Road Tunnels Manual

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2.2. Safety elements and integrated approach

Safety is not the simple adoption of all possible safety measures but is the consequence of a balance between the forecast risk factors and the safety measures.

With the establishment and development of international regulations, recommendations and guidelines, there is a need for a framework within which all aspects of tunnel safety are taken into account. Such a framework may contain the following principal elements:

  • Safety level criteria (regulations & recommendations)
  • Infrastructure and operational measures
  • Socio-economic and cost-benefit criteria
  • Safety assessment techniques (safety analysis and evaluation)
  • Road tunnel usage
  • Stage of tunnel life (planning, design, construction, commissioning, operation, refurbishment, upgrade)
  • Operating experience
  • Tunnel system condition.

These safety elements are described in the Chapter 5 "Elements in an integrated approach" of report 2007R07.

Fig. 2.2-1: Integrated approach

An integrated approach is a framework to plan, design, construct and operate a new tunnel or an upgrade to an existing tunnel, fulfilling the required safety levels at each stage of the tunnel life. This should take place in accordance with a safety plan, following the right safety procedures.

The opposite figure shows a schematic representation of a proposed integrated approach for the safety of new and in-service tunnels, comprising the elements listed above (figure from Chapter 6 "Conclusion" of report 2007R07).

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