Compressed Air Work: Experience with the use of German TBG O2 Decompression Tables

Compressed air work – initially used in caissons for bridge foundations or tunnels completely excavated under compressed air conditions – has also become standard in TBM tunnelling in the last decades. As air only decompression had caused several cases of decompression illness (DCI) in the past, work in compressed air and the decompression procedures had to be reassessed. As a result oxygen decompression was implemented into the decompression procedure.


Oxygen decompression is beneficial for a faster exchange of nitrogen which is dissolved in the exposed operative. 100% Oxygen is administered at the pressure levels of 1.0 bar and 0.5 bar via a breathing mask. The higher amount of physically solved oxygen in the blood serum and body tissues helps for a better outcome after nitrogen partial saturation of the exposed individual worker. Because of the beneficial effect, oxygen application in compressed air work (CAW) became legal standard in the German regulation “Verordnung über Arbeiten in Druckluft (DruckLV)” in 1997.


Related articles:

Issue 2014-02 Work Safety

Digital Data Recording for Compressed Air Work

The German company HydroWork GmbH has developed the novel mobile automation system CAIS (Compress Air Intervention System). It uses digital recording technology to record precise data required in...

Issue 2011-07 Switzerland

Development and Lowering of the Lucerne Zentralbahn

The metre-gauge Zentralbahn (zb) is being provided with a more efficient infrastructure with several tunnels in Lucerne in the form of a twin-track development and lowering the station facility. In...

Issue 2019-05

Danger Potential from Hoses with Modern High-Pressure Compressors

On some European construction sites, there have been a number of accidents in the last two years involving the connection of hoses to high-pressure compressors – sometimes with serious injuries. This...

Issue 2008-08 Switzerland

Thun Flood Relief Tunnel, Part 2 – Compressed Air Operations with the Hydro-Shield Method

Need for Compressed Air Work In the case of the hydro-shield method accesses for the recovery of obstacles, which cannot be removed by means of the cutting wheel as well as for checking and replacing...

Issue 2009-05 Formwork Technology

External Vibrators for the Engelberg and Turtmann Tunnels

The existing Zentralbahn route between the locations of Grafenort and Engelberg in Switzerland possesses extremely steep gradients and thus only low travelling seeds are possible. As a result a...