‘RUSTY DEATH’ – A PROBLEM THAT WE FACE EVERY DAY

31-12-2018

Although more than 70 years have passed since the war in Poland, its remains are dangerous for society. Rusty death collects its harvest every year, and despite the hard work of sappers from the Armed Forces Special Forces, many of it remains in the ground. Vehicles with the Sapper Patrol logo are very found on our streets and roads. Many of us do not realize that these vehicles carry a dangerous product, and the people who manage them are also people who have their worries of everyday life and are fully aware of the risk associated with the work they do. They must think not only about their own safety, which is at risk but also about the safety of other road users who do not always want to grasp the existing danger, even though these vehicles are privileged.

In 2017, 39 demining patrols and 2 groups of divers – miners operating in the Polish Armed Forces have taken up and neutralized about 300,000 explosive and dangerous objects (PWiN). These specialists, on average, and there are only about 250 of them, intervene about 7-8 thousand times a year, by picking up, transporting and neutralising about 300,000 to 400,000 explosive and dangerous items of military origin (unexploded ordnance) (data approximated for 2018). Items removed include aerial bombs, torpedoes, mines, grenades, artillery shells, ammunition and others. The technical condition of these finds is unpredictable due to the many years of weather conditions. Any movement, strike, transfer or other factors may cause an explosion, and hence the death or disability of persons who are in the area of ​​influence. These determinants make it impossible to manipulate it to people who do not have specialist training, skills and appropriate technical equipment.

During the implementation of tasks consisting in the clearance of unexploded ordnance of munitions, threats such as may occur:

– explosion of war ammunition caused by improper digging up, mining, picking up, transport;

– explosion or self-ignition of dangerous objects (war ammunition with incendiary charge) during transport or transport;

– traffic accident of vehicles carrying unexploded ordnance;

– in the case of destroying particularly dangerous unexploded ordnance and unexploded ordnance, fragments of accidental persons not withdrawn from the danger zone may be injured.

This is the biggest problem for land security services. Curiosity, willingness to take a picture, an attitude that nothing will happen to me, causes outsiders to penetrate the dangerous zone. Media play a large role in this game about life and health when publish photos or videos recorded by such specialists. For example, a movie from the roof of the building, which was an endangered area, was broadcast in Wiadomosci (News programme on TVP 1 channel) during the demining work at Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920 Square, connected with picking up a mortar grenade Thor about 750 mm calibre and weight of about 1750 kg found during work on the construction of the underground. I wonder who would be guilty of death of these people in the event of an explosion. There would be even no shoes left. Another negative translation of the media in the field of munitions unexploded ordnance was the series of films broadcast on TVP 3 channel about activities related to clearing land from unexploded ordnance carried out by civilian operators.

Entities (companies) involved in cleaning up the area of ​​post-war remnants (from unexploded ammunition munitions) operating under the Act of 21 June 2002 on explosives for civil use (Journal of Laws of 2017 item 283, with.) should conduct this activity to a limited extent. This is a kind of legal misunderstanding which should be amended. Activities related to the treatment of post-war remnants, including the pick-up, transport, neutralization of unexploded ordnance belongs only to the competence of the Special Forces of the Armed Forces. At the same time, there are no legal, civil conditions regarding the properties of the area intended to neutralize unexploded ordnance of war ammunition. In the Armed Forces this is regulated by: Defence Standard NO-02-A043 and NO-02-A061 and NO-02-A069. On this basis, departmental documents regulating the operation of subunits of the Polish Armed Forces and other services in services in the field of cleaning the area of explosive and dangerous objects. The current legal status makes it impossible to clean up the country from unexploded ordinances and unexploded ordinances by other entities, which threatens public safety in the event of failure to perform the above-mentioned tasks by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland.

In accordance with the applicable safety rules, it is strictly forbidden to move, touch or lift dangerous objects by unauthorized persons. Authorized persons should be understood as trained and prepared in this regard soldiers – specialists of sub-units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland.

Prepared by: Szczepan Dąbek

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