BSI is running a public consultation on the draft revised text of its existing code of practice for safety and health in tunnelling in the construction industry.
The amended BS 6164:2019 makes recommendations for and gives guidance on safety practices in shaft sinking and tunnel construction, including cut-and-cover tunnelling, immersed tube tunnels and other forms of underground construction. It also covers tunnel maintenance, renovation and repair.
The standards body said a revision to the "much used" BS 6164 was necessitated by advances in technology and equipment that have been made available to the tunnelling industry, as well as new techniques and legislative changes to safety, health and environmental matters. The standard was last amended in 2011.
BSI said: "The text has been extensively updated by a range of technical experts to reflect the latest best practice in tunnelling projects and addresses the health and safety of both those engaged in the tunnelling process and those who could be affected by it."
The "comprehensive" revision, it said, introduces several changes such as recommendations for undertaking high pressure compressed air exposures, material on sprayed concrete lining and exclusion zones, and real-time dust monitoring.
It also includes references to the International Tunnelling Association guidelines for refuge chambers in tunnelling, while clauses 23 and 24, which cover fire, mobile elevating work platforms, use of plant underground and rail operations, have also been expanded.
BS 6164:2019 is open for consultation until 25 April and BSI is seeking views from industry practitioners, safety and health specialists, tunnel clients and insurers. Comments can be submitted online at standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com