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Cardinal Rules have been around for a long time and can go by a variety of names, such as Golden Safety Rules, fundamental rules, critical rules, etc. Simply put, they are usually a set of rules about the behavior of frontline employees that the employer has identified as important to good safety performance and accident prevention in their operations. Some can be common across companies like “always de-energize equipment before working on it”, while others may be very specific to a particular company and its operations. Historically, they have often been implemented with some form of “zero tolerance” policy that says something like “if you violate these rules you will be disciplined, up to and including termination”.