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CERN has a new centralised chemical database: CERES

In April 2020, the HSE Unit released a new web-based tool: the CERN Chemical Register for Environment, Health and Safety, CERES. It is based on the works of the PoLiChem (Prevention of Pollution by Liquid Chemical Agents) working group and Chemical inventories according to Chemical CERN Safety Rules. It was developed by the HSE Unit in close collaboration with concerned departments, including their Safety Officers.

The purpose of developing CERES was to create a user-friendly online tool that permits centralising, sharing and keeping a total traceability of CERN chemicals. The database includes information relating to solid, liquid and gaseous chemicals. Besides giving a global overview, the web tool also displays the evolution of the risk score of a case over several years. The database includes all safety information, the precise location, as well as data on chemical and environmental risk assessments and the mitigation measures in place.

CERES now has a catalogue of chemicals to make it easier to update and keep track of the products used at CERN. When entering a new case into the database, the register requires certain general information. It can then be completed by additional information regarding the environmental and chemical safety as well as information from the CERN Fire & Rescue Service. Each access request to CERES is handled by the designated department representative.

CERES is linked to the GIS portal to display the precise location of the chemical. This is very useful for the Fire & Rescue Service during emergency interventions. This view is also useful for Territorial Safety Officers (TSOs) in order to assess the risks within a building or an area.

In terms of chemical safety, the database is essential as the first step in effective chemical risk management, in order to:

  • identify the presence of particularly toxic or dangerous chemicals for risk assessment;
  • identify and eliminate unknown substances or out-of-date chemicals;
  • ensure the separation of incompatible chemicals in storage for accident prevention.

For the environmental protection group, CERES is used to identifying environmentally sensitive activities and areas on CERN sites, as well as increasing the interaction with CERN departments to improve pollution prevention measures.

For all CERN departments, CERES can steer the operational safety, to both personnel and the environment, by giving better access of information to all Safety Officers and trigger preventative and protective measures.


For questions regarding chemical safety, contact safety-chemistry@cern.ch
For questions regarding environmental protection, contact Env-Prevention@cern.ch
For general questions regarding the CERES software, contact ceres-software-support@cern.ch

More information on the HSE website.