Unexploded Ordnance and Mines | Scope of Risk

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) presents a threat to personnel, materials, and facilities due to explosive hazard risks. There are hundreds of millions of unaccountedfor mines worldwide, typically along disputed borders or areas of historical hostility. These mines continue to present serious risks to the local populace as well as to companies operating abroad. Threat areas are rarely, if at all, properly marked. Clearance of movement corridors and work sites is often a challenge to projects seeking to operate safely within a region. Ordnance is also subject to drift, often being moved seasonally by rivers, or shifting with landslides. The scattering of explosive ordnance can make locating materials difficult to impossible, and shifting sand and dirt can mask or uncover minefields. In some instances, buildings and other structures may also be boobytrapped, with explosives inadvertently detonated by unintended victims.
Add a note hereCompanies should advise their staff on UXO awareness, including how to recognize explosive ordnance and minefields, whether marked with Western symbols, or with tin cans or sticks by the local communities. Companies should also invest time and resources in training staff in how to avoid risks presented by UXOs, as well as what to do if inadvertently caught in a minefield. The following guidelines should be provided to staff to avoid explosive hazard threats:
§  Add a note hereAvoid areas that have in the past been mined, or have been the scene of fighting—they are typically mined.
§  Add a note hereConduct a threat assessment for areas of doubt in order to evaluate the risks of UXO or mines within a work site or mobility corridor.
§  Add a note hereDo not pick up attractive items or attempt to retrieve souvenirs from battlefields—they may be boobytrapped.
§  Add a note hereDo not attempt to remove obstacles that are blocking your vehicle's route, as they may be boobytrapped.
§  Add a note hereAvoid isolated and uninhabited buildings, as they may be boobytrapped.
§  Add a note hereAvoid buildings that might have been bombed, as they may have unexploded ordnance and are also likely to be structurally unsound.
§  Add a note hereAvoid areas that have not been cultivated by locals, or that have discarded packaging materials in the area.
Add a note hereAs part of a hostile environment training package for those companies with staff operating in countries with mine threats, security awareness will assist in mitigating many of the threats personnel will face. Staff should be instructed to always check with local authorities or local leaders as to any known mine threats, especially if leaving wellused roads or tracks. Where possible, personnel should keep to wellused pathways, tracks, and roads, although they should still be observant for unusual indentations or bumps in the ground. If a mine detonates in close proximity to personnel, they should be advised that there will likely be more mines in the vicinity, and that they might be within a minefield. Personnel who suspect or know they are in a minefield should be advised to:
§  Add a note hereDo nothing, stay still, remain calm, and wait for assistance.
§  Add a note hereRetrace your steps if you can clearly identify them, or use vehicle tracks if visible.
§  Add a note hereOnly if you are under immediate attack or dealing with a casualty with lifethreatening injuries, you may use a knife or a stick and prod gently at a 45degree angle over a threefootwide path in front of you in order to identify the edge of any possible mines, creating a safe path out of the risk area.
Add a note hereThe IMP should be used as a secondary component to any advisory instructions or training provided to deployed staff. Company policies on safe movement and restricted areas should also be a key component to operating within areas known to contain mines or other explosive hazards. The IMP provides guidance to managers if staff find themselves within a suspected or known minefield, enabling the safe and controlled extraction of personnel from a threat area. Separate instructions should be provided to staff operating in areas with unexploded hazards as part of a separate safety awareness package.

Road Traffic Accidents | Scope of Risk

The highest risk in terms of injury within any business environment, even highthreat regions, often comes from road traffic accidents (RTAs). An RTA may result from poor driving standards, difficult road conditions, or as a secondary risk following an attack. It is important that policies and procedures reflect the risk of road travel relevant to a particular country, region, or threat environment. Some considerations that might be useful when considering the risk impacts of an RTA are:
§  Add a note hereWhat are the risks associated with the local road conditions?
§  Add a note hereWhat is the level of competence of local national drivers?
§  Add a note hereWhat threats are faced from hostile groups?
§  Add a note hereWhat threats are faced from security measures required (in terms of driving) to avoid hostile persons or group threats?
§  Add a note hereWhat are the local laws governing actions following an RTA?
§  Add a note hereHow do local laws conflict with security risks from hostile persons or groups?
§  Add a note hereWhat is the impact of an RTA, especially if a local national is injured or killed?
§  Add a note hereWhat is the action following an RTA within a safe, mediumrisk, and highrisk location?
§  Add a note hereWhat special training is required to mitigate driver risks?
Add a note hereCompanies should also consider the serviceability of vehicles, as the degree of mechanical reliability and structural safety of locally leased or procured vehicles may render them unsuitable or unsafe for company use. Companies should also ensure that vehicles are properly equipped with breakdown equipment and emergency stores (e.g., medical kits, water, food, communications, spare tires, flashlights, and so on). A welltrained local driver may mitigate some of the risks associated with RTAs, providing a liability buffer between the company and the event. Companies should also consider whether vehicles are suitable for the road conditions, and what emergency equipment should be included within each vehicle. Typical risk factors associated with driving might include:
§  Add a note hereCollision resulting in injuries and damages.
§  Add a note hereOverturned or damaged vehicle resulting in trapped occupants.
§  Add a note hereArrest and liability following an accident.
§  Add a note hereViolent response by the community as a result of injured locals, livestock, or property.
§  Add a note herePassengers being made vulnerable to criminal or insurgent threats.
§  Add a note herePassengers being stranded due to inoperable vehicles.
§  Add a note hereLoss of highvalue or sensitive materials due to vehicle damage or abandonment.
§  Add a note hereMedia or reputational issues connected to vehicle accident.
Add a note hereHostile environment training should also acquaint personnel with vehicle security awareness. Where possible, the vehicle should look as if locally owned, the interior should also be clean so that suspicious items can be more easily identified, valuables should be locked in the trunk, no logos or markings should be visible, and vehicles should be parked within welllit and secured areas where possible. In some environments, vehicles should be checked for tampering, and in some countries fuels may be contaminated or watered down, causing engine failure.
Add a note hereIn the event of an RTA, the incident manager should utilize the IMP data forms and guidelines to ensure that all facts are gathered quickly in order to assess the extent of the risks remaining to personnel, as well as their impacts. If required, liaison with legal representation should be conducted to offset liability, and persons should be collected and transported to medical attention or a safe location if appropriate. Adherence to local laws should be implemented, unless such courses of action place the personal safety of individuals at risk. Witness statements and reports should be collated and an investigation conducted. Compensation should be made where appropriate. Disciplinary action should be taken when blame lies with the driver, and repairs should be made to any damaged assets.

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