Safety first: the complex challenge of keeping tunnels safe

Incident, accident or catastrophe. Serious under any circumstances, the level of danger and impact is magnified when those events happen inside a tunnel. Issues of access, evacuation and communication are addressed as a priority by our tunnel designers to keep construction teams and users safe.
An emergency door in a modern tunnel

A tunnel may only operate if it meets all relevant safety requirements and regulations. Getting the right systems in place, reviewing, adapting, and maintaining them to continually meet these legal conditions is at the heart of our tunnel design.

From emergency doors to escape tunnels, dynamic signage and radio communications, tunnel safety is a complex multi-faceted challenge. Working closely with our reliability, accessibility, maintenance and safety (RAMS) experts, our tunnel safety team designs and assesses components to deliver a safer tunnel environment.
Combining the quantitative data with behavioural models creates digital twins of tunnels that our team uses to run emergency scenarios and devise ways to manage tunnel evacuations and other procedures quickly and effectively.

How we realise tunnel safety

Not just user safety
Tunnel safety reaches far beyond the end user. Safety planning is integral to our designs from day one to keep site teams safe during the construction process. This is more than escape routes and ventilation, looking after our team’s mental and physical wellbeing is just as essential.
Leading the way with digital models
Information management and digital twins play a significant role in the design of tunnel safety. The ability of our experts to create dynamic models for scenario testing, training and development has led to a step change in tunnel safety.
Global experience
Most tunnel projects are renovation or upgrade. Safety regulations are under constant review and subject to best practice findings from around the world. The global reach of our parent companies Royal HaskoningDHV and Witteveen+Bos gives us insight into developments and experience that might have an impact on current and future projects.
Constant development of in-house expertise
Our comprehensive in-house professional development programme ensures everyone involved in our tunnel projects has some understanding of every system and component, not just their own specialism. Safety, and how interaction of different systems can impact it, is embedded throughout, resulting in final designs that integrate it into every element.
Frederik Wagenaar - Expert Electrical & Mechanical systems


Expert Electrical & Mechanical systems