The Cardinal Safety Rules

Taking responsibility means never taking shortcuts with safety. The Cardinal Safety Rules are designed to keep all employees safe at all times, so they must be acted on by all employees, all of the time.


Be trained on all lock-out and tag-out procedures and follow them at all times. Always verify energy isolation before any work begins to protect yourself from danger. Confirm with the supervisor that it is safe to begin work.


Never remove or alter a machine guard unless you are a trained and competent maintenance employee and the equipment has been properly locked out to prevent the release of hazardous energy. Always replace machine guards after maintenance activities. Never alter a guard to impede function.


Always protect yourself from falling when working at heights. Be trained and certified to inspect and wear fall protection equipment. Always use fall protection equipment when working at heights as per local legislation. Supervisors are responsible for confirmation that it is safe to start work at heights.


Be trained and certified to operate all equipment and machinery. Follow all safety procedures when operating equipment or machinery. Perform a documented inspection of the equipment or machinery prior to its operation.


Always obtain authorization via a work permit before entering a confined space. Confined spaces may contain several hazards including poisonous gases and a lack of oxygen. Always confirm with your supervisor that it is safe to start work. Always confirm with the monitor that it is safe to enter the confined space. Always follow the requirements of the confined space permit.


Never use a cellphone while driving or operating equipment or machinery. Never text or email while driving or operating vehicles, equipment or machinery. Passengers should always take responsibility and insist that the vehicle, equipment or machinery be stopped if they observe someone using a cellphone while at the controls.


Seat belts help protect you from injury in the event of an incident while driving a vehicle or operating equipment or machinery. Seat belts must be worn in all company-owned passenger vehicles, forklifts and heavy equipment. Please take responsibility and refuse to operate a vehicle if a fellow passenger is not wearing their seatbelt.