Attractive working environment

Safer tunnel-boring machines

Implenia is making jobs involving tunnel-boring machines safer. Right from the time the machines are assembled, measures are taken to reduce the risk of accidents.

Working with partners from France and Italy, Implenia is currently helping build a section of tunnel, around three kilometres long, for Metro line number 11 on the edge of Paris. This makes the company part of one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe: the “Grand Paris Express”.

Implenia has plenty of experience in underground construction, and the expertise we have developed was crucial to winning the contract in Paris. Being new to the French market, Implenia is keen to prove its skill and expertise.

It doesn’t just want to impress with the high quality of its work, however, but also with its very low accident rate. As always, the company aims to ensure there are as few accidents as possible and no fatalities. This goal is particularly challenging for tunnelling work.

Implenia France worked with the manufacturer to develop a new safety and ergonomics concept for the two tunnel-boring machines. When the machines were still at the design phase, a group led by the Safety Officer took a long hard look at them and analysed possible sources of accident risk. This group then proposed ways of minimising these risks. The measures were implemented and reviewed again when the machines were actually assembled.

The working group also developed a safety manual covering both the actual drilling and the maintenance work. A safety poster listing the most important rules was displayed at every workstation so the employees concerned were sensitised to the risks even when the machines were being assembled.

Implenia France took great pains to involve all the all main players in the design and construction of the tunnel boring machines. From the manufacturer to the accident prevention organisation to the workers themselves, everyone contributed to the Health & Safety process. As well as helping minimise risk, this approach also ensured the best possible working conditions underground.