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Guarantee safety at stations and inside tunnels

West Link staff: Here Maria Nilsson, a specialist in risks and analysis in infrastructure, talks about her role in the project.

What is your background and how did you end up working on the West Link Project?

I did my doctorate in Road Climate. This was followed by a short period with the Swedish Rescue Services Agency and then I started working as a consultant at COWI. There I was involved in all forms of risk and safety analysis within both industry and infrastructure. I spent my last five years as a consultant working primarily as an HSE manager (Health, Safety and Environment) on large industrial projects.

After 12 years as a consultant I knew that I wanted to test what it was like to be an employer, and that is how I ended up working on the West Link Project. I've been here now for 18 months.

What does your role on the West Link Project involve?

In my role as a specialist in risk and safety in infrastructure and installations, I make sure that we follow the regulations that apply with respect to personal safety and guarantee that we fulfil the stipulated safety requirements. I provide advice on safety together with the Swedish Rescue Service Agency and the County Administrative Board, and make sure that the safety requirements are coordinated with other project requirements.

It could, for example, be a question of how to evacuate the passengers in time if there is an accident in the tunnel and make it easier for the Rescue Services to perform their work.

What is the greatest challenge regarding the West Link Project from your point of view?

To make sure that safety requirements that were established in earlier stages are followed up and implemented, and that they are not forgotten in connection with changes in the design work.

How do you meet this challenge?

By monitoring the changes that are introduced and having a continuous dialogue with the design staff.

What is the most enjoyable part of your work?

Coming up with good solutions that not only fulfil safety requirements but also have an added value in other areas. For example, a nicer station environment makes things easier, facilitates evacuation and rescue operations, a less expensive solution that meets the same safety requirements.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy working in the garden: weeding and planting is a little meditative. Something else that is very relaxing is figure skating. There is no chance of thinking about anything else apart from how I am skating. It's a good way of clearing your head from all my other thoughts.

Is there a lot of talk about the West Link during your free time?

No, I've never been especially interested in talking about work in my leisure time.