Frequently asked questions

Subject: Preliminary investigation

Because as a client you would like to know and control all the risks of your project before work starts. With a thorough preliminary investigation, you can act and you do not have to react afterwards.

As a principal, you are obliged to make an inventory and evaluate all risks of a work site (RI&E). The subject of explosive remnants of war is also part of this. The Labour Inspectorate checks this and considers the preliminary investigation to be a fixed part of your risk inventory.

Yes, you may. The CS-OO regulations do not as yet include any training or experience requirements. This is in contrast to the people who provide the detection 'in the field'. Whether this is desirable is of course the question. Therefore, on its own initiative, ECG applies internal training requirements to those who carry out preliminary investigations.

A preliminary investigation does not guarantee that conventional explosives will or will not be found in a (sub)area. A thorough investigation does, however, show where there is a factually substantiated probability of finding CE and where not.

Subject: Project-specific risk analysis

A Project-Related Risk Analysis (PRA) can be carried out if a preliminary investigation has shown that an area must (partly) be considered suspect. Certainly when the area to be cultivated has different characteristics and various types of soil intervention will take place, it can be advisable to have a PRA drawn up. In complex areas, a PRA can provide you with site-specific advice.

Having a PRA carried out is not compulsory, but it can give you more insight into the detection process to be carried out.

Several disciplines are involved in the PRA. For example, the research team is formed by academically trained historians, GIS experts, civil engineers and explosives experts. In this way, all facets are represented.

Subject: Work preparation

The input for the work preparation is formed by the preliminary research. This is drawn up or checked by the historians of ECG. The civil engineers, explosives experts and environmental experts of ECG then draw up a project plan describing how the investigation in the suspected area can be carried out as efficiently as possible. The work preparation is supported by GIS experts in order to record all facets of the implementation as accurately as possible and present them with clear map material.

In principle, yes. After all, it is important to determine the status of the investigation area and to establish which facets may hamper the effectiveness of the investigation.

The client must always agree to the project plan drawn up. Only when there is an actual approach to suspected objects does the competent authority (in many cases the municipality) have to sign for approval.

Subject: Detection

Yes, detection is always possible. However, it is questionable whether useful measurement results can be expected. Detection involves measuring metallic objects in the soil. When there are too many disturbing objects in the area or in the soil, the detection will be too much disturbed to allow a good interpretation of measurement data.

With depth detection, measurements are carried out by means of probing. So one actually goes into the soil. With surface detection, measurements are carried out at ground level and signals are sent into the soil.

The area should be as flat and clean as possible to ensure good detection. Disturbing objects such as fences, cattle, vegetation, etc. should therefore be removed. If this is not possible, a solution will be found together.

Yes, indeed. ECG has sailing equipment that can take measurements of water bottoms.

Subject: Approaching & securing

Yes, detection may indicate the presence of a suspicious object in the soil, but the actual nature of the object can only be determined after an approach. Therefore, it is important that the approach to objects is carried out by specialised and experienced professionals.

No. Metallic objects or debris are also often excavated. These objects had a value corresponding to a possible explosive when the measurement data were interpreted and were therefore approached with the same caution. Horseshoes, iron plates, chicken wire and other non-hazardous objects are often encountered.

These are disposed of by ECG or (after consultation with the client) kept separate. Historically valuable objects are always handed over to the client. In the case of suspected criminal finds (such as weapons or money safes), the local police are also informed.

No, that task is reserved for the Explosives Clearing House of the Ministry of Defence. ECG can serve you from preliminary investigation to securing found ammunition in our special storage bunkers. The actual defusing of the finds is a government task.

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