Exchange knowledge

Develop and maintain a network to exchange knowledge


Facilitate cooperation

Develop and maintain a network to facilitate cooperation worldwide


Team work & research

Develop and maintain a network to facilitate the creation of dedicated teams and groups to perform specific (research or other) activities


Funding and promoting support

Develop and maintain a network to enhance research and development activities through combining of national, European and international funding and support


Fostering innovation

Promote safety and security by fostering innovation


Raising awareness

Promote safety and security by raising awareness of current and newly-developed safety and security issues amongst decision makers, professional end-users, financers, risk managers, international forums and other stakeholders


Supporting development

Promote safety and security by supporting the development of improved regulations and standards regarding safety and security of underground facilities in operation

Activity group 1

INTERACTION WITH EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES. Keeps contact with other external institutions, groups and projects in order to receive relevant information, to cooperate and give information about activities.

Activity Group 2

REGULATIONS & BEST PRACTICE. Covers regulations, the state-of-the-art and best-practices internationally. This includes discussion and comparison of regulations, norms, standards and best-practice procedures from different owners, networks, projects and the experience gained by them.

Activity Group 3

RESEARCH & NEW FINDINGS. Provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge in the scope of underground safety and security by bringing together the key stakeholders from academia, authorities and industry. Topics include the discussion on the research results, new findings, innovations and potential new research topics.

Activity Group 4

ROAD TUNNEL SAFETY OFFICERS. Aims to be the Platform for European tunnel safety Officers for Exchange of experiences through its biannual Forum and Development of best practices.

Tunnel Safety Officer (TSO) forum in Rotterdam, March 2016

The TSO forum, meetings of Activity Groups and the Steering Board were organized by the Rijkswaterstaat and ITA COSUF. The first day was reserved for internal meetings of the ITA COSUF Steering Board and the four Activity Groups. The second and third day was well-filled with presentation and networking between Tunnel safety officers and tunnel safety experts from all over Europe. The site visit went to the Maastunnel in Rotterdam.

More than 50 Tunnel Safety Officers (TSO) and Tunnel Safety Experts from 14 European countries joined the 4th European Tunnel Safety Officers Forum from 9th to 10th of March 2016 in Rotterdam (The 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," emphasized Atilla Eordogh, representative of the European Union, the major importance of the very well-prepared event.

The two-day conference was organized by the ITA COSUF in co-operation with the World Road Association (PIARC) and the European Commission. "We connect the right people and help to learn from best practice. That´s the reason why we offer an event like that," explained Dr. Roland Leucker, Chairman of ITA COSUF, the intention of the Forum. A day before the international event the ITA COSUF Steering Board and the four Activi-ty Groups (AG) took the chance for internal meetings and up-to-date decisions.

The two-day event was dedicated to the main topics "Operating Tunnels Safely during Refurbishment" and "Commissioning and Testing of New and Refurbished Tunnels". A site visit to the Maas Tunnel – which is planned to be refurbished – was included.

After short welcome addresses of the representatives of the organizing entities, John Wheeler presented how a tunnel can be safely managed during refurbishment. Several experiences were shared and Frank Embert-Kreiser did it extensively with the noise prevention works under running traffic of the A1 Tunnel in Cologne-Lövenich. Especially the details of emergency plans which need to function while systems are changed and ad-ditional live monitoring on site were discussed. The second topic "Long-term tunnel operation below minimal operating requirements", presented by André Stein, was complemented with the A7 Tunnel case, explained by Georg Mayer. Discussions rose about the questions, how to deal with the missing or only partially working ven-tilation and about the measurements to be taken and to be changed in the different phases of the refurbish-ment.

Ahead of the Maas Tunnel visit in the afternoon the participants were welcomed at the "Euromast" by the city of Rotterdam, owner of the Maas Tunnel, the oldest road tunnel in the Netherlands – and a listed monument. To refurbish this monument, particular safety challenges have to be faced. The visit included the control centre, the ventilation building and the original escalators.

During the second day of the forum it appeared that the role of the TSO in procedures for commissioning and testing becomes more and more important. This presented topic was lively discussed. Unfortunately one key-note speaker could not attend the forum, but that gave Johan Bosch the opportunity to provide insight in the Heinenoord Tunnel accident development. A very confronting video footage showed how longitudinal ventila-tion contributes to safety and the extent on how instructions can influence mostly irrational human behaviour. Further cases taught how different tests, inspections and exercises can be planned. The importance of software development strategy for commissioning and testing was shown and it was explained how the work of TSOs can be organised in a large tunnel network. The highly skilled presentations were held by Lukas Rakosnik, Ron van den Ende, Corinne Chiodini and last but not least Johan Bosch, Leader of COSUF Activity Group 4 (Road Tunnel Safety Officers), who gave some detailed information about the activities of this group.

Finally, as an "add-on" for the remaining attendees after the official closure, the speech of Ron van den Ende about the refurbishment of the Velser Tunnel demonstrated the benefits of BIM (Building Information Management) in combination with SE (Systems Engineering) including interface management, construction phase, operations and maintenance. After a very successful meeting, profound presentations, an interesting site visit and comprehensive opportuni-ties for networking all participants and presenters appreciated that the preparations for the next European Tunnel Safety Officer Forum in 2018 just started with switching off the lights of the last presentation.

Read more (about the invitation)

Read more (press release)












What is ITA COSUF?

ITA COSUF is the Centre of Excellence for world-wide exchange of information and know-how regarding operational safety and security of underground facilities.

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ITA COSUF can play an important role in the underground safety community as it covers all underground facilities and is not focusing on a particular type: it can deal with overlaps and differences (cross-fertilization) and draw general views/lessons.

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PIARC is dedicated to public bodies, UIC to railway organisations, UITP mainly to transport authorities and operators, while ITA COSUF is open to all kinds of members (authorities, consultants, research, industry, contractors, safety officers, etc.): it can gather a variety of views.

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The platform for communication

IITA COSUF is the platform for communication on operational safety and security in underground facilities, i.e. the network to make all players meet, exchange their views and share their experience.

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Recent activities

 Report of the 6th Bi-Annual Tunnel Safety Officers Forum in Bruxelles (30/6 - 1/7/2022) available 


Click here: ITA COSUF workshops as part of WTC 2022 in Copenhagen (2-8 september 2022)

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