must be compiled and shared. Demining accident reports must be appended to the Field Risk Register and the appropriate risk mitigation strategies recorded. See also the entry for ‘Incident (demining incident)’.
Area Cancelled: the ‘Area Cancelled’ is the area(s) of land cancelled during a task, or before starting a task, without any formal demining procedures being conducted on the land. Cancelled land must be released as ‘Presumed Clear’.
Area Cleared: the area ‘Cleared’ is a defined area (or areas) that has been subjected to one or more demining Search & Clearance procedure(s) which guarantee(s) that a thorough search to the required depth has been conducted over the entire area(s). In all areas released as ‘Cleared’, the task supervisors must have full confidence that no explosive hazards remain to the specified search depth and must be prepared to demonstrate their confidence by walking or driving over the area. When no explosive hazards are located during Search & Clearance of an area, the area may still be released as ‘Cleared’ even though there were no explosive hazards to ‘Clear’.
Area preparation: ‘area preparation’ involves the passage of a tool over a wide area to remove vegetation and/or prepare the ground surface before other demining procedures are conducted. The processing tool is generally attached to a machine that is suitably protected so that it can be safely driven over the area (often by remote control). Depending on need, the reliable depth of any ground processing may be important but is not critical because a ground engaging machine must always be followed by thorough Search & Clearance procedures if the land is to be released as ‘Cleared’.
Area Reduction: ‘Area Reduction’ involves the Search & Clearance of a percentage of the ground in a manner that gives confidence that the larger area presents no threat from explosive hazards (there is No Threat Evidence, NTE). Area Reduction must not put the end-users or demining staff at greater risk than when full Search & Clearance demining procedures are used. Those making the decision to release land by Area Reduction must be prepared to demonstrate their confidence in the lack of explosive hazards by walking or driving over the area to be Reduced. Reduced areas must be released as ‘Presumed Clear’.
Area Released: the sum of the areas ‘Searched & Cleared’, Reduced, Verified and Cancelled equal the area Released, which will usually be the entire task area.
Area Verified (Area Verification): an ‘Area Verified’ is a part of a task area for which there is no evidence of any explosive hazards being present (No Threat Evidence, NTE) and on which one or more demining procedure(s) has been carried out. What is being ‘Verified’ is the belief that there is NTE in the area. The entire area Verified must be processed in a manner that increases confidence that formal Search & Clearance is not required in that area. Because there is NTE, the demining procedures used for area Verification need not equal thorough Search & Clearance of the area. If any evidence of hazards is discovered during Area Verification, the status of the area changes and appropriate Search & Clearance procedures must be conducted. Those who make the decision that area Verification is all that is required must be prepared to walk or drive over the land that they have decided does not need to be thoroughly searched. After the Area Verification, if No Threat Evidence has been found, the land may be released as ‘Presumed Clear’.
BAC - Battle-Area-Clearance: ‘BAC’ is a visual search process that raises confidence that an area is free from explosive hazards on the ground surface without applying any subsurface search procedures. BAC cannot be used where the Task Assessment determines that there may be any buried explosive hazards that are pressure or movement sensitive. When there may be any other buried explosive hazards (such as common UXO), BAC must be followed with a reliable sub-surface Search & Clearance procedure. Areas subjected to BAC may be recorded as ‘Surface Cleared’.
BACS – Battle-Area-Clearance Subsurface: ‘BACS’ is a search process involving the use of metal-detectors that raises confidence that an area is free from explosive hazards without applying procedures that would locate hazards with a small metal content. BACS cannot be used where the Task Assessment determines that there may be any anti-personnel mines, pressure or movement sensitive devices, or buried minimum-metal explosive hazards. The metal-detectors used must be able to reliably locate all of the anticipated hazards in the area. When used as described, areas subjected to formal BACS procedures may be recorded as having been ‘Cleared of hazards with a large metal content to a specified depth’.
Booby-traps: in common with the definition of anti-personnel mines in the Ottawa Convention, ‘booby-traps’ are victim-initiated devices that are not triggered remotely by command detonation. Designed to target anyone who disturbs them, they are manufactured in volume production and sold to armed forces as part of their arsenal. An example is the MS3 which looks similar to a PMN anti-personnel mine but functions when a weight is removed from on top of the device. The ML-7 has a similar function and is frequently placed beneath anti-personnel mines to target anyone lifting the mine.
