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Risk Management Through Design – Experiences from the United Kingdom Tunnelling Industry


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Author T Ireland


A formalised approach to risk management has been regulated in the United
Kingdom (UK) since the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994
(CDM) came into force in 1995. These regulations have recently been revised in
2007. In response to a series of significant claims around the world the UK
insurance industry published a code of practice for risk management of tunnels
in 2003, and that was followed by an international version in 2006.

Probably one of the main contributions of this new approach is the
recognition that health and safety risks can best be addressed early in the
process, initially by the owner and then by the designers. One of the aims is to
achieve elimination of risks by good design. The advantage of a risk-based
approach to tunnel design is that all risks are considered explicitly, and any
residual risks in the design are communicated clearly to the construction

This paper looks at the implementation of this formalised approach to risk
management with reference to the A3 Hindhead Project. The design has been
undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the CDM regulations, and also
in compliance with the Joint Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel
Works in the UK. An outline of the risk-based design process used is provided,
including examples.