Safety first

Safety is a priority for CERN. That is a message I conveyed in my New Year’s address and that I reiterated at one of the first Enlarged Directorate meetings of 2012 when I outlined five key safety objectives for the year, designed and implemented according to accepted international standards.


As we move from spring to summer, it’s time to take stock of how we are doing. Objective number one for 2012, which overarches everything else, is to limit the number of incidents in the workplace. That means systematically investigating and acting on every incident that involves work stoppage, along with all the most frequent workplace accidents: falls, trips and slips. The performance indicator we set ourselves is the percentage of investigations and follow-ups completed. Year on year, these figures are rising but we can never be complacent, and must strive to reach and sustain 100% follow-up.

The second objective is to improve hazard control, with a focus in 2012 on chemical hazards. The third concerns the safety of equipment, with a focus this year on machine tools. The remaining two objectives concern the environment: limiting our impact on the environment and ensuring best practice in matters of radiation protection and safety.

Starting this week, the Bulletin will be carrying a series of articles explaining how you can help us achieve our health, safety and environmental objectives, looking first at hazard control. Safety in the workplace is the responsibility of every single one of us, so I strongly encourage you all to read this information carefully and help us to ensure that CERN’s continuing excellence rests on a solid culture of safety.


Rolf Heuer