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January 21, 2020

 Road tunnels and technology in an operational perspective
Arild Petter Sovik, Tunntech Global News

Tunnel safety officers sharing best practices Featured

Written by  May 09, 2018

The theme of The Tunnel Safety Officers forum 17th – 18th May 2018 is From historical events to future trends and the main purpose is to review the aspects of the Tunnel Safety Officers (TSO’s) role by sharing good practices and lessons learned.

This quite popular event are fully booked and due to good reviews from earlier events and early registrations from TSO’s and experts from the industry. The forum will review the legal position and challenges of TSO’s, a presentation and open discussion on TSO Guidelines prepared by AG4, a site visit to project Madrid Calle 30 Tunnels and an open discussion on significant Tunnel Incidents, lessons learned and improvements. 

There is a great demand of high quality knowledge exchange and networking for Tunnel Safety Officers in Europe. The 5th European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers opens an opportunity to learn from best practice and connect the right people. The two-day event is organized by the ITA Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities (COSUF) in co-operation with the World Road Association (PIARC) and the European Commission.

Platform for Road Tunnel Safety Officers in Europe

The trans-European road network is growing more and more. For this reason, the European Union decided on 29th April 2004 with the Directive 2004/54/EC to create the position of a Tunnel Safety Officer to make sure that a minimum of safety requirements for tunnels in Europe will exist. In 2005, the first Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities (COSUF) of ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association) was founded with 4 Activity Groups. Group 4 - Road Tunnel Safety Officers - aims to be the platform for European Tunnel Safety Officers to exchange experiences through its biannual forum and for development of best practices.

The first European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers from 4th to 5th November 2009 in Lyon (France) was co-organized by COSUF, CETU, PIARC and the European Commission. More than 45 Safety Officers from 18 member states exchanged information, evaluated first operational experiences and compared role and duty interpretation of the Safety Officer. After this first event COSUF Activity Group 4 Tunnel Safety Officers (TSO) started further action. By doing so, COSUF acknowledges that most of the functions and tasks assigned to the Safety Officer by the EU Tunnel Directive can only be achieved by a qualitative approach, making exchanges between Safety Officers of paramount importance.

The second European Forum on 18th January 2012 in Brussel (Belgium) was organized - with additional important topics - to discuss guidelines as a complement to the Safety Officers tasks and functions prescribed in the EU-directive.

The third forum took place from 27th to 28th March 2014 in Luxembourg (Luxembourg) with the theme "Tunnel Safety: a joint Effort".

The fourth forum was dedicated to the main topics "Operating Tunnels Safely during Refurbishment" and "Commissioning and Testing of New and Refurbished Tunnels", and included a site visit to the Maas Tunnel – which was planned to be refurbished.

Activity Groups of COSUF

All COSUF members are encouraged to take part in at least one Activity Group (AG). However, AG4 is reserved for Road Tunnel Safety Officers appointed according to the EU Directive 2004/54/EC and a few other reference members appointed by the AG4 leader. Only COSUF members can take part in the AG activities. Exceptions can be allowed by the COSUF Steering Board (SB), e.g. to allow the participation of experts or representatives of other organizations. AG leaders are appointed by and report to the SB in which they also take part in the activities. Activity Groups normally meet twice a year, if possible in conjunction with a COSUF event (e.g. a workshop).

Centre of Excellence

ITA COSUF is the first committee of the ITA, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, founded in 2005. It is the Centre of Excellence consisting of approx. 80 corporate member organisations and companies from 25 countries all over the world. The World Road Association PIARC is also supporting ITA COSUF. Since the very first beginning COSUF is a platform for communication on operational safety and security in underground facilities. Only the best specialists in the field of tunnelling are discussing in four different activity groups about the latest developments.

Website: www.ita-cosuf.org 


Last modified on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 09:37
Arild Petter Sovik

Editor, Tunntech Global News

E-mail:  arild.sovik@tunntech.no
Phone:  +47 950 88 793


News coverage based on many years of experience from key positions in the industry. Former National Tunnel Manager at the road authorities (NO), senior principal development manager at a major tunnel contractor company (NO) and experience from a wide number of activities in national and international networks. 


Website: www.sovikconsulting.no
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