Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3
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Mine action. United Nations Peacekeeping

Mine action. United Nations Peacekeeping | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it
The Security Council has mandated a number of peacekeeping operations with the protection of civilians from physical violence.
Bryce Harding's insight:

Quest 3 - The Safety Damsel in Distress: Ive chosen my friend Greg Suares to focus this quest on. His role as an ATO in the Army  has many safety requirements however his time working for a Danish mine clearing company on a UN mission in Afghanistan is where I will focus this activity.

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danishdemininggroup.dk: Safety Management

danishdemininggroup.dk: Safety Management | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it
Bryce Harding's insight:

While countries are still willing to use land mines in warfare there will be a need for companies to go out to dangerous parts of the world and clear populated area of mines once the conflict has ended or the mines are no longer needed. If people are going to participate in this type of work you would want to go with a company that has a proactive and strong safety culture built into its business model.  The DDG website demonstrates its duty of care to employees and its approach to safety in mine clearing operations.

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UNOPS | Mechanised clearance speeds demining in DR Congo

UNOPS | Mechanised clearance speeds demining in DR Congo | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

Armoured Mine clearing vehicles greatly enhance protection for the experts clearing mines and speed up the rate of work.

Bryce Harding's insight:

This machine largely sponsored by the Japanese, for the UN, while very expensive to build would definitely come to Greg's aid when clearing mine fields. This armoured mine clearing device would enhance the protection of the ATOs working in mine fields and speed up the rate of clearance. This is what could be termed as a 'gold plated' solution to safety in this line of work.

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Army Ammunition Technical Officer

Army Ammunition Technical Officer | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

My friend CAPT Suares is an Ammunition Technical Officer in the Army or ATO for short. In his role he provides advice to all levels of Defence, predominantly Army, on the safe handling, storage and destruction of ammunition.

Bryce Harding's insight:

His job is a highly technical trade within Army and qualified officers are often in short supply. Due to the fact he is working with anything from 9mm rounds for a pistol to artillery natures of ammunition through to high grades of different explosives, safety procedures are of vital importance and dictate what can and cannot be done.

Some of the safety considerations he is constrained to include;

Safety distances for the storage of different types of explosives,

the safe transportation of explosives,

the types of containers or locations where explosives are stored,

monitoring the age, condition and batch quality of ammunition.

While in Australia maintaining safe practices are easier as the infrastructure to store transport and handle explosives is there and complies with the appropriate quality standards.

While overseas the facilities were not as always as adequate and safety distances often needed to close than permissible with additional safety mitigations build to allow explosive to be stored closer to key areas. Fore example building high walls of Hesco barriers to contain any potential explosion and fragmentation material.

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ATO - de mining

ATO - de mining | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

CAPT Suares assisting in a mine clearing operation overseas.

Bryce Harding's insight:

While working outside the Army as a technical advisor to a Danish mine clearing team in Afghanistan, CAPT Suares worked in different provinces to clear mines as part of the UN mine action program. This type of work presented different risks altogether. The company had heavily regulated procedures and guidelines to work within when clearing mines. They employed a security advisor to conduct security assessments of areas they would work in and engage with the local tribal elders to ensure the co-operation of the villagers. 

The work required very particular PPE to be used with de-mining kevlar vests head protection/visors and other specialised items to be worn during the clearing. While safety precautions were taken and procedures followed it could not change the fact that it was an extremely high risk work environment.

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Hunting Top End

Hunting Top End | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

My friend Jacques likes to go out to remote areas of the Top End for hunting. The areas are usually 6-10 hours drive away from Darwin and are very remote areas of bush land. The hunting can be with a compound bow or a rifle. When hunting with a bow you need to get in closer to the animal which in the case of large game can be dangerous.

