Non-bolted Heavy Duty Edge Protection for Tunnel Construction

Melbourne’s rail network is being enhanced with the Metro Tunnel Project, which will bring more trains to suburbs across the city. The station and tunnel construction projects have many unique challenges throughout works in the many caverns under Melbourne.

One such challenge encountered by the Cross Yarra Partnership was a large open penetration that was needed for crane access but required construction workers to be close to its edge. In addition, a non-bolted edge protection solution was required for fast removal and had to be robust enough to protect workers from the void.

Reaching out to SafeSmart Access, CYP utilised AdaptaPanel, the revolutionary post and panel edge protection system. With a few modifications to suit site conditions, the upgrade to the 2 metres high, fortress-strong AdaptaPanels provided enhanced safety without interfering in site operations such as crane lifts.


Modifications to AdaptaPanel. How?

To make the AdaptaPanel posts suitable, SafeSmart added spigots to slide onto steel sleeves pre-cast into the concrete surface. Heavy-duty mesh panels could then be lifted onto the sliding safety latches with ease and efficiency – requiring 100% no bolts.

When needed, the panels can be quickly removed with the posts simply lifting out of their sleeves and granting access for crane lifts. With no need for bolting or any other permanent fixtures, this non-bolted edge protection solution is fast and easy to install, remove and store – making it perfect for use in the Metro Tunnel Project where large open penetrations are necessary.

For tunnel construction projects, the AdaptaPanel solution provided many features and benefits that include:

  • – Fast installation – posts can be quickly slotted into place, with no need for bolting or other permanent fixtures.
  • – Removable – The panels can be quickly removed for any construction activities, including crane access.
  • – Robust – fortress-strong design provides maximum safety for workers close to the edge.
  • – Ease of use – mesh panels clip onto posts with sliding safety latches, making it easy for workers to use.
  • – Compliant – Designed to meet relevant design and load requirements of AS4994.1:2009 and AS1657:2018.

With the new system in place, workers at Metro Tunnel Project sites could be confident that they would not encounter any safety risks or issues with open penetrations, even in a high-pressure and fast-paced construction environment.

With the system in place, CYP could continue working on the open penetration safely and without interruption. The AdaptaPanel solution can provide the same benefits and features for other tunnel construction projects, ensuring worker safety without sacrificing site productivity.

AdaptaPanel Edge Protection

The modular design and ease of installation make the AdaptaPanel system perfect for difficult site conditions. The Cross Yarra Partnership found that it was easily modified to suit their unique needs, but even without those customisation options, the system is a great, robust solution.

Posts bolt near the slab edge, and slide-on panels are secured with a sliding safety latch. Each heavy-duty mesh panel and post is available in various sizes to fulfil site requirements and dimensions.

Panels can be stacked for easy storage and transportation when not in use. With no need for bolting or any other permanent fixtures, the system is fast and easy to install, remove and store.

The SafeSmart Access team provides on-site consultation to assess your specific edge protection needs and provide a tailored solution that meets your requirements – ensuring safety compliance without hindering site operations. For more information about our edge protection systems, please visit or call 02 8844 4500 today.

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