Tunnels should be constructed, maintained and used without neglecting the basic principia of Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H), environmental protection and economic efficiency: this involves a Prevention through Design approach both from the very first steps of the project, and during the tunneling operations. At the purpose, the identification and careful evaluation of a number of parameters are essential for a correct Risk Assessment and Management (RAM) during the various phases of the analysis. However, many of these parameters are “hidden into the mountain” and difficult to identify with the desired detail. This problem can affect the quality of the result, and cause accidents and work stoppages, with consequent dramatic economic losses.

In the Authors’ opinion, only a multidisciplinary approach can contribute to solve the problem. The already consolidated contribution of geophysics plays an important role, and represents an efficient means for a more efficient definition of the design parameters. Future developments in the research work in geophysics are advisable and precious for a more efficient predictive RAM, both at the preliminary phase, and during the tunneling operations, particularly if a fast response will become achievable.


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