Bryce Harding's insight:

The type of game he will typically hunt include wild pigs, Buffalo and scrub bulls (wild cattle). All of which have the potential to do harm to the hunter. When so far away from help, safety and common sense are vital for a trip like this. Checking the equipment and vehicle to make sure everything works is where we start our safety process. Knowing the dangers the wild life in the area pose to us. i.e. snakes and crocodiles including the Buffalo and scrub bulls being hunted and ensuing we take precautions to limit risk from them. When hunting large game with a bow you need to be much closer and risk being seen and charged by the animal. A second hunter with a back up rifle is a good safety measure to have in place. This also comes with the risk that the hunter my be between the game animal and the back up shooter. So good communication and careful positioning of the hunter and the back up is required.

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Providing health care on operations

Providing health care on operations | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

My friend Gemma was kind enough to send me some photos and provide me with some back ground into her role as an Army nursing officer.

Bryce Harding's insight:

LT Gemma Padley, Nursing Officer -

 

My role within the ADF involves providing and promoting health care and health related education to Defence members, populations requiring humanitarian aid and to communities involved in operations/exercises.  Treatment I am able to provide incorporates Primary Health Care (skin infections, colds, ingrown toe nails etc), specialist checks such as Maternal and Child Health assessments, immunisations, Advanced Life Support and Emergency management.  The environment in which I provide health care varies from being in a Garrison or civilian hospital, a 14x14 tent in the field or at an incident site working on the ground. 

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Army Nursing Officer

Army Nursing Officer | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

LT Gemma Padley -  Nursing Officer Australian Army

Bryce Harding's insight:

Gemma has worked in a variety of environments, overseas and in indigenous communities within Australia OH&S measures include the appropriate carriage and storage of Drugs of Addiction, which need to be locked in approved safes. Appropriate storage of drugs can be very difficult when working in austere environments and when the carriage of drugs is in field packs, when can result in the need to maintain a watch over some substances.  Some environments, she has worked in, require the need for female health care staff to be accompanied by an additional male due to the potential of either physical or sexual abuse, as Gemma experienced in Johannesburg and PNG.

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Supervisors Demining Kit | Supervisors PPE

Supervisors Demining Kit | Supervisors PPE | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it
Bryce Harding's insight:

As Greg was in a supervisory role while de-mining in Afghanistan, this is the type of PPE he would need to be using while on site. This example of ballistic helmet, visor and body protection will enhance overall survivability in the event a mine is detonated close to him. It aims to protect the major body parts, face and head. It will not do too much to protect the arms and legs however; this is the trade off to be able to maintain dexterity to work. 

If Greg does go back for more of this type of work I would recommend this to him as a very minimum of PPE he should use.

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International Mine Action Standards: List of IMAS

International Mine Action Standards: List of IMAS | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it
Bryce Harding's insight:

The International Mine Action Standards is an internationally endorsed code of practice detailing the safe procedures and Standard Operating Procedures for mine clearing operations. While military mine clearing operations may be based on this framework they will have their own procedures to work on. For companies operating as NGOs on UN based missions this is the framework which they will base their operations on.

I Know Greg will have a very good understanding of this document and if he didn't this is something I would direct his attention to straight away. In terms of hierarchy of risk control this would come under an administrative control which could be further enhanced through the use of the Minewolf 330.

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Ernie the climber

Ernie the climber | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

My friend Ernie, likes to go indoor and outdoor rock climbing as a hobby.

Bryce Harding's insight:

Rock climbing can be an indoor or an out door hobby and can be as easy or as difficult as your skill level will allow for.

Indoor rock climbing is fun and easy and can be done by all ages and skill levels. The risk is quite low as it is conducted by business owners who have a safety responsibility to all their clients. You are required to conduct training on the equipment prior to use and be able to demonstrate the required level of competence to be able to use the climbing walls un- supervised. Climbers use a serviceable harness and good ropes which are not damaged, there is usually a redundancy system that is in place between the rope and the harness just in case.

The levels of controls put in place at an indoor climbing gym help make the risks as low as reasonable practicable.

With the main risks faced by climbers are partners not paying attention to the rope or the climber, falling and injuring yourself against the wall in the fall and psychological risks of someone reacting badly while in a difficult position on the wall.

