Clever Scaff System Keeps Tunnel Construction on the Low Down

And Cleaner Air for Workers.

Sydney’s roadways are undergoing an unprecedented amount of renewal over the course of 2017 and into 2018, including major freeway upgrades and tunnelling projects, for easier cross-city traffic flow.

For one tunnel section, large turbines are being deployed above ground, for the extraction of debris, dust and other contaminants whilst workers are underground. But to operate these turbines, external factors needed to be considered. Firstly, they are noisy when running, and the surrounding environment needed protecting against noise pollution. And the turbines themselves needed protecting; any abnormal or skewed airflow from naturally occurring breezes can affect the performance of the units.

To control these factors, the contractor commissioned Sydney-based height access and scaffolding supplier SafeSmart Access to come up with a solution.

SafeSmart’s Scope of Works were:

  • Design and engineering of structure
  • Supply and installation of structure
  • Disassembly upon completion of hire period.
  • Ancillary items (fixings, corrugated roof or similar etc)
  • Transport to and from site
  • Drafting of Safe Work Method statement.

To build the temporary structure, SafeSmart utilised their very own Proscaf modular scaffolding and their in-house design team. Proscaf’s configuration flexibility allowed the structure to accommodate the hanging of acoustic barriers for noise attenuation, and to allow big enough gaps within the framework in which the turbines would sit on their mounts, without compromising load-bearing capabilities. Conveniently placed diagonal braces also provided added strength.


For the client’s reassurance, Proscaf comes with an ISO certification. And the ability to setup and tear down the system three times as fast as a standard scaffold, thanks to its unique bolt-free rosette connection points, allows the client to save time and money on site, too. And Proscaf was easier to mechanically anchor to the concrete slab.

The whole system is very stable in high wind situations, and with fully engineered galvanized componentry, it will be more than capable of withstanding constant use over its 75-week deployment. SafeSmart’s Nathan Joyce is hearing good things from the client. “Even though it’s temporary, the unit needed to fit the turbines perfectly and behave almost like a permanent structure,” says Nathan. “When the client heard about Proscaf and its design flexibility, SafeSmart’s commissioning was a no-brainer.”

“The client is extremely happy with the system, and they are already talking about utilising similar SafeSmart-owned systems further along the project.”

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