To determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository, the Department of Energy constructed an underground Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) where tests and experiments will be performed. Underground Construction / Underground Infrastructure / Damage Prevention & Safety / Safety The importance of the pipes, wires, and cables buried underground that support our daily lives is being “unearthed” with the help of Executive Producer, Host, and Author Mike Rowe and his animated alter ego micro Mike Rowe. Coupled with safety-based engineering design and review, good conduct of operations provides what could be called defense in depth. Over the past ten years, accidents have cost DOE over one half of a billion dollars in injury costs that are typically insured under worker's compensation. In many instances, there is not much in the way of defined training performance objectives coupled with testing or observation to validate training effectiveness. And this is a minimum, since DOE incurs more than medical costs when workers are injured. In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in November 1993, an experienced construction subcontractor was killed while inadequately performing a hoisting operation with inadequate equipment. However, these projects involved many miles of construction. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book. All of the construction fatalities within DOE over the past two years, with one possible exception, could have been readily avoided with management attention to identifying and analyzing work-place hazards, planning work, developing appropriate procedures, and training workers in safe practices. Underground Construction Company, Inc. is proud of our safety program and the results achieved. The AGC resources are co-produced by the AGC Utility Infrastructure Division and the AGC Utility Infrastructure Safety Committee. All rights reserved. In the federal sector, these liability concerns have been heightened due to the much-publicized case of the Aberdeen Three in which three civilian federal employees of the Army Aberdeen Proving Ground were convicted of environmental crimes. The adequacy of the training, as with much on-the-job training, varied with the trainer involved and the amount of time available to learn necessary skills. These resources below represent topics most prevelant in maintining a safe and healthy utility infrastructure construction site. Failing to work safely around underground services can be deadly. Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Underground Construction and Tunneling Safety. Our core philosophy is that safety takes precedence over all business pursuits and work practices. He was struck on the left side of his face by a falling clump of ice the size of a basketball, formed by tiny droplets of water that froze and accumulated on the shaft's wall .... Ice is perhaps the least obvious hazard: every day, cranes and winches lower into the holes enormous drills, bulldozers, [and] buckets that weigh 32,000 pounds when filled with rock. What is both right and wrong with safety practices must be confronted to assure that past mistakes and past accidents will not be repeated. Construction Safety Video Blog ; Safety; Share This. Ready to take your reading offline? Underground Construction Company, Inc. is one of the oldest and most respected contractors in the West. A recent review of OSHA's data base bears out that safety in U.S. underground construction has increased over the years. Underground Construction Company Inc., a subsidiary of Quanta Services Inc., was named the 2014 Gas Operations Supplier of the Year.Learn More. In conclusion, given the risk inherent in underground construction, the industry has made commendable strides in accident prevention. Our goal is zero incidents and we are committed personally and professionally to achieve this goal, year after year. There are also economic reasons for DOE and its construction managers to proactively enforce contract safety and health provisions. Thirteen tunnel workers died while building the Holland Tunnel in the 1920s. Worker safety and health has been given a very prominent place by Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary. Given the hazards inherent in underground construction, the industry has made commendable strides in accident prevention. A number of valuable lessons derive from the N-Tunnel flammable gas flashover accident that occurred at the Nevada Test Site on October 30, 1992. There are still, however, holdovers from those tragic times in underground construction. It takes a genuine commitment to employee education, strict adherence to safety policies exceeding regulatory requirements, and a culture that reinforces safety is job one! Our commitment to safety is evident on each and every project. Underground construction work includes tunnelling for roads, highways and railroads and laying pipelines for sewers, hot water, steam, electrical conduits, telephone lines. In a major project such as the YMP, a large influx of both new and experienced workers is likely. © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. Within this Order, hazard analyses are addressed through a required preliminary hazard analysis prior to the commencement of a construction project and an activity hazard analysis prior to the commencement of work on any phase of the project. Yucca Mountain, located on the Nevada Test Site, is being considered as a potential repository site for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available. The first challenge is already one of the central topics of this symposium; following are some thoughts on the latter challenge, improving how the construction operations are conducted from a safety standpoint. Working under reduced light conditions, difficult or limited access and egress, with the potential for exposure to air contaminants and the hazards of fire and explosion, underground construction workers face many dangers. Underground Construction Company, Inc. is a subsidiary of Quanta Services, and is committed to the health and safety of its employees, customers, subcontractors and the communities in which we work. To help employers protect the safety and health of underground construction workers, OSHA has prepared a number of guidance documents, including the underground construction regulations, found in Part 1926, section 800 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1926.800). Yet too often missed is the perspective that most liability cases center around malfeasance or intentional and illegal acts, not good-faith efforts to comply with applicable regulations. Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. 