78462 - Excavation Engineering and Safety

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Part One: Criteria and concepts for determination and assessment of risks in construction sites, mines and excavation activities. The course deals with the problems of analysis and design of work safety and protection of the external environment. Aspects of hazard identification and risk analysis in the workplace, accident prevention, evaluation and improvement of environmental hygiene conditions of employment are analyzed from a technical point of view and with reference to regulations, Part Two: The second part of the course will focus on the constitutive and numerical modeling of geomaterials. It will analyze the main constitutive laws for soils and rocks and it will introduce the Finite Element method and the numerical code Plaxis 2D. Practical applications will consist in the analysis of stress and deformation conditions around a circular tunnel and the stability of a slope.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge
Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.
Course Contents
The course deals with the analysis and design of the work safety in mining, construction sites (civil works) and ground consolidation work. The course examines the construction techniques and the equipment used. Aspects of hazard identification and risk analysis, accident prevention, evaluation and improvement of environmental hygiene conditions in the workplace are analysed from a technical point of view and with reference to regulations.
Safety at the workplace: definition of the problem with specific reference to mining and excavation sites. Injury rates. Criteria for the identification of hazards and environmental impacts. Regulatory issues in the field of labour safety and environmental quality: analysis and criteria of correct application of national laws, the EU directives, relevant standards and foreign recommendations. Management systems Safety at Work. Control bodies. Accidents at work: data for the sector. Problems of environmental hygiene: particular aspects for the extractive units of the excavation sites; risk of environmental damage or disturbance. Principles of detection and reduction of pollutants in the working environment (microclimate, noise, vibration, dust and gas). Physical agents. The chemical risk. Examples of application of risk analysis during the tunnel excavation. Risks and organizational measures and the excavation safety. Stability of excavation faces.


National and international safety regulations;

Interregional notes on tunnel safety with the presence of gas;

Interregional safety notes in the underground excavation;

Educational material provided by the teacher.

Lecture notes.

Teaching methods


Seminars on specific topics, involving expert professionals.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a written/oral colloquium. The exam is addressed to evaluate critical and methodological skills gained by the student, who will be invited to discuss the topics covered during the course.

The examination, lasting about 30/60 minutes, is without the aid of notes or books. The test consists normally of three questions on various topics. During the discussion are generally made more in-depth questions. The student's ability to deal with the sources and bibliographical material, necessary to identify the useful information for the assessment of the safety in excavation works, will be particularly appreciated. The oral colloquium The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the lessons, demonstrating mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with a mark of excellence. A more mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and/or correct language but not always appropriate assessments, will lead to a discrete score; training gaps and/or inappropriate language, although in a context of a minimal knowledge of the material, will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will be evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools

Power Point presentations

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Bonduà

See the website of Carlo Cormio