Gratuitous Peer Review

Exord’s experienced consultancy will review your explosive ordnance risk management administration and project status in order to clarify its proposed strategy and mitigation measures whilst offering any alternative courses of action, if appropriate.  As an independent specialist strategic explosive ordnance advisory, we are best placed to offer objective, subject matter expertise in these areas.

If your project is in the initial planning and design stages, we can review the threats from Explosive Ordnance and the proposed risk mitigation actions to ensure the appropriate strategy and practicable measures are being applied.

If you are already involved in geotechnical investigation without having taken any explosive ordnance precautions, or in the risk mitigation implementation stages such as geophysical survey and you feel that the recommended measures or burden of survey is prohibitive, we can advise accordingly.

Subsequent to acquiring raw survey data it is imperative that your project remains within the strategy parameters and does not stray into clearance tactics across an extended survey swath.  Exord can advise whether the targets selected are valid, and within the previously identified threat criteria i.e. that they actually present a risk to your project and its planned engineering methodologies.
All peer reviews are offered free of charge and undertaken on an individual basis subject to our terms and conditions.
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Threat Consultancy

A threat assessment is required in order to establish the provenance of explosive ordnance from either war fighting, munitions dumping or abandoned explosive ordnance that can be geospatially associated within and in proximity to the site. Perceived threats are commonly inappropriately identified as risks; they may only manifest as a risk if actually encountered and interacted with or in other words via the conceptual risk pathway. Only by thoroughly analyzing the operating environment and the intended investigation or installation methodology can a risk assessment including probability of encounter and consequence be established.

Risk Consultancy

A detailed risk assessment will be required if explosive ordnance has been associated with your project. This is generally subsumed within a semi quantitative desk-based report, incorporating layers of data. To properly quantify risk, a layering methodology will be required to establish where the threat is likely to be and whether encounter is likely. Therefore, as well as likely threats within a clearly defined site boundary you will require a site report to establish lithology and therefore likely burial depth. Furthermore, an assessment of planned engineering methodology and scope of work will be required to establish a conceptual risk pathway. All of these layers will form the basis of any mitigation design going further forward.

Risk Mitigation Design and Strategy

In order to avoid a conflict of interest it is arguably best practice to seek an independent view on risk mitigation strategies to ensure that the most practicable methodology is undertaken to meet with the projects’ needs and expectations.
Generally, this will involve an avoidance strategy for offshore projects where anomalies identified from geophysical survey represent or model as explosive ordnance previously identified on the threat spectrum. These anomalies will be assigned safe avoidance parameters based upon size and therefore prospective net explosive quantity (NEQ), seabed morphology and ephemeral data.  For terrestrial projects especially those in built up urban areas, this is not feasible, and some intervention will be required.

Explosive ordnance clearance, largely a military tactic, is considered a feasible option when and only if avoidance is not possible due to project constraints and limitations such as but not limited to, insufficient water space or areas for avoidance, proximity of personnel, critical infrastructure otherwise referred to as sensitive receptors, or if the environmental impact is considered too great.

Geo Physical Survey Design and Assessment

Typically it is considered best practice to undertake some form of seabed survey designed to detect anomalies modelling as explosive ordnance. However, only if a previous threat assessment has confirmed geospatially its provenance, and that any previous works has not already mitigated its’ probability of encounter.

A multi sensor array incorporating high quality SSS magnetometers, and perhaps a pulse induction capability to detect non-ferrous variants of explosive ordnance are widely accepted as the industry standard. If avoidance is to be employed, great care must be taken to ensure location accuracy regarding anomalies location within the survey swath in order to safely establish avoidance criteria. Furthermore, early discussion regarding the size of survey swath is considered essential to ensure sufficient areas are surveyed in the first instance to allow avoidance incorporating installation methodologies, navigation accuracy etc.

Explosive Ordnance Identification

Following a survey campaign and data assessment any anomalies modelling as explosive ordnance will be included in a target list to be subjected to further investigation. Typically, this is undertaken with a seabed operations vessel employing ROV/AUV and specialist EOD divers. It is best practice for higher risk projects to embark explosive engineers on site to verify anomalies as explosive ordnance or not however, logistically and geographically this may not always be practicable, or in the case of lower risk sites a remote explosive ordnance identification process may take precedence.

Explosive Ordnance Avoidance Criteria

Avoidance is considered by far the safest method where there is a possibility of encountering explosive ordnance, typically by a wide margin.

The careful accumulation and analysis of data sets such as explosive NEQ, proximity of sensitive receptors, water depth (burial), seabed lithology and forces generated by investigation or installation methods, can provide empirical evidence, both quantitative and qualitative in order to aid further decision making in both the land and marine environment. A Technical report can be provided to evidence this process and provide the assurances the project will require to operate safely within proximity of potential or confirmed explosive ordnance.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal or Removal

If it is not possible to avoid explosive ordnance for whatever reason then ordinarily it should be destroyed in situ or removed to a suitable disposal site.

If the item is considered a viable threat, i.e. it is intact with a firing mechanism and main charge then generally the stability of the device cannot be guaranteed therefore, it is not safe to disturb it. However, if it is not intact and missing a part of the “explosive train” it may be safe to either relocate for future explosive disposal, or simply recovered for disposal by other means.

Risk Mitigation Sign Off

Once all target investigation has been completed, and those targets that were positively identified as explosive ordnance have been destroyed or removed, a safety sign off certificate warranting the UXO risk to the project has been reduced may be issued.

The certificate narrative will ordinarily include the installation methodology, or geotechnical investigation works conducted within the specified area or zone and geo referenced charts/mapping. Furthermore, the coordinates for the area shall be included along with clearly defined boundaries and stipulated avoidance zones for any anomalies remaining, in order to establish the tolerable level of residual risk in accordance with the health and safety standard, or country equivalent, i.e as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

Indigenous Explosive Ordnance Capability

Exord Ltd is experienced in providing clients with the expertise to establish their own indigenous Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) capability. We can provide you with all of the technical know-how and supporting approved code of practice (ACOP) including, method statements and risk assessments required to enhance your organisation and provide a modular capability similar to Diving and ROV spreads. Moreover, we can assist in the personnel uplift required to supervise and operate this highly skilled operation in accordance with current guidelines.

Exord has the management skills and subject matter expertise to ensure that your company has the opportunity to move into this previously inaccessible sphere; including the acquisition of licenses for storage, and carriage of explosive stores. We can source approved contractors for explosive magazines and the necessary hardware, utilising advanced methods to conduct subsurface neutralisation of UXO either by shaped charge techniques, or countermining charges delivered by both ROV or Divers where necessary. Our preferred suppliers are considered market leaders and support both industry and the military.

If you would like to discuss this further, please call +44 (0) 7817555200 or email: and we will be delighted to discuss this with you.