International Expansion of the Construction Company into the French Market

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Company’s Overseas Expansion in France

Regulatory Bodies for Health and Safety Regulations in France

In France, health and safety regulations are governed by various bodies, each with a specific role and scope of responsibility. Here are the main bodies:

Health and Safety Regulatory Body in FranceDescription
Ministry of Labour (Ministère du Travail)Responsible for establishing and implementing national health and safety regulations. Issues decrees and orders concerning workplace safety, monitors compliance, and collaborates with social partners.
Directorate General for Labour (Direction Générale du Travail – DGT)Part of the Ministry of Labour, aids in