Capability Test: a ‘capability test’ is a daily test of an MDD Set’s ability to find a target in ground similar to that in which it will work. This is analogous to the use of a metal-detector test-piece to check that the detector is working. It does not guarantee that the MDD will reliably locate the explosive hazards that may be present in the working area.
Clear (Presumed Clear): when applied to land, the word ‘Clear’ is used to describe land where there is no evidence of there being any explosive hazards(No Threat Evidence, NTE). When this is a result of the explosive hazards having been removed/destroyed during Search & Clearance, the area must be described as having been‘Cleared’. When land has been released by area Reduction, Verification or Cancellation, it has not been ‘Cleared’ but can be ‘Presumed Clear’ because there is no evidence of it being likely to be contaminated with explosive hazards (No Threat Evidence, NTE). The distinction between the use of ‘Presumed Clear’ and ‘Cleared’ is important because it can be critical in cases of litigation.
Clearance: ‘clearance’ is the removal or destruction of explosive hazards. Most in the industry describe what they do as ‘clearance’. In fact what most field people are doing most of the time is preparing ground and searching. If there are no explosive hazards there, there is nothing to be ‘cleared’ so clearance cannot be happening. In the Global SOPs, the activity of searching for and removing or destroying explosive hazards is referred to as Search & Clearance despite the fact that, at some times, no hazards will be found and no ‘clearance’ will be required.
Cleared (land): ‘cleared land’ is a defined and mapped area that has been formally searched to a required depth and on which all explosive hazards have been removed or destroyed. An area can only be declared ‘Cleared’ after it has been subjected to disciplined Search & Clearance procedures that ensure the discovery and removal of all explosive hazards to a specified depth over the entire area. That depth must be determined during the Task Assessment and should be varied if devices are discovered at greater depths as work at the task progresses. If the depth that can be reliably searched using any one demining procedure is less than the requirement, additional search procedures must be used to gain confidence that thorough Search & Clearance to the required depth has been achieved before the area can be declared ‘Cleared’. Following Quality Management principles in pursuit of efficient Land Release, if no explosive hazards are found, an investigation should be made into why the task documentation indicated that the area was contaminated with explosive hazards when it was not.
Confidence building: ‘confidence building’ describes one or more demining procedure that does not search ground to the standard required for it to be declared ‘Cleared’ but does give confidence that there is No Threat Evidence (NTS) present, so Search & Clearance is not required in the area. As with all land to be released, the minimum level of confidence required is that those who make the decision to release the land must be prepared to walk or drive over it. See also the entry for ‘Verification’.
Confirmed Hazardous Area (CHA): in the IMAS, a ‘CHA’ is an area where the evidence that there are explosive hazards present has been confirmed. Unfortunately, with the exception of known, mapped and marked minefields and unless the hazards are visible, ‘confirmation’ can usually only happen after the hazards have been found. An explosive accident having occurred in an area does not ‘confirm’ the presence of other explosive hazards in the area although it may make the presence of other hazards ‘probable’. In the Global SOPs, the expression ‘High Probability Area’ (HPA) is used to describe an area where there is evidence that makes it probable that explosive hazards are present. This covers places with visible hazards, known minefields, and all other areas where there is evidence that explosive hazards are probably present.
Defined Hazardous Area (DHA): in previous versions of the IMAS, a ‘defined hazardous area’ was defined as an area that is mapped and that must be subjected to thorough Search & Clearance. The perimeter of DHA were supposed to be precisely defined during Technical Survey. Accurately defining the perimeter of any hazardous area is only realistically possible after thorough search beyond that perimeter has been completed so the term DHA has been removed from the IMAS. DHA is not considered to be a practical pre-search concept so is not used in the Global SOPs.
Deminer (Searcher): a ‘deminer’ is a person engaged in Search & Clearance tasks in areas that may be contaminated with explosive hazards. A deminer must always be trained and qualified to carry our procedures related to searching. A deminer may also have EOD training, but does not have to be trained to appraise and manage the explosive hazards that are found. Persons with EOD training are called ‘EOD specialists’ and must also be trained as deminers/searchers.
Demining procedure(s): see the entry for ‘procedure’.
Demining task: see the entry for ‘task’.
Device(s): the term ‘device’ is sometimes used to describe any explosive hazard.
Explosive hazard: the term ‘explosive hazard’ is used to describe mines and ordnance whether fuzed, fired or otherwise, and all explosive devices whether mass-produced or improvised. It also covers hazardous parts of these devices, including detonators, propellants and pyrotechnics. Following the usage in international treaties and conventions, the IMAS distinguish between ‘mines’, ‘submunitions’ and ‘Explosive Remnants of War’ (ERW) and treats them separately. This is confusing because, in normal language, ‘mines’ and ‘submunitions’ are also ‘ERW’. Rather than trying to reclaim the commonsense meaning of ERW, the term ‘explosive hazard’ is used in the Global SOPs.
