Lausanne (CH), 7 January 2016. There is a great demand of high quality knowledge exchange and networking for Tunnel Safety Officers in Europe. The 4th European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers from 9th to 10th March 2016 in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) 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.
Registration latest 23rd February 2016
The Forum is open for Safety Officers from all over Europe and those which are appointed according to Directive 2004/54/EC have the chance to join the Forum free of charge. The conference will be held in English. Prior registration is compulsory and must indicate name, company, email address and concerned tunnel(s). Registration should be made as soon as possible by sending the asked details not later than 23rd February 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
First programme details
For participants arriving on 8th March 2016 an informal meeting for Tunnel Safety Officers is organized at 19:30 hours. Registration for the Forum begins on 9th March 2016, 9:00 am. Welcome addresses and introduction starts at 9:30 am. The presentations will have the topics
– Operating tunnels safely during refurbishment
– Commissioning and testing of new and refurbished tunnels
Every session with various presenters will be introduced by a key note speaker and time for discussion with exchange of experiences is planned. During the two days the participants may visit job sites of Maas and Velser Tunnel, which are actually under renovation. Registered participants will receive additional information in order to facilitate their arrival in Rotterdam. The latest information on the programme will be available on http://www.ita-cosuf.org
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”.
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).
The main topics of interest in Activity Group 4 are maintenance and refurbishing during operation, role and responsibility of emergency services, degrading of tunnels and failures, minimal operation requirements and best practices on tunnel safety documentation. The scope of COSUF is safety and security in all kinds of tunnels and underground facilities in operation. During the 4th Forum time will be spent on identifying new and pressing topics.
Joining ITA COSUF is very easy. It´s not needed to be an ITA member and for this reason COSUF welcomes corporate and individual members.
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.
Figure 1: Participants of the 3rd European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers from 27th to 28th March 2014 in Luxembourg
Figure 2: Control Station of the Markus Tunnel in Luxembourg equipped with an Alarm Management System