Introducing the STAMP method in road tunnel safety assessment

Kazaras, Konstantinos and Kirytopoulos, Konstantinos and Rentizelas, Athanasios (2012) Introducing the STAMP method in road tunnel safety assessment. Safety Science, 50 (9). 1806–1817. ISSN 0925-7535 (

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After the tremendous accidents in European road tunnels over the past decade, many risk assessment methods have been proposed worldwide, most of them based on Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA). Although QRAs are helpful to address physical aspects and facilities of tunnels, current approaches in the road tunnel field have limitations to model organizational aspects, software behavior and the adaptation of the tunnel system over time. This paper reviews the aforementioned limitations and highlights the need to enhance the safety assessment process of these critical infrastructures with a complementary approach that links the organizational factors to the operational and technical issues, analyze software behavior and models the dynamics of the tunnel system. To achieve this objective, this paper examines the scope for introducing a safety assessment method which is based on the systems thinking paradigm and draws upon the STAMP model. The method proposed is demonstrated through a case study of a tunnel ventilation system and the results show that it has the potential to identify scenarios that encompass both the technical system and the organizational structure. However, since the method does not provide quantitative estimations of risk, it is recommended to be used as a complementary approach to the traditional risk assessments rather than as an alternative. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.