Out door climbing at an unsupervised climbing point like Kangaroo Point is different all together. Here the risk is entirely Ernie and his climbing partner. Ernie ensures that he has the correct equipment and that it is in good condition and that all climbers with him know how to operate an advanced type of belay device. Any mistakes made by Ernie setting up could be disastrous for him or his climbing partner. To reduce the risks they will check each other’s work and make sure it is correct and they are happy with anchor points, build in redundancy where they can ie two carabineers on the rope and harness, use of PPE such as helmets and they will usually always read up on the climbing route to check the required skill level for that route and the best route to take when climbing.

Climbing is great fun but the risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury or worse is quite high if appropriate risk management measures are not put in place.

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ATO continued

ATO continued | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

An example of the ammunition destruction tasks conducted by CAPT Suares.

Bryce Harding's insight:

When conducting explosive destruction tasks the OHS risks are clear to see. Handling the explosives to be destroyed present a danger if they are unstable or damaged. Setting the charges comes with the risk that electronic devices may set the detonator off. So ensuring there is no electronic interference is important. Maintaing a safe distance from the explosion when it is set off is also a fairly obvious consideration.

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Afghan Interpreter for the Coalition

Afghan Interpreter for the Coalition | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

My interpreter Ray (green shirt on the left). An Afghan born US citizen employed as an interpreter for the Coalition in Afghanistan.

Bryce Harding's insight:

Ray was my interpreter during a tour to Afghanistan. He had worked closely with the Australians for a number of years and was a valuable member of my team. For all interpreters in that environment safety was always a concern. The would need to work where ever we were required to go and this included into very dangerous situations. For Ray some of the basic safety precautions were as follows:

He would always use an alternative name (Ray being a nick name) this afforded him protection and his family protection in the event he becomes a target for the Taliban.

He is issued body armour and helmet, this is to protect him while traveling with Australians on flights or in vehicles while moving between protected bases.

Ray was restricted to the same movement controls as the Coalition soldiers which meant he could not leave the base unless part of a task with me or my team.

As we all are Ray was subject to the same danger or rocket attacks which could be a regular occurrence or a periodic threat. This required him to know and follow the drills he had been trained in.

 

When performing in his role as an interpreter Ray's personal safety was always reliant on the coalition member he was interpreting for (mostly me) as such he was required to be aware of the 'feeling' within the camp and the body language of the Afghan soldiers around us, this helped keep us both safer.

Ray was fortunate to be allocated to a safer position, many other interpreters were in far more dangerous roles participating in patrols and helping Australians engage with the local population. Safety for the interpreters was always a consideration but no amount of precautions over there can eliminate all the risk.

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Top end hunting

Top end hunting | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it

Jacques' hunting continued

Bryce Harding's insight:

 Understanding the climate and how this will impact on us. i.e. hot dry days and cold nights make for ideal dehydration and hypothermia injuries. Clothing and water need to be appropriate and in enough in volume to last all hunters the duration. Dehydration that far out will be devastating if not managed.

 Jacques will always ensure that first aid kits are kept in the vehicle and small belt worn first aid kits on each of the hunters. He uses GPS to ensure the group doesn't get lost and he has invested in a Sat phone to call for help in a life threatening situation. He also plans out and carefully manages the drinking water and food to ensure there is enough for all.

The most important aspect to safety on a hunting trip is having respect for the fire arms being used and knowing how to use them safely and by not fooling around or doing anything that would increase the risk of a serious accident in the field.

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Nursing in the ADF

Nursing in the ADF | Bryce Harding - Quest 2 and onto Quest 3 | Scoop.it
Bryce Harding's insight:

OH&S is particularly important in Gemma's role due to the risk of the transmission of infection from the patient to her and other staff (HIV, scabies, gastroenteritis etc).  Universal Precautions are instilled throughout all treatment practices with patients such as correctly disposing of needles and other sharps, PPE (gloves, gowns, airway masks, goggles etc), providing clean and when required sterile fields to provide care and disposing of Contaminated waste appropriately. With out these precautions in place Gemma and any other Australian Army medics working overseas or in remote communities in Australian would be needlessly exposed to hazardous situations.

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