23 knew Anthony Oddo, 33, who was killed last Wednesday in a water shaft... in Queens as a 16-ton construction winch plunged into the hole. For example, to this day, the notion persists in many circles that one fatality per mile is a statistical norm for tunnel construction and should be the expected price to pay for the hazards involved. Underground construction workers face many hazards, such as reduced natural ventilation and light, difficult access and egress, exposure to air contaminants, fire, flooding, and explosion. Finally, at the Superconducting Supercollider construction site in Texas in January 1993, a tunnel worker was fatally injured when a segment of tunnel liner fell on him. However,… Department of Energy's Construction Safety Program, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Safety in the Underground Construction and Operation of the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Underground Construction Safety: Be Sure You're on the Right Track, Safety Engineering Design Analysis For Tunneling Equipment, Milwaukee Water Pollution Abatement Program: Underground Safety--Dealing With OSHA, Underground Operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: A True Safety Culture, Safety in Construction and Operation of Underground Facilities, Underground Safety at the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Safety Management in PNC's Shaft Excavation Effects Project in Japan. Although the contractor had good operational procedures in place, that accident, involving three workers at a tunnel face several hundred feet underground, exposed weaknesses in emergency planning. To its credit, the Nevada Operations Office staff, in conjunction with the Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company, has reflected on the importance of worker training and expanded procedures to correct these problems. A construction company paid £210 000 in fines and costs after an employee died in an explosion following damage to an 11 000-volt live cable within an excavation. The AGC Resources are presented in both PDF format (for quick use) and Word Doc format (for editing). However, as the investigation determined, at the time of the accident the contractor was using a different tunnel boring machine than at the previous job, with differing controls, in a different size tunnel, within a different geological formation, and with a crew that had, in part, changed job assignments since their last tunnel project. As such, OSHA enforces regulations for underground construction in accordance with the Code of Federal … You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Another DOE initiative addresses external regulation. To help employers protect the safety and health of … To help employers protect the safety and health of under- Byron M. Ishkanian. We, in the Department, face a dual challenge in terms of meaningful improvements in safety and health at the operating level. It will present a challenge to fulfill this responsibility in the most cost-effective manner without compromising project safety. coworkers, transportation costs to medical facilities, damaged property, and significant project delays. Section 18 1926 Subparts S Cleveland State University Work Zone Safety and Efficiency Transportation Center 1926.800(b)(1) The employer shall provide and maintain safe means of access and egress to all work stations.1926.800(b)(2) The employer shall provide access and egress in such a manner that … The first course—one that, unfortunately, all of us are familiar with—assumes that workers will always understand and follow procedures. Safety in the Underground Construction and Operation of the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain by National Research Council Staff, Division on … Specific to tunnel projects, change control is a vulnerability that deserves attention. Of DOE initiatives underway, contract reform and external regulation have particular relevance to the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). In DOE, most contractors are indemnified and reimbursed for worker's compensation and other losses, or wrap-up policy premiums themselves are reimbursed, as with the Superconducting Supercollider. We continue to lead our industry in safety, quality, customer satisfaction and community service. Our safety record is second to none and it is the result of a sound safety program, continuous training, education, hard work and discipline. Also included are illustrations of successful approaches in creating a safe environment for those who work underground. The cost of one utility strike may rise to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and insurance will typically not cover that loss. Given the potential for a catastrophic accident under these everyday dangers, not only must we stay vigilant, but we must continue to challenge the status quo, particularly the attitude held by some that an occasional accident is to be expected in underground work. For example, in 1890, 68 workers died as they bored a gas tunnel under what is now Roosevelt Island in New York City. From past program assessments and accident investigations, it appears that inadequate training is probably the most common root cause of construction injuries. It encompasses hazard analysis, procedures, training, pre-job planning, and emergency planning, to name a few key components. DOE is developing changes to its contracting process that will better define expectations, measure performance, improve incentives, and strengthen departmental management of contracts. Two challenges stand out as areas for improvement in safety and health at the operating level: (1) the need for better safety accountability and (2) the need to better instill safe practices and behavior. ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one. characteristic of underground construction. In May 1993, Secretary O'Leary announced her endorsement of work-place regulatory enforcement at DOE facilities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The subtitle of this paper, Be Sure You're on the Right Track, means as always, that we have a distinct choice in managing safety: either let safety take care of itself or take care of safety. We are now far removed from the exceedingly dangerous times of yesteryear, when tunneling was performed using dynamite and black powder and canaries were used for methane detection. This website is not the official or final authority to determine OSHA compliance responsibilities, which are set forth in OSHA standards themselves, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Tangible actions have been taken to aggressively move the department from a largely reactive posture to one that establishes accident prevention as its goal and employee involvement as its mode of operation. Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features? About 20 percent of all construction injuries occur within the first month a worker reports to a new work site; about 90 percent fall within the first 12 months. Since laying our first pipe in 1936, we have successfully completed thousands of government, commercial and private sector construction projects throughout the United States. Abstract. Safety in the Underground Construction and Operation of the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain. Many sites emphasize classroom-style general safety training, with too few hands-on exercises. Being a part of Team Quanta enhances our ability to provide our clients with an unmatched portfolio of industry related services in engineering, procurement and construction of oil, gas and power infrastructure. DOE's Nevada Operations Office investigation found, for example, that the placement of equipment in the tunnel impeded egress. 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