Tunnelling is essential underground construction that creates tunnels in many different applications for the benefit of the community. Did you know there are many safety hazards and risks involved during tunnelling? It is important to take necessary precautionary measures to save workers’ lives and keep safety in focus during this construction process. In this article we will talk about how to make safety a priority during tunnelling.
ADAC Tunnel Test
Germany’s ADAC motorists’ association plays its part to ensure the safety of tunnels throughout Europe. It carries out safety tests on Europe’s tunnels every year. ADAC Tunnel Test works to provide reliable data regarding the safety of tunnels in Europe. With time, many of Europe’s tunnels have been labelled and identified as safe by the ADAC motorists’ association, showing that safety measures are being followed.
General Safety Precautions in Tunnelling
The list below discusses 16 essential safety precautions that should be kept in mind during tunnelling:
- Make sure the tunnel’s floor is clean and dry.
- Ensure proper covering for light and power lines to avoid open flames and electricity short-circuiting.
- Ensure that electric lines and light are insulated and secured completely.
- Always ensure the presence of doctors and medical equipment at the worksite.
- Always ensure the presence of sufficient water supply and firefighting equipment.
- Avoid storing unused tools, construction material and machines in the tunnel.
- Make sure that the tools and machines to be used are efficient and well-maintained.
- Make sure to visit working platforms and check them occasionally.
- Install an efficient communication system inside the tunnels to send and receive essential information.
- Ensure the workability and efficiency of power system, communication system, lighting and safety devices occasionally.
- Each worker should take essential precautionary measures for his safety by wearing a steel helmet, rubber gloves, goggles and protective clothing while working.
- Provide a double power supply to the tunnels to avoid safety hazards due to a power failure.
- During scaling, the stroke of the hammer should not be hollow, but hard. A hollow hammer stroke signifies a loose rock.
- Ensure proper ventilation and drainage system in the tunnel.
- Install signboards for safety on several occasions in the tunnel.
- No one should be allowed to enter the tunnel without permission.
Which machine is best for safe tunnel construction?
Tunnelling is a complex process involving a lot of risks. The workers’ aim to avoid unnecessary damage to structures and ensure the construction of a strong tunnel with efficient machinery. The best machine for safe tunnel construction is a tunnel boring machine. Tunnel boring machine is a significant improvement in terms of quality of work and construction safety in comparison to the old tunnel excavation systems.
A tunnel boring machine drills the rock in a circular motion. As a result, mechanical energy comes into being. This mechanical energy is transported to the revolving head of the machine using a rotating torque through hydraulic circuits. The hydraulic cylinders provide a thrust and combine with the torque to transport mechanical energy to the discs (the cutting tools). These discs transport the mechanical energy to the rock using the contact surface.
Due to their advanced technology and efficiency, tunnel boring machines are the safest machines for tunnelling. However, at times, the tunnel boring machines are not feasible to be used. Why? It may be due to many reasons, such as the tunnel’s length, the type of material to be excavated, the machine’s availability and cost of equipment.
Nevertheless, due to its quality work, precision and efficiency, it continues to be one of the most advantageous and preferred methods for tunnelling. A tunnel boring machine not only ensures safety but is reliable and reduces execution time and cost, making it the best choice for tunnelling.