Interesting Project and great that you are considering the H and S aspect
from the outset as it is not always placed where it should be in planning
this kind of work.
As we have discovered, there is not a huge amount of published information
specifically relating to Conflict Archaeology and how to deal with these
issues, apart from the standard Health and Safety Executive Guidelines and
Regulations which you need to be aware of.
There are also some basics which can be overlooked, such as the vital fact
that any ammunition or explosives falling within the remit of the various
items of UK legislation *must* only be dealt with by those who are
competent, licenced and experienced in so doing. It is not just safety, but
a legal requirement. For example, the current Tarriff under the Firearms
Act, for holding ammunition without a licence is 5 Years.
Essentially, before you start, you must assume stuff you won't want to be
there could be there and that you have mechanisms in place to deal with it
legally and above all safely.
In addition, if you are looking at underground structures such as Bunkers of
any period, there is also a minefield [forgive the pun] of legislation and
codes of practice related to working underground and in confined spaces.
It can seem onerous, but these requirements are there to deal with
particular risks, which are often not present in other branches of
archaeology, and compliance ensures everyone goes home in one piece.
Also remember that Metal Detecting and Geophysics on such sites are a dark
art, and can leave you swamped by ferrous returns making interpretation
difficult. Get as much documentary material as you can before you start,
such as plans, if they exist and particularly air photographs.
We at the Digging Dad's Army Project, along with our colleagues on other
sister projects such as No Mans Land deal with these issues as a matter of
course so if you want to contact me off line I hope we can suggest some ways
forward for you. The important point is there are no short cuts to be made
in this aspect of the work and in our experience you cannot assume the
absence of ammunition and unexploded ordnance in any areas of a former
military site, particularly as, when the camps were cleared, and however
tidy the occupents were before, some things were simply dumped in holes in
Andy Brockman MA
Research Director: The Digging Dad's Army Project
72 Nithdale Road
LONDON SE18 3PD
Telephone: 020 8316 6358
Mobile: 07958 543518
Skype Name: andy.brockman
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On 5 February 2010 11:15, Rodney Gunner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi, i am in the process of maybe undertaking some recording work on a WW2
> Canadian training camp in Sussex, i am looking for pointers in the right
> direction as regard to Health and Safety, ( live buried ammunition !!) the
> site may all so contain a cold war bunker.
> Investigation as to what may lay under 50 years of undergrowth could be i
> seen as problem, so advice is sort,
> Rodney Gunner W.A.S.
> "Learn to Live for Today", and tomorrow will look after its self.