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This qualification has been developed specifically to meet the needs of the tunnel worker required to enter the compressed air environment on a pressurized tunnel boring machine. This course meets the requirements as specified in the Australian Standard AS4774.1 and is registered as nationally recognized training at Certificate IV level.

Tasks Performed on the Job

Take direction from the Lock Operator and the team leader and support the other team members while in the pressurized environment.
As part of a team prepare the tunnel boring machine (TBM), clean and inspect the excavation tools. This is a very dirty environment and the use of pressurized water jets will be required.

Change the excavation tools as necessary. These tools can weigh up to 110kg and handling requires the use of chain blocks and pneumatic power tools.

Responsibilities and Challenges

The intervention team usually consists of three or four qualified workers who must work together and support each other. The environment is often poorly lit, usually very hot and humid and often restricted in space. The maximum time under pressure will usually not exceed six hours which includes the decompression time.

A hyperbaric tunnel worker must maintain a current hyperbaric medical and first aid certification and abstain from alcohol for a minimum of 12 hours pre and post pressurized intervention.

Highlights and Rewards

If you are not put off by the responsibilities and challenges outlined above, working as a Hyperbaric Tunnel Worker gives you an above average income, the chance of local and international travel, the opportunity to work as a team player and the focus and commitment of completing challenging tasks and mastering high technology on major infrastructure projects.

How to Become a Hyperbaric Tunnel Worker

The prerequisites of becoming a Hyperbaric Tunnel Worker are a current hyperbaric medical certificate, a current first aid certification, an OH&S Construction Induction certificate and project induction.

The ADAS Hyperbaric Tunnel Workers course takes three days and must include training on the actual TBM to be used on the project. Because of this requirement courses are always structured to be completed on the project site.  It is the tunnel constructor who selects the personnel for training.

Career Pathways

Hyperbaric Tunnel Workers are usually full time employees of the construction company for the duration of the job. Having gained the qualification on the job the hyperbaric worker will usually find it much easier to move on to another tunneling project if he has completed this specific training.

A natural progression for an experienced Hyperbaric Tunnel Worker would be to be selected for Lock Operator training.

Thanks to Des Walters of Pressureworx or contributing to this web page.

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