European Tunnel Safety Officers Meet in Rotterdam


Johan Bosch, Leader of ITA COSUF Activity Group 4 (Tunnel Safety Officers) welcoming the participants from 14 European Countries.

More than 50 Tunnel Safety Officers (TSO) and Tunnel Safety Experts from 14 European countries joined the 4th European Tunnel Safety Officers Forum March 9-10 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“This meeting was a great opportunity to support the activities, the exchange of experiences and the network of European Tunnel Safety Officers and also a chance for the dialogue in the European Union,” said Atilla Eordogh, representative of the European Union.

The two-day conference was 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.

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“We connect the right people and help to learn from best practice. That´s the reason why we offer this event,” said Dr. Roland Leucker, Chairman of ITA COSUF. A day before the international event, the ITA COSUF Steering Board and the four Activity Groups (AG) took the chance for internal meetings and up-to-date decisions.


Overview of the Northern Portal of the Maas Tunnel (below) with Ventilation Building (white building, directly at the riverside) and the Entrance Building for pedestrians and cyclists (left side of the Ventilation Building with green roof).

The two-day event was filled with important information about the latest safety trends in Europe with the main topics on “Operating Tunnels Safely during Refurbishment” and “Commissioning and Testing of New and Refurbished Tunnels.” Also, the attendees took the chance to visit the existing Maas Tunnel – which is planned to be refurbished.

The trans-European road network is growing more and more. For this reason, the European Union decided in 2004 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 Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities (COSUF) of ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association) was founded with four 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.

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