Landmines and other explosive hazards, which include abandoned munitions and military equipment, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war (ERW), as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) pose a hazard all over the world.
This handbook is not an instruction manual for working with landmines and explosive hazards. It is not a guide for working with landmine, ERW and IED affected communities. Rather, its aim is to raise awareness and provide basic safety information concerning the threat of landmines, ERW and IEDs to organizations and individuals working in affected areas, and to help them:
• Establish appropriate safety procedures;
• Avoid contact with mines, ERW and IEDs and
• Take appropriate action in emergency situations.
Proximity to explosive devices is always dangerous and should be avoided. Only trained specialists should seek out or handle landmines, ERW and IEDs.
The information contained in this handbook is general in nature and some of it may not be applicable in all situations. Accordingly, it should be complemented by country-specific information, and an analysis of the nature and extent of local threat. In addition, this handbook is not designed as a stand-alone document, but should be used in support of a safety briefing about explosive devices by qualified instructors.
Whenever possible, readers should seek the guidance and advice of specialists working in their area of operations.
The handbook is divided into five main sections and annexes.
SECTION 1 provides information on the nature of the threat from mines and other explosive hazards: ERW and IEDs;
SECTION 2 provides advice on recognizing the threat;
SECTION 3 provides general safety advice and information on avoiding the threat;
SECTION 4 explains what to do if you find yourself in an ammunition contaminated area and
SECTION 5 provides basic information on what to do in case of an accident.
The annexes provide examples of travel procedures, information on other threats, such as depleted uranium, chemical and biological ammunition and gives methods for creating a secure environment.