Focusing on tunnel refurbishment safety 12 Jan 2016

ITA-COSUF News Release

Operating tunnels safely during refurbishment, and the commissioning and testing of new and refurbished tunnels, will be the main focus of the fourth European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers.

The two-day event, to be held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, is organised by the ITA’s Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities (COSUF) in cooperation with the World Road Association (PIARC) and the European Commission.

Participants of the 3rd European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers in Luxembourg
Participants of the 3rd European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers in Luxembourg

Joining ITA COSUF is very easy, and applicants do not need to be an ITA member. COSUF welcomes both corporate and individual members.

Participants arriving on 8 March, a day ahead of the main conference, can attend an informal meeting of Tunnel Safety Officers at 7:30pm. Registration for the main Forum begins on 9 March at 9am. After a welcome address and introductions, the event will start at 9:30am.

During the two days participants will have the opportunity to visit the Maas and Velser tunnels, which are currently being renovated. Registered participants will receive additional information in order to facilitate their arrival in Rotterdam.

COSUF Activity Group 4

The trans-European road network is growing. For this reason, the European Union decided on 29 April 2004, via Directive 2004/54/EC, to create the position of a Tunnel Safety Officer to ensure minimum safety requirements for tunnels in Europe. In 2005 the first Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities (COSUF) of the ITA 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 via its biannual Forum, and for the development of best practice.

Programme Details

The Forum, which takes place on 9–10 March (2016) in Rotterdam, is open for Safety Officers from all over Europe. Those who have been appointed according to European Directive 2004/54/EC can join the Forum free of charge. Prior registration is compulsory, and attendees must indicate their name, company, email address and the tunnel(s) they are concerned with. Registration should be completed no later than 23 February 2016, via email, to

For the latest information on the Forum programme go to:

From humble beginnings in 2005, COSUF now consists of approximately 80 corporate member organisations and companies from 25 countries all over the world, and is also supported by the influential World Road Association (PIARC).

The very first European Forum of Road Tunnel Safety Officers met in Lyon, France, in 2009, and comprised more than 45 Safety Officers from 18 member states. A second European Forum followed in Brussels in 2012, with the most recent gathering taking place in 2014 in Luxembourg under the theme “Tunnel Safety: A Joint Effort.”

The main topics of interest of COSUF’s Activity Group 4 are the maintenance and refurbishment of tunnels during operation, the roles and responsibilities of the emergency services, the degradation of tunnels, minimal operational safety requirements, and best practice in tunnel safety documentation. The scope of COSUF is safety and security in all kinds of tunnels and underground facilities currently in operation.


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