Safety Office

Safety at work and environmental protection are priorities for everyone in the Engineering Department. The EN Safety Office is deeply embedded in all projects and activities of the department. Its aim is to further develop the culture of safety and to ensure that the members of the department are familiar enough with all aspects of safety at CERN. With the help of other specialized Safety Officers (Radiation, Laser, Flammable Gases), it provides guidance to each technical project throughout its whole lifecycle, from the initialize and study phases of the project to the dismantling of the equipment, system or facility, applying best practices in matters of safety.

Ensuring safety

The activities of the Engineering Department are many and, yet the same professional safety strategy is efficiently applied to all of them. The safety approach starts from the study phase by gathering the right safety requirements, selecting the most appropriate design solutions, mitigating the safety risks throughout the whole lifecycle of the equipment, system or facility, including installation, operation, maintenance, dismantling and disposal.

Preventive and corrective maintenance interventions needed to keep high-level operation performance of the CERN beam facilities are prepared according to safety risk analysis, pre-defined procedures, training of personnel, implementing best safety practices and benefiting of lessons learned. The Safety Office also takes care of the safety audits and event analysis in view of the continuous improvement of the safety system.

The vision of safety

Safety objectives – Occupational and environmental safety are first priorities. The Safety Office provides all necessary support, advice and information to the whole department in order to reduce accident rate and hazardous situations.

Risk management – The Safety Office, through the release of safety files for the equipment, systems and facilities of the department, ensures that all relevant technical and organisational measures have been taken into account to comply with the applicable safety standards in matters of safety at work and environmental protection.

ALARA principle – “As low as reasonably achievable.” According to this principle, the risk must be reduced to the lowest level that could possibly be achieved. In other words, if a risk arises, the Safety Office makes sure that appropriate mitigation measures implemented.

The application of safety

Hazard inventory  –  A hazard analysis procedure used to identify the potential safety problems and to develop a strategy for prevention of accidents.

Risk Analysis – Each new piece of equipment, as well as all activities and processes, is subject to risk assessment by the Safety Office.

Safety documentation – Safety documents are developed for the members of the department involved in projects, and operations and maintenance activities.

Safety training – Internal safety training and awareness campaigns for all various activities are organised. The Safety Office also serves as the liaison between the department and CERN's Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental Protection Unit (HSE), which provides the general safety training.

Personal protection – Where no technical collective safety measures can apply, the Safety Office makes sure that all personal protection equipment is adapted to the risks encountered by the personnel in the areas under the responsibility of the Engineering Department.

Access control – Access to hazardous areas is limited to authorized personnel, according to safety requirements defined and monitored by the Safety Office.

The outcome assessment

Event analysis – Hazardous situations, near misses and accidents occurred in the department are subject to investigation by the Safety Office. Root causes are identified and appropriate safety improvement measures are defined and implemented in collaboration with the relevant organic units.

Safety audits – The Safety Office performs safety audits in order to evaluate the efficiency of the implemented safety measures, which help strengthen the safety practices and culture.

Safety review – Safety reviews for studies, projects and operations and maintenance activities, for equipment, systems and facilities are conducted to identify potential risks in matters of safety and environmental protection, to develop the most appropriate protection and prevention strategy.

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