Hand-tools as demining PPE

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Why hand-tools are PPE

Excavation of a suspect mine is the most common activity at the time of a demining accident. This is an activity that cannot be avoided and accidents have occurred when the victim did nothing "wrong". The “duty of care” of an employer requires that a deminer be protected appropriately when working as directed on a required task.

IMAS 10.30 states that blast-resistant hand-tools should be part of a deminer's Personal protective Equipment.

The picture shows a typical hand injury from an excavation accident.

Hand injury from an AP blast mine while excavatingThe accident record in the Database of Demining Accidents (DDAS) shows that severe hand and arm injury is common when using short excavation tools. Injuries are worst when the tool is short and used vertically. When the tool breaks apart, parts have struck the deminers in the chest, upper arm and face. Deminers have died from injuries sustained from parts of their hand-tool in AP blast mine accidents.

The DDAS also provides evidence that long tools which stay in one piece do not injure the user. A 1999 study conducted for US Army CECOM NVESD found that demining hand-tools should be designed so that they:

• are easiest to use at a low angle to the ground;
• stay in one piece;
• are long enough to keep the user’s hand at least 30cm from the blast;
• incorporate a flexible blast shield whenever possible.

NOTE: Some purpose made demining hand-tools are made using expensive hard-metals and complex fabrication. These can add to the risk of injury in an AP mine blast because complex construction can separate and hard materials can shatter..

SD's range of blast resistant demining handtools are designed to maximise safety without imposing a prohibitive cost. They meet the recommendations in the IMAS and go further in our attempt to protect the deminer.

The SD blast resistant hand-tools are shown below.

blast resistant tools

SD have made the range of demining tools listed below, some are not blast resistant but all are designed for demining. Click on the link for more detail.

Oval profile probe...Pick-prod.....Long trowel ... Two-handed excavator....Demining brush...Pulling sets... Demining markers... The Mine-grab....The Heavy rake....The Light rake....The Folding Excavator.... The Excavator/Slicer.... Magnetic tools...etc.

The blast resistant tools are available individually or as a set. We can also supply a range of other demining tools, and provide a tool-bag when required.