Safely yours

Not just a facelift but a real change in the way that safety at CERN is supported by the Organization: the Safety Commission becomes the occupational Health & Safety and Environmental protection (HSE) Unit. The new name reflects a profound change in terms of vision, mission and, above all, effectiveness.

Safety is a broad term that incorporates many concepts and related issues. In the vision of the HSE Unit, safety is built on two pillars: occupational health & safety and environmental protection, both comprising conventional and radiological aspects. “Ensuring safety in these two areas is a matter of highest importance for the Organization”, says Ralf Trant, head of the HSE Unit. “Our vision focuses on improving our efficiency in serving the Organization in all matters of safety. For example, by enhancing the collaboration with the Departmental Safety Officers”.

“Safety at CERN builds on international norms and standards, best practices and above all on continuous improvement”, explains Enrico Cennini, Deputy Head of the Unit and the person responsible for relations with the Host State bodies in matters of safety. “Safety is a continuously evolving and improving area and an integral part of all work and activities”.

The definition and implementation of safety objectives for a research laboratory like CERN are not always easy and straightforward. “We assist in the definition and achievement of safety objectives. Our focus is providing advice and expert support on risk assessment, reduction and control, always in combination with suggestions for improvements”, says Ralf Trant.

“The role of the HSE Unit is evolving to provide more pro-active support in matters of safety to the Departments, which bear the responsibility for safety at CERN”, adds Enrico Cennini. “We will also continue to fulfill our role of monitoring that safety is correctly implemented, but it is important to first supply everyone with the necessary information and tools by raising awareness and reinforcing competence in safety matters”. For the HSE Unit this implies an increased effort in supplying information, training and supporting documentation that people will be able to refer to before starting a new project or item of work.

One of the missions of the Safety Commission was to prepare, on behalf of the Director-General, the so-called “Safety Clearance” of special equipment, installations, experiments and projects with major safety implications. “This is a sort of authorization, an official ‘green light’ ensuring that all safety requirements are met. We will continue to provide this service with a view to strongly emphasising the aspects of early pro-active support and monitoring, which precede the final clearance and facilitate it”, points out Enrico Cennini. “Our goal is to help and support people from the very early phases of, for example, a new project, rather than discovering at the end of the process that the set-up was not exactly in compliance with rules or best practices”.

The HSE Unit is there to help you identify potential issues before they become safety problems. If you have any doubts or if you observe areas that could be improved in terms of safety, do not hesitate to contact your supervisor, your Departmental Safety Officer or the HSE Unit.

For further information about the HSE Unit, visit the HSE new website.

The Bulletin will follow the activities of the HSE Unit with dedicated articles on the various services.



by CERN Bulletin