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Ind Health. 2015;53(6):517-21. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2014-0226. Epub 2015 May 29.

Analysis of labour accidents in tunnel construction and introduction of prevention measures.

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Construction Safety Research Group, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan.


At present, almost all mountain tunnels in Japan are excavated and constructed utilizing the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), which was advocated by Prof. Rabcewicz of Austria in 1964. In Japan, this method has been applied to tunnel construction since around 1978, after which there has been a subsequent decrease in the number of casualties during tunnel construction. However, there is still a relatively high incidence of labour accidents during tunnel construction when compared to incidence rates in the construction industry in general. During tunnel construction, rock fall events at the cutting face are a particularly characteristic of the type of accident that occurs. In this study, we analysed labour accidents that possess the characteristics of a rock fall event at a work site. We also introduced accident prevention measures against rock fall events.

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