Explosive Remnants of War (ERW): as defined in international treaties, the expression ‘Explosive Remnants of War’ covers all explosive devices (fired or unfired, fuzed or unfuzed) except mines and submunitions.
HIEDC: The acronym ‘HIEDC’ (Humanitarian Improvised Explosive Device Clearance) is used to describe those IED search & Clearance activities that are conducted in HMA. HIEDC differs from the counter IED work that is conducted by active combatants or security services because it prioritises the safe destruction of the hazard without adopting a forensic approach that is intended to assist in the identification of those who made or placed it.
High Probability Area (HPA): a ‘High Probability Area’ is a part of a task where there is a high probability that explosive hazards are present. This may be called a Confirmed Hazardous Area or CHA by other agencies. The threat in a High Probability Area is the same as that in a Low Probability Area when the same explosive hazards may be present. Typical HPA include mapped and marked minefields, areas where mines are visible, defensive positions, areas where there have been multiple explosive accidents, and areas where the presence of hazards has been reliably reported.
Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA): This is an expression that has been adopted since 2000 as a blanket term to cover all of the following activities:-
Campaigning and advocacy in pursuit of a global ban on anti-personnel landmine use;
Raising funds to pay for any aspect of humanitarian mine action;
Victim assistance (civilian, not necessarily including deminers);
MRE - Mine Risk Education;
Landmine (and ERW) Survey;
PAR - Post clearance Area-Reduction;
Land Release; and
Stockpile demolition (destroying anti-personnel landmines held in stores).
HMA has always involved dealing with booby-traps and IEDs post conflict. Many in the industry now link HMA with small-arms and light-weapons control and the management of munitions, which can be appropriate when national authorities sanction these activities.
IED (simple IED): in the Global SOPs, a simple ‘IED’ is an ‘improvised explosive device’ which is an improvised munition, such as a mortar bomb, rocket, grenade, or a mine. The defining feature of a simple ‘IED’ is that it is designed to function in a way that parallels the conventional munition it is intended to emulate. See also the entries for ‘IED bombs’, ‘MF-IEDs’ and ‘booby-traps’. See Chapter 7 of the Global SOPs.
IED bombs: ‘IED bombs’ are improvised explosive hazards that are placed for timed or command detonation. Although placed during the conflict which should have ended before HMA activity began, improvised bombs may be encountered as legacy hazards. They may be unstable and may have MF-IED features. See also the entries for ‘IEDs’, ‘MF-IEDs’ and ‘booby-traps’. See Chapter 7 of the Global SOPs.
Incident (Demining incident): avoiding the confusion between ‘accident’ and ‘incident’ apparent in the IMAS, in the Global SOPs a ‘demining incident’ is the discovery of one or more explosive hazard(s) on land that has been declared ‘Cleared’ or ‘Presumed Clear’ and released to the end-users as part of land release. The rigorous and honest investigation of demining incidents is necessary to ensure that errors are identified and corrected in pursuit of the primary goal of HMA. Demining incident reports must be appended to the Field Risk Register and the appropriate risk mitigation strategies recorded. See also the entry for ‘Accident (demining accident)’.
Indication: an ‘indication’ is the action of a Mine Detection Dog (MDD) when it detects the presence of a target which it has been trained to locate. An MDD indication may be at some distance from the target. See also the entry for ‘signal’.
Land release, releasing land: land that is designated a task area may only be ‘released’ after either being declared ‘Cleared’ or ‘Presumed Clear’. An entire task, or parts of the task area, can be released as ‘Searched & Cleared’, ‘Reduced’, ‘Verified’, or ‘Cancelled’ (see Chapter 3 of the Global SOPs for detailed explanations of these terms).
1. Land that is ‘Searched & Cleared’ of all explosive hazards to a known depth is declared ‘Cleared’.
2. Land that is ‘Reduced’ by processes that result in confidence that thorough ‘Search & Clearance’ is not necessary because there is No Threat Evidence (NTE) in the area can be declared ‘Presumed Clear’.
3. Land that is ‘Verified’ as having NTE in the area can be declared ‘Presumed Clear’.
4. Land that is ‘Cancelled’ as having NTE in the area can be declared ‘Presumed Clear’.