Mock Evacuations for Underground Works

TPMD’s specialist workforce is working underground to repair and upgrade tunnels constructed more than a century ago through the chalk. With some more than 10-metres below the surface, these tunnels form Ramsgate and Broadstairs’ original sewer network.

No one goes underground unless they are qualified to do so. Part of this specialist training is knowing what to do if there is an incident or accident while working in these high-risk environments. To keep these essential skills up-to-date, TPMD carries out unannounced mock evacuations, simulating a possible real-life scenario. ​

To minimise disruption to those around us, the teams work from existing manholes. This has the benefit of reducing our site footprint but gives us additional health and safety challenges as access and egress is limited to one point.

Recently, our team working in Cannonbury Road, Ramsgate, were surprised by an accident scenario requiring a casualty to be removed by stretcher from one of the tunnels. The experienced team carried out a textbook rescue with the casualty having been brought to the surface within 10 minutes.

Throughout the drill, gas levels were also relayed from the team below-ground to those on the surface.

Between August 2018 and June 2019, TPMD has worked more than 130,000 ‘safe’ hours delivering Southern Water’s £30 million sewer upgrade.

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Entry submitted by TPMD


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