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.

Geneva June 2013

The ITA COSUF Workshop on Complex Underground Multipurpose Facilities: Safety Challenges and Solutions was organised by ITA COSUF as part of the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress 2013 at the Centre International de Conférences in Geneva.

The meeting room was a lecture theatre of an impressive size at the hearth of the building. After a warm welcome on behalf of ITA COSUF chairman Didier Lacroix two key note lectures followed. Both lectures were focussed on new areas of interest for the COSUF community. The first one was on operational safe-ty in the underground facilities of a deep geological dis-posal of nuclear waste by Denis De Winter. In this lecture two apparently divergent approaches for safety analysis were addressed. Fire barriers and confinement to pre-vent contamination by dangerous products on the one hand, and smoke extraction to allow evacuation of per-sons and action of firemen in the excavations deep under the ground on the other hand. Then the second key-note lecture on safety of CERN’s underground research complex was presented by Fabio Corsanego. In this lecture the control of cryogenic spill and fire caused by a lay-out of kilometers of cable was outlined.

In the afternoon good examples of general fire safety strategies of complex underground multipurpose facili-ties were demonstrated. Bo Wahlström presented the Slussen project in Stockholm where metros lines, à commuters train, an end station and a road tunnel meet bus garages and shopping centres. And then Bernard Falconnat showed PIARC’s first results on complex underground road networks. Götz Vollmann promoted a holistic approach for assessing the need for and the efficiency of specific measures of a multipurpose facility. A safe design or a systemic upgrade will enable transparent and traceable decisions. Niels Peter Høj and Matthias Schubert showed the benefits of RAMS analyses of complex technical systems in underground facilities; a more robust system design (maximize availability) and more safety for users. The theme of the last session was dealing with numerous people underground. Marco Bettelini underlined the importance of combining emergency management concepts with innovative Information and communication technology. Hereto the results of the EMILI project (Emergency Management in Large Infrastructures) were presented. Max Kinateder presented field and virtual reality studies on human behaviour in severe tunnel acci-dents. He concluded that virtual reality behavioural training may improve tunnel evacuation and noticed that social Influence may have both positive and negative effects in the evacuation process. Finally, results from the METRO project on fire safety in metro trains and stations were presented by Daniel Nilsson. Between the sessions, there was lively discussion by all participants.

At the end of the Workshop ITA COSUF Chairman handed over the ITA COSUF Award 2013. The award consists of a medal, a certificate and prize money and is granted once a year to a young re-searcher who has contributed in consid-erable manner to the development of the safety of underground facilities. This year, the award was handed over to Enricho Ronchi for his contribution in the area of Evacuation Modelling in Road Tunnel Fires combining various evacuation mod-els to increase the reliability of predic-tions regarding human behaviour, vali-dated by tests. We congratulate Enricho for his exceptional work. 











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)

Interested to sign up for ITA COSUF membership ?

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 An excellent opportunity to be a part of a network and meet colleagues and experts to share and learn more about safety engineering and operations in underground facilities. 

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