How to establish a Safety Rule – the new GSI-SO-13 provides the answer


A well-defined, up-to date framework in matters of Safety is key for the efficient and safe functioning of CERN.  As an international Organisation, CERN is responsible for defining its own Safety rules, just as it is responsible for defining its own labour laws: the Staff rules and regulations. 

Before it establishes or revises a Safety rule, the HSE unit, which is in charge of this activity,  needs to understand the relevant regulations and best practices in CERN’s Host States and Europe, as well as the specific needs  and constraints of CERN stakeholders: the Departments and the CERN user community. 

When she became head of the HSE unit at the beginning of 2018, Doris Forkel Wirth reviewed the establishment and revision process of the CERN Safety rules in order to integrate lessons learned from the past, and more particularly, to ensure that the process would take into account both best practice and stakeholder needs. The revised process, which foresees consultation of both CERN and external experts, as well as of the Departments concerned, was endorsed by the Enlarged Directorate and the Safety Policy Committee, SAPOCO at the end of 2018. It has now been translated into a Safety rule that was published on 8 February 2019.

The new rule also defines the different categories of CERN Safety rules, as well as the documents that complement them, such as guidelines and Safety forms. The new rule acknowledges the importance of such complementary documents, which facilitate implementation, as well as that of training. 

If you want learn more about the CERN Safety rules, look at the dedicated website. If you have specific questions, please send them to and the Safety rules team will be happy to answer.