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Tunnel Boring and Hyperbarics

Here at The Hyperbaric Store, we work with tunnelling companies to help fulfill their hyperbaric needs. Below, we will describe how this works, the services we provide, and invite you to contact us if you have any questions.

Tunnel boring and the use of hyperbaric systems to assist workers

The global tunneling industry requires great support from hyperbarics. In many cases tunneling is done at such a depth that atmospheric pressure comes into play, and safety measures must be implemented through the use of various hyperbaric systems. These systems provide support by performing hyperbaric interventions.

At the surface, there is a medical lock. On the other side of the medical lock, there is a hyperbaric shuttle, which is a pressurized chamber that can travel from the medical lock down into the tunnel all the way to the tunnel boring machine where the workers are located. Once the Tunnel Boring Machine has been reached, there is the third hyperbaric component, a set of manlocks. The manlocks are used to access the work area inside the TBM. Typically, one manlock can hold six workers.


There are several modes of communication that help those at surface communicate with those down below in the manlocks

There is a phone, and there are typically at least two video feeds with lights, and controls for the cameras and lights. This way the supervisor above can see and direct the work happening below, in real time. There are also radio systems with loudspeakers and intercom systems built into each one of the chambers and a loudspeaker up above. This setup allows for direct supervision and direction from above to the workers below in the chambers.

If extended periods of work are necessary, workers can live for up to 28 days under pressure.

The shuttle is a transport device used for primarily two cases.

First, for work. As stated, workers can live for up to 28 days under pressure. The hyperbaric shuttle is used to transfer workers from the medical lock down to the tunnel boring machine, and vice versa.

Second, for injury. If a worker is injured below, the shuttle is used to bring said worker to the medical lock for treatment.

We can help provide hyperbaric tunneling services

At The Hyperbaric Store, we work with various manufacturers to ensure that your hyperbaric needs are met depending on your specific tunneling scenario.  These manufacturers are able to facilitate a custom build tailored to your specific job starting with the initial design concepts.  The decompression chambers, control panels, air compressors, and other necessary components are built into containers to enable transportation to the tunneling site.  The containers also provide protection for the components during transportation.  Once the components are designed and built into containers, the containers are ready for transport to the job site and installation can begin.  Upon completion of installation, training is offered to ensure that workers are able to work safely and effectively.

Numerous surveyor inspections are offered during the essential stages of the design and manufacturing process and all equipment is built in compliance with the requirements of international certification authorities.

In summary, hyperbarics provide great support to the workers in the tunneling field.  We can help to provide that support.  If you would like more information on the use of hyperbarics in the tunnel boring industry, feel free to give one of our specialists a call today.

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