TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber is designed for drill and blast tunnelling operations. This portable refuge chamber has been engineered to feature a narrow shell, and can be easily positioned and repositioned; providing an ongoing, adaptable safe refuge solution for the life of the tunnelling project.

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design (ND) Refuge Chamber offers an ideal solution for projects involving feeder tunnels and single-entry development headings, including sub-surface railway stations, hydro-power stations and other complex tunnel networks.

TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber


MineARC's TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber is highly customisable to suit any tunnelling project and can be built to comply with British Standard (BS EN 16191:2014) Safety Requirements for Tunnelling Machinery or the ITA's "Guidelines for the Provision of Refuge Chambers Under Construction".

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber features a narrow shell at 1.9m wide, while still providing ample internal space for a range of occupancies - from 12 to 24 people. It's dimensions and rated occupancy can be custom-engineered to project specifications, without compromising on safety or performance.


Model Occupancy Compliance Height (m) Width (m) Length (m) Weight (kg)
TS-ND6-12-ELV-24-I 12-Person ITA 2.00 1.90 5.60 5250
TS-ND4-12-ELV-24-E 12-Person BS EN 2.00 1.90 7.24 6668
TS-ND7-16-ELV-24-I 16-Person ITA 2.00 1.90 6.70 6200
TS-ND8-16-ELV-24-E 16-Person BS EN 2.00 1.90 8.80 7550
TS-ND5-20-ELV-24-I 20-Person ITA 2.00 1.90 8.44 7348
TS-ND9-20-ELV-24-E 20-Person BS EN 2.00 1.90 10.40 8400
TS-ND8-24-ELV-24-I 24-Person ITA 2.00 1.90 8.80 7550
TS-ND10-24-ELV-24-E 24-Person BS EN 2.00 1.90 11.90 8900
  • Self-regenerative ELV CO and CO2 scrubbing
  • Medical O2 regulator and backup
  • Compressed Air Management System (CAMS)
  • Positive pressure maintenance system with visual reference
  • Audio visual warning for pneumatic disruption
  • Aura-FX Digital Gas Monitoring
  • Air conditioning and dehumidifying
  • 5mm steel plate construction with reflective signage
  • Water based fire extinguisher (optional for non-Australian orders)
  • Full UPS 24hr battery backup system
  • Ergonomically designed seating
  • Radio power supply
  • External strobe lighting; internal fluorescent lighting
  • GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring
  • Custom dimensions and transport configurations
  • Blast shield protection (reinforced construction)
  • Fully flushing, pressurised airlock
  • Misting system for external temperature control
  • Satellite UPS System
  • First aid kit
  • Internal LCD monitor screen
  • Step-down transformer
  • Carbon Monoxide Safety-Off-System (COSOS)
  • Remote video camera monitoring
  • Intrinsically safe MARCis Scrubber
  • Automated Oxygen Delivery System (AODS)

Chamber Exterior – Front

The ‘face’ of the refuge chamber is designed primarily for easy identification and quick access during an emergency.

The strobe lighting, warning siren and reflective signage alert passers-by to the chamber’s location, whilst the rotating door handles provide simple, straight forward access to the safety of the interior.

Chamber Interior

Inside a TunnelSAFE Narrow Design Refuge Chamber, a number of vital life-support systems combine to create a safe, ongoing environment for occupants. Systems include; primary and secondary air (oxygen) supplies, air conditioning systems, positive pressure systems, electrical systems, gas detection and a chemical scrubbing system.

The TunnelSAFE Narrow Design uses active chemicals and MineARC's ELV (extra-low-voltage) Scrubbing System to ‘scrub’ the build up of harmful CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide) from the air inside the refuge chamber.

Chamber Exterior – Rear

A secure cabinet at the rear of the TunnelSAFE Narrow Design houses the refuge chamber’s UPS battery back up (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The UPS is a fail-safe system that can power the refuge chamber’s internal life support systems for a minimum of 24hrs, should mine power become cut-off.

Also at the rear of the chamber is the Compressed Air Management System (CAMS), which allows regulated compressed air into the refuge chamber when the pressure inside drops below 200Pa. This process optimises mine air usage and guarantees against over-pressurisation of the refuge chamber. CAMS' gas toxicity monitor automatically diverts compressed air if oxygen levels in the airline fall below a set level (18% oxygen in free air), signifying air contamination. Additionally, the incorporated flood protection valve automatically shuts down compressed air to avoid catastrophic and costly chamber damage in the event of water ingress.

Comparison Table

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