The effective management of Safety and Health conditions at workplace and pollutant emissions out of tunnel portals is a concerning problem in tunnel driving operations, and the Prevention through Design -PtD- approach seems to be the only suitable way to correctly manage such a situation, even more where firedamp, asbestos, radioactive minerals, etc. should be expected, due to geological reasons.
Due to the dramatic consequences of a firedamp explosion, the Safety and Health conditions in tunneling operations in possibly gassy formations should be based during the different construction phases on an effective Prevention through Design approach and a careful Risk management. Both PtD and Risk Management should in these situations cover also the Human Error possibility in a System Approach according to the Reason’s suggestions.
Some helpful advice for proactive actions in both stages (design and underground operations management) can be drawn from a throughout analysis of case histories.
The paper discussed in detail the results of a study developed to provide effective guidelines for a suitable approach to the firedamp problems in tunneling operations, based on the analysis of case histories.