Accidental find Procedure
What to do in case of an accidental find and how to prevent this?
It is not unusual that during your ground or water-works (even within project sites that were deemed low-risk) Conventional or Toxic explosives are found. Sometimes these explosive remnants of war are difficult to recognize. When in doubt, it is best not to take any risks. Apart from that, the procedure explained below is enforced by law.
When finding (or suspicion of) Unexploded Ordnance, take the following measures:
1) Stop all work on and around the location of finding the item.
2) Immediately inform your supervisor and colleagues. The Responsible contractor will per direct inform the local police.
3) The Local police will come on site and inform Explosive Ordnance Disposal (DOVO in Belgium).
4) The (presumed) UXO cannot be touched, moved or manipulated in any way.
5) Access to the location of the find must be denied and safeguarded until the arrival of EOD services.
6) EOD will, once on site, coordinate a safety perimeter. On the project site this will, unless otherwise ordered, be maintained by the contractor and it’s personnel. Out of the site, this will be maintained by local police at the advice of EOD.
7) The local authorities and it’s staff will be notified of the incident and the procedures.
Once the UXO is disposed of by EOD the local authorities and the police will, at the advice of the EOD services, provide an agreement (or disagreement) to continue the works. Important note, any measures ordered by above mentioned, and delays are at the expense of the contractor.
Many are not aware of the above mentioned procedure. There is also the common misconception about the services of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. They will not actively search for any left over explosive remnants of war. They will only intervene once a suspicious item is found. In Belgium, the EOD teams must intervene around 3000 times per year across all corners of the nation to ensure the safety of the population. You cannot just call them to ask for a “quick check”. They’re far too busy for that.
If beforehand you would like to reduce the risk of UXO as much as possible, or if you wish to ensure no unexpected costs or delays befall your project, don’t hesitate to enquire about our services and what we can do for you. Deminetec-ECG will gladly assist you in your project.
*Note that the procedure varies slightly for marine based projects at sea, or in coastal waters.