Refuge Chambers for Tunnelling Construction
- TunnelSAFE Refuge Chambers

Emergency refuge forms an integral part of a tunnelling project’s wider Emergency Response Plan (ERP). In emergencies where personnel become trapped without adequate ventilation and evacuation is no longer safe or practical, refuge chambers are designed to provide a secure ‘go-to’ area for personnel to gather and await extraction.

TunnelSAFE chambers can be built to comply with European Standard (EN 16191:2014) Safety Requirements for Tunnelling Machinery, the British Standard (BS 6164:2011) Code of Practice for Health and Safety in Tunnelling in the Construction Industry, and the ITA’s “Guidelines for the Provision of Refuge Chambers Under Construction”.

Gantry Mounted Chamber
- TunnelSAFE Gantry Design

The TunnelSAFE Gantry Design Refuge Chamber is installed at the rear of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), providing a fixed safe refuge solution for the life of the tunnelling project.

  • Installed on TBM gantry
  • Aura-FX
  • 10-24 people

Rail Mounted Chamber
- TunnelSAFE Rail Design

The TunnelSAFE Rail Design can be rail mounted or fixed to a tunnelling project’s existing rescue train; providing a portable safe haven for personnel during routine maintenance.

  • Mounted on rail trolley
  • Aura-FX
  • 10-24 people

Multi-Service Vehicle Chamber
- TunnelSAFE MSV Design

The TunnelSAFE MSV Design is engineered to be mounted to a multi-service vehicle; providing a portable safe haven for tunnelling personnel during routine inspections & maintenance.

  • Mounted to multi-service vehicle
  • Aura-FX
  • 10-24 people

Drill & Blast Standard -
TunnelSAFE Standard Design

The TunnelSAFE Standard Design Refuge Chamber is designed for drill and blast tunnelling operations. It can be easily positioned and repositioned; providing an adaptable safe refuge solution for the life of the project.

  • Drill and blast applications
  • CAMS & Aura-FX
  • 8-20 people

Drill & Blast Narrow -
TunnelSAFE Narrow Design

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber is designed for drill and blast tunnelling operations. It features a narrow shell at 1.9m wide, while still providing ample internal space for a range of occupancies.

  • Narrow shell for drill and last applications
  • CAMS & Aura-FX
  • 12-24 people

Drill & Blast Slim -
TunnelSAFE Slim Line Design

The TunnelSAFE Slim Line Refuge Chamber is designed for drill and blast tunnelling operations. It features the slimmest shell in the range at 1.6m wide, designed specifically to accommodate tight tunnelling confines.

  • Very slim shell for drill and blast applications
  • CAMS & Aura-FX
  • 12-24 people

Rescue Vehicle
- TunnelSAFE

Designed to provide mobile refuge for tunnel personnel trapped in a hazardous or toxic environment.

  • Designed for the tunnelling environment
  • To be integrated with a Multi-Service Vehicle

High Temperature Chamber
- TunnelSAFE ArcTIC

Designed to be a refuge for underground workers in trapped in  hazardous,  high temperature environments.

  • Withstands 100°C to 300°C
  • CAMS & Aura-FX
  • 8-24 person

Norwegian Tunnelling Chamber - TunnelSAFE Nordic Design

The Nordic Chamber is designed for safe refuge of tunnelling personnel, to meet specifications outlined in the Norwegian Tunnelling Handbook.

  • Custom yellow paint
  • Reinforced skid base
  • Rear blast shield

Underground construction and tunnel design have several known risks. Hazards common to such work include exposure to air contaminants, fire, and other emergencies. Mitigation against these dangers consists of the provision of refuge chambers to provide a safe ‘go-to’ area. All risks must be taken into account when managing safety underground.  

As with tunnel design, refuge chambers can be customised to fit the applicable industry standards and requirements of the project. When a traditional option is not appropriate, thinking outside the box can result in better quality and better safety management.  MineARC Engineers will work alongside our clients to ensure the supplied shelters meet the needs of the project as well as provide exceptional safety measures.

Comparison Table

Name Capacity * ITA/BS EN Compliance ** Aura-FX Gas monitoring CAMS Gantry Mobile Portable 24hrs Battery Backup
TunnelSAFE Standard Design 8-20
TunnelSAFE Crescent Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE MSV Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Gantry Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Narrow Design 12-24
TunnelSAFE Rail Design 10-24
TunnelSAFE Slim Line 12-24
  • * Capacity Every refuge chamber is built with a certain rated occupancy in mind. The life support systems are designed to safely house this number of people for the designated duration.
  • ** ITA/BS EN Compliance MineARC’s TunnelSAFE Refuge Chambers can be built to comply with British Standard (BS EN 16191:2014) Safety Requirements for Tunnelling Machinery and the ITA’s “Guidelines for the Provision of Refuge Chambers Under Construction.