Safety in projects

Safety management for extended projects

Examples for LHC Injectors Upgrade (LIU), SPS Fire Safety, High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC)



Safety organization in projects

In a project, the project Leader is responsible for the safety of his/her project. He/she can decide to appoint a project safety officer (PSO) to support him/her in fulfilling his obligations in matters of Safety. Concretely, the PSO will:

–    verify that Safety aspects have been correctly considered, that the proposed Safety measures are consistent with the general Safety policy of the project and that they are correctly applied by the different intervening groups;

–    identify the Safety issues arising at the interface between systems and whenever, asks the relevant persons in charge to apply specific measures resulting from risk assessments;

–    coordinate the editorial work for the Safety documentation of the project.


Project Safety Officers in the BE Safety Unit

Some members of the BE Safety Unit have a mandate of safety officer in CERN extended projects – in addition to their Departmental safety functions.

  • Anne Funken is the PSO for LIU. The LIU project covers all the machine from the PS, SPS complexes : Linac4, Linac3, the Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR), the PS-Booster (PSB), the Proton Synchrotron (PS), the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS). Also some hardware will be changed in the LHC transfer lines.
  • Florence Pirotte, RSO for BE, is the PSO for the SPS Fire Safety. This project concerns the whole SPS Ring.
  • Christelle Gaignant, DDSO for BE, is the Deputy PSO for the HL-LHC. The PSO is Thomas Otto, who is also the DSO of the TE Department. The HL-LHC project covers the SPS (Point 6 - crab cavities) and the LHC.

These 3 projects concern the upgrade of existing and operating beam facilities.


Risk management

The PSO addresses risk management for occupational health and safety, environmental protection and the safe operation of CERN’s installations. Other risks (financial, …) are dealt with at the project management level.

The methodology for risk assessment use the same principles. The hazards identification, the assessment of the risks induced and the list of appropriate control measures to put in place are produced at the level of each system – whether new or upgraded.

For upgraded systems, the control measures already in place are assessed regarding the new hazards or hazardous situations introduced. The control measures are defined in collaboration with the equipment groups concerned, and their implementation verified once implemented through DSO verifications. 

The data is then reported and collected through the safety file procedure which ensures traceability, accessibility, storage, retrieval and preservation of the safety-related activities.


Lifecycle of the projects

Safety is present in all project phases: simulations, design, prototyping, installation, commissioning, operation and dismantling. The CERN groups involved are responsible for proposing and applying the correct Safety measures for the work and equipment their deliver during each phase. This is also done in close collaboration with the Departmental Safety officers who should be involved at an early stage.


Safety documentation

Safety documentation can be the subject matter of an entire article. We would like to give you here some highlights.

For the LIU project, the concept of Safety Package was introduced. The LIU project is divided in fifteen Safety Packages. Each of them comprises a set of systems located in a same location under the responsibility of several groups. The safety documentation is produced at the level of each Safety Package and available in EDMS.

In the HL-HLC project, the Safety System Assessment (SSA) forms were introduced. An SSA documents the hazards generated by the equipment, and list the rules and best practices to follow in order to mitigate these hazards. It also references the risk assessments needed, in case the standard best practices are not sufficient to reduce the risk to an acceptable level, and describe the additional mitigation measures.


A word from  …


A deputy project leader

Giovanni Rumolo for the LIU project



Florence Pirotte for the SPS Fire Safety Project

The LIU project ensures that the present level of Safety for the people and the environment is maintained, or even improved, throughout all project phases. This is demonstrated through the LIU Safety Files for a set of identified Safety Packages.

The main goals are to optimise the beam losses, to propose and implement technical solutions that minimise the dose rates according to the ALARA principle (i.e. keep doses to persons as low as reasonably achievable) and to minimise radioactive waste.

The design of beam dumps, collimators and protection devices as well as shielding and remote handling in the design of equipment in high radiation zones are examples that show how successfully Safety is integrated within LIU.


A study group has identified that fire would be a major risk for the SPS. The SPS fire safety equipment and standards date from the 1970s. Consolidation and improvement were strongly recommended. It has defined the control measures (need for fire retardant protecting devices, new fire detection system, sectorization, …)

Now the project focusses on the safety assessment of these systems: e.g. what to do of the water released by the sprinkler system.

The PSO also organizes the safety of the installation activities – and support equipment groups with the writing of the prevention plans/safety plans for the companies.



Concluding remark

The processes we described in this article can also apply to smaller size projects (e.g. the set-up of a test stand). Any project leader, supported or not by a Project Safety Officer, shall follow the principles listed above.

The BE Safety Unit can help and provide guidance. Do not hesitate to contact us at:


Safety glossary

Control measure: Measure that is reducing the risk related to a specific hazard

Hazard:  Source, situation or act with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health (or a combination of this), or damage to the equipment or to the environment

Hazardous situation: Situation whereby a person is exposed to at least one hazard.

Risk: Combination of the likelihood of occurrence of a hazardous event and the severity of the consequences

Risk assessment: Process of evaluating the risk arising from a hazard taking into account the existing control measures and deciding whether the risk is acceptable or not

Risk management: Process for the identification, analysis, assessment, control, and avoidance, minimization, or elimination of unacceptable risks.


Authors: Anne Funken, Christelle Gaignant, Florence Pirotte

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