Analysis of work accidents and occupational diseases in tunnelling as a support for risk management

J.P. Couto, M. Tender


This article is a contribution to close the scientific gap due to the lack of statistical data on accidents at work and occupational diseases in tunnelling. The characterization of the most typical events, understanding the cause of their occurrence, is of great importance for their prevention and for determining the existing hazards. This will allow the events analysis to gain more space as a tool for risk analysis, through the already established added value of learning from past events and mistakes.  Thus, it is possible to study in due time potential causes of harmful events that may occur. With these advantages, companies can improve their risk assessments and control their costs. This article analyses statistically, using Eurostat variables, the most typical accidents at work and occupational diseases in tunnelling in Portugal, comparing them with other types of construction, using the same indicators. It starts by presenting an overview of accidents at work and occupational diseases in tunnelling worldwide, describing their impact. Afterwards, it presents statistical data from the Portuguese construction and tunnelling sectors, using the data from 150 accidents at work and 42 cases of occupational diseases in tunnelling to compare with construction, showing why tunnelling is so specific.


Accidents; prevention; diseases; tunneling; Portugal



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