'If you cannot measure it then you cannot improve it' ---Lord Kelvin 1856
On September 30, 2001, a list compiled by the USEPA listed 126 past civilian UXO incidents in the United States. The total number of fatalities and injuries included in the data details available was only 19. In sharp contrast the ATF&E (Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives) had a list of 4,438 UXO events. This number includes multiple casualties but is vague as to detailed information regarding them. While the Joint Services maintain their Explosives Safety Mishap Analysis Module (ESMAM) for the military, the civilian UXO encounters remain under reported and under evaluated.
In order for an accurate assessment of the problems and scope of these situations, an organized information collection system modeled after the Database for Demining Accidents (DDAS) would be most advantageous. The DDAS is an international program of documenting harmful occurrences affecting deminers in the field. These accidents are listed and described revealing specific details and then critically analyzed according to best safe practices. Photos, medical reports and other important data are added as it becomes available. The result is a clear study of each tragedy and a validation for improved methodologies which includes funding considerations. This efficient format leaves few questions unanswered as it improves the overall safety education of everyone who views it.