Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Best practice sought for bomb clearance


LACK OF regulation in the detection and disposal of underground unexploded ordnance is fuelling widespread scaremongering, ground investigation specialists claimed this week.

Concerns have been raised over the competence of exmilitary bomb disposal experts setting themselves up as site investigators.

'The ex-military guys are going into areas of expertise where they lack the specialist knowledge, ' said Mike Sainsbury, managing director of site investigation company Zetica.

The result, he believes, is that clients and consultants are being misled about bomb disposal issues.

But bomb disposal expert Mike Fellows, who trained with the Royal Navy, said that many site investigation companies were clearing ordnance without sufficient practical training.

'These companies will find the bombs, but will blow them up when they do, ' said Fellows.

He added that non-ferrous ordnance was often undetected because instrumentation used in most site investigations relied on magnetic sensors.

Sainsbury and other site investigation experts said the probability of finding nonferrous ordnance in the ground was very low, however.

Next week construction research body CIRIA is to meet developers and ground investigation experts to discuss how to develop a best practice document.

'People from housebuilders to major clients like Crossrail desperately want guidance on assessing the risk [of unexploded bombs], ' said CIRIA contaminated land programme manager Joanne Kwan.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.