Crisis Management PORR AG – Brenner Tunnel

PORR AG is one of the largest Austrian construction companies and one of the leading players in Europe. It is the oldest company listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. Since 1869, PORR has stood for innovation and has realised well-known and groundbreaking projects. As a full service provider it covers all areas of the construction industry from building construction to complex projects in railway, bridge, tunnel and road construction.

In 2018 PORR AG had a total of 20,000 employees, a production output of around EUR 5.6 billion and has experience of more than 600 km of tunnelling.

PORR AG (ARGE H51) uses safeREACH as a crisis management tool during construction of the world’s longest underground rail link.
Florian Aelfers, employee of BBT H51 Pfons-Brenner.

The problem

After the contract was awarded to PORR (ARGE H51) for the largest construction lot in Austria’s history, the company was also faced with new challenges in terms of security and crisis management. Crisis staff and management should be alerted directly from the control centre – as simply and straightforwardly as possible.

The solution

The control centre now uses the safeREACH app to trigger alarms promptly in case of a crisis. The automatic alerting in the event of an incident enables the control centre to focus on important matters such as coordinating tunnel evacuation instead of working through telephone lists.

3 questions for Florian Aelfers

We have talked to him about safeREACH for crisis alarms at the Brenner tunnel construction site.

For which scenarios do you currently use safeREACH?

First an foremost we use safeREACH for alerting in case of an accident. Here a current example: the control centre received an alarm about a personal accident. A hiker sufered a circulatory collapse on a trail above our landfill. He could make himself noticed by our colleagues, who rushed immediately to the injured person and gave first aid. The control centre was informed and immediately alerted the emergency services. All responsible persons were informed promptly and thus a safe arrival of the rescue services was ensured. The casualty was then handed over to the Red Cross for further treatment and transport.

In how far has the alerting system helped you so far?

The automatic alerting in the event of an incident enables our control center staff to focus on the essential things like coordinating the tunnel evacuation instead of working through telephone lists. The weather warnings are an important tool for us, for example for alerting in case of floods. Using this tool, work that cannot be carried out in rain or bad weather can be better coordinated or can be stopped in time. In addition to weather warnings, scenarios for accidents below and above ground are available. These scenarios include accidents without personal injury, light and heavy personal injury and also water ingress in the tunnel. These pre-defined scenarios can be triggered by our control centre staff via the safeREACH Cockpit. The control centre staff only have to enter the accident-specific information and trigger the alarm.

Which features of safeREACH do you use?

Above all, we use the practice function of safeREACH to be optimally prepared in real life situations. With safeREACH, a clear distinction can be made between an exercise and a real alarm. With the safeREACH app, which all end users can download to their smartphones, all detailed information is also immediately available anywhere. This is very helpful! The app also provides users with a chat for coordination. Users can accept or reject the alarm. This avoids mistakes that in real life unnecessarily waste time, such as waiting for people to arrive or assigning tasks more than once. Finally, a final report and a log of the course of events allows the exact preservation of evidence of the crisis situation for later reference.


Find out how you too can use safeREACH for better crisis management in your organization

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