Safety, an important key in underground space construction

Safety, an important key in underground space construction

ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards, 5-7 November 2018 in Chuzhou-Nanjing, includes the category ‘Safety initiative of the year’.

Nowadays, respect of the environment, the use of eco-friendly materials and occupational health take an important and significant place in our society. This is mainly due to the following problems that affect the world of underground space construction, during the 20th and 21th century, like the high rate of pollution, health risk of underground construction work (fatal injury, heavy manual labor) which lead to lots of human loss.

In order to remove or at least reduce these, the ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards includes the category Safety initiative of the year. This entry is to reward a new initiative introduced within the tunnelling and/or underground space industry that has enabled a company, process, project or series of projects to deliver improved performance with respect to safety, occupational health and welfare.

Nominations for this category of ITA Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards are safety initiatives that have been implemented in tunnelling or underground space use projects between 1 January 2017 and 1st April 2018.

For this 2018 edition of the ITA Tunnelling Awards 4 finalists have been shortlisted for the Safety initiative of the year category.

The 4 finalists for the Safety initiative of the year: awareness and safety


This project is about the excavation of a tunnel with traditional methods, through rocks containing natural asbestos, safeguarding the health and safety of workers and preserving the external environment.

The great result achieved was the codification of a work phase that provided the possibility to overcome the stretches of amiantiferous rocks with a safe, clear and repeatable standard during an excavation of a tunnel.

The “Cravasco Site”, the first experience of Tunnelling in rock masses containing asbestos within a natural matrix as part of the works for the Terzo Valico dei Giovi, was successfully concluded with the achievement of important milestones and provided key information for the development and improved management of future tunnel sites with similar features.


The Aura-FX Digital Gas Monitor System is a proprietary fixed gas monitoring unit, designed specifically for use within refuge chambers.

When utilised in conjunction with MineARC’s Guardian, real-time gas monitoring data and analysis can be view remotely.

MineARC Systems, established in 1999, has been a manufacturer and supplier of emergency refuge systems to the tunnelling, underground mining and chemical processing industries for almost 20 years.

With five offices across the globe and sales to over 50 countries, MineARC is the world leader in this niche area of manufacturing expertise.

The Aura-FX Gas Monitor has already been installed across a number of tunnelling developments including the MAEDA Water Treatment Project in Japan, the Port Said Project in Egypt and various major projects across Europe including the Lyon-Turin Tunnel.

Aura-FX is a vast improvement in digital gas monitoring for refuge chambers, featuring automated voice prompts and minimal calibration requirements.

It can monitor up to 11 gases including Methane – a known hazard within a tunnelling environment.

Aura-FX sensors require service and calibration just once every 12 months.


Advance in construction technology has enabled longer and larger tunnels to be built, and hence more E&M services are being installed along the tunnels to provide ventilation, lighting, security, communication, and fire service etc. There is an increasing demand, for construction workers, to install the E&M services and cladding, in particularly, drilling anchors and installing permanent utility containment system including cable brackets and cable trays.

For the past 3 years Bouygues TP R&D teams in collaboration with Dragages Hong Kong have worked to develop a specific tool to replace human involvement in this repeated setting- out, drilling and anchors installation by this robotic system which significantly reduces the risks associated with the drilling operation. Through development, this has led to the so-called ROBY 850 – Semi Automatic Drilling Robot.

ROBY 850 has been developed in order to improve the safety and productivity.

It has brought evolutional change to this practice and eliminated the health and safety risk.


This project deals with site formation and infrastructure Works for development of Anderson Road Quarry (ARQ).

It consists of approximately three kilometres of vehicular roads, a floating bridge at the artificial attenuation lake, retaining walls, an underground storm water retention tank and a 130-metre underpass at the southern end of the quarry site and the associated infrastructure at the existing land platforms of the vacated quarry site.

The project will provide 40 hectares of land for future residential and commercial development to accommodate a planned population of 25 000.

The project commenced at the end of 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2022.

The excellence of this project lies in the design and execution of temporary works that contribute to the exemplary performance in safety of the project. Due to the profound efforts towards safety that were made in design and construction to ensure workers are protected against any unnecessary exposure of potentially unsafe matters.

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