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Underground Construction (Tunneling) - OSHA Standards

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This one-hour online course provides general guidelines for recognizing the potential hazards of underground construction of tunnels and chambers and the methods taken to prevent or reduce exposure to the hazards. Topics include the OSHA standards for safety and protection from underground hazards such as reduced natural ventilation and light, difficult access and egress, exposure to air contaminants, fire, flooding and explosion. The text discusses steps to provide safe operation of hoists and cranes and for drilling and blasting underground. Where and how often site and equipment inspections should be performed are discussed.

The course is based on an OSHA underground construction publication, which covers standards written to provide a safe work site. Underground excavations are recognized as one of the most hazardous of construction operations. They are inherently unstable and pose several serious hazards to workers, which include mainly excavation failures such as cave-ins, subsidence, fires, explosions and hazardous air. Other excavation hazards include falls, falling debris and materials or construction equipment and unhealthful atmospheric conditions.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.