Skip to Main Content

This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at
Subchapter 20. Tunnel Safety Orders
Article 4. Safety Precautions
Return to index
New query

§8410. General Safety Precautions.

(a) The employer shall ensure that every reasonable effort is taken for the safety of employees, whether or not provided for in these orders.

(b) All dangerous places shall be properly fenced off, covered over or otherwise safeguarded to control access to all openings to prevent unauthorized entry underground.

(c) No person shall be required to work in an unsafe place except for the purpose of making it safe, and then only under direct supervision and after all necessary precautions have been taken to protect him/her while doing such work.

(d) At least one designated person shall be on duty outside of all tunnels whenever anyone is working underground. This person's duties shall not interfere with his/her ability to secure aid for those persons underground in case of emergency.

(e) No person shall be permitted to use or possess any intoxicating liquors or drugs at any place of employment where these safety orders apply. When any person is known or suspected of being under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drugs, he/she shall not be permitted to enter or remain on the job site.

(f) Strangers or visitors shall not be allowed to enter any place where these safety orders apply, unless they are accompanied by a person designated by the employer.

(g) A check-in/check-out procedure or other method shall be provided at the surface that will ensure that aboveground personnel can accurately determine the number and identity of individuals underground in case of an emergency.

(h) Solitary employment in tunnels is prohibited where hazardous conditions exist, unless an effective means of communication has been established.

(i) Bars used for scaling and those used for loading at chutes shall be blunt on one end and maintained in good condition.

(j) All spikes or nails projecting from lumber lying in working areas or passageways shall be bent down or removed.

(k) Unnecessary accumulations of muck, timber, rails and similar materials shall be avoided underground, particularly in areas at shaft stations and between the track and the sides of tunnels.

(l) Gunite, shotcrete, and concrete pump lines shall be secured against displacement and provided with safety devices to prevent accidental uncoupling of sections when pressurized.

(m) When a 3/4-inch (inside diameter) or larger air hose is used, a safety chain, excess flow valve, or other equivalent safety device shall be attached to the hose to prevent the hose from whipping in the event of an accidental disconnection.

(n) Oncoming shifts shall be informed of any hazardous occurrences or conditions that have affected or might affect employee safety, including liberation of gas, equipment failures, earth or rock slides, cave-ins, floodings, fires or explosions.

(o) The employer shall establish and maintain direct communications for the coordination of activities with other employers whose operations at the jobsite affect the safety of employees underground.

(p) A caution sign reading "Buried Line" or similar wording or equivalent method of identification shall be posted where air, fuel or utility lines are buried or otherwise hidden by water or debris.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 142.3 and 7997, Labor Code.


1. Amendment of section heading, subsections (a)-(l), new subsections (n)-(p) and new Note filed 3-5-96; operative 4-4-96 (Register 96, No. 10).

Go BackGo Back to Tunnel Safety Orders, Article 4 Table of Contents