Initiative to improve standards

Initiative to improve standards
This week, The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster (NTSC) promoted their new initiative, The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Certification. This is a initiative that aims to improve standards for planning, building and operating tunnels, but also improve standards for structural elements and installations including infrastructure, ventilation, lighting, signs, safety equipment, control, monitoring and future Intelligent Transportation Systems.

The Building Information Model (BIM) standard, and BIM object libraries are an important prerequisite in the work, and the work includes to do the necessary steps to adapt each standard to BIM.  

The work will be organised in several resource groups with participants from all across the the industry, including participants from the authorities and other national and international stakeholders and organisations. The resource groups will seek best practice, develop the standards, perform Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) assessments and Health, Environment and Safety (HES) assessments of the standards. Further on the standards will be subject of consultation, revisions and finally approved and implemented at authorities, organisations and in regulations. 

Standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on a collaboration between organisations and companies including road/rail authorities, consultants, contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, but also users and other national and international stakeholders are an important part of the collaboration. In general, standardisation lead to better compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability and quality. Standardisation facilitate innovation because it provides structured methods that makes it easier to disseminate ideas and knowledge about leading technologies and best practices.


Structures and installations today have often weaknesses that affect reliability, availability, maintainability and safety in the tunnels. Tunnels with weaknesses greatly affect costs, lifetime of construction and installations, and in many cases lead to high socio-economic costs in terms of more frequent closures and deviations. In addition, weaknesses could significantly affect safety. It is important to apply best practice, and the Norwegian Tunnels Safety Cluster aims to be in the lead for research, development and improvement in tunnel operations and safety. 


An important part of the work in the Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster is to make sure the results are communicated and presented well in the industry. The standard, and examples of use of the standards, will be available in innovative ways, online, including in a Virtual Reality tunnel and presentation of technology in the new Norwegian Tunnel Safety Centre, planned to be established in Stavanger. 

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