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IMCSE establishes Health Working Group

February 3, 2023
IMCSE establishes Health Working Group

IMCSE has established a Health Working Group (HWG) in response to an inflow of information indicating that those working in the munition clearance and search industry may suffer a higher incidence of certain health conditions than an equivalent age and gender sample from the general population.

During their work munition clearance and search professionals may be exposed to a variety of substances and procedures that have a negative impact on their long-term physical and mental health. Exposure risks include handling potentially carcinogenic and toxic chemicals, radiation, proximity detonation and extended periods in high stress operating environments.

The Health Working Group (HWG) will be led by consultant physician Dr William Coker OBE FRCP MIMCSE, a former UK military doctor, who served in the Gulf War and with the United Nations Special Commission, Chemical Destruction Group. Initially the HWG will review currently available information and liaise with individuals and organisations who share our concern.

Garth Whitty, IMCSE President, said of this initiative ‘our members are required to work in a range of hazardous peacetime, conflict and post conflict environments for which rigorous training, procedures and equipment mitigate on-task risks. At present the potential cumulative exposure effect on munition clearance and search professionals’ long-term physical and mental health does not enjoy the same level of engagement. We owe it to our Members and the wider community to increase our knowledge of the extent of serious work related health issues through collaboration with individuals and organisations and to encourage the development of effective solutions.’

If you have a munition clearance and/or search background and you have a health condition that you believe may be attributable to your work, you may contact the HWG by emailing health@imcse.org