Unit Head's message - 31.3.2020

Dear Colleagues,

In my end of year message, I said that 2019 had been a particularly challenging year for our Unit.  Little could we imagine the challenge that lay ahead of us in 2020, both professionally and personally, with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we start the third week of Stage 3 in the COVID-19 response at CERN, on-site activities are very limited and most of you are teleworking. Whether you’re working from home or contributing to keeping the site and equipment safe, your work and commitment is of utmost importance for the functioning of the Organisation. Your efforts in these difficult times are recognised by both myself as HSE Unit Head and the CERN Management, but also by our member-states.

Whilst this unprecedented situation can be stressful, it is also heart-warming to see how the whole CERN community has come together, concentrating our combined efforts on a common goal.  As an example, I would like to mention the concerted effort throughout CERN and beyond that has led to the collection of protective equipment needed by the CERN Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) to support the emergency services in Geneva in their fight against COVID-19. Our ambulance service has already performed more than twenty transports for the Geneva sanitary services. In these exceptional circumstances, I am sure CFRS is in all our minds! 

The CERN against COVID-19 task force, announced by our Director General on Thursday, is another example where CERN puts one of its main assets, i.e. thecreativity and ingenuity of its community, at the service of the global fight against the virus. HSE is represented by André Henriques and I encourage you all to send him your proposals and ideas.

As we settle into a new and unknown pattern of working, it is more important than ever that we stay connected to each other. Many of us have to find new ways of staying in touch. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone or use another means of communicating to talk and see each other (Vidyo, Zoom), including for social chats over a virtual coffee. If you encounter any problem with your present working mode, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor.

I would like to take this opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for your commitment during these uncertain times. I am extremely proud of the role of HSE as a pillar in keeping CERN and the local community safe.

Keep in touch and stay safe.

With my best wishes to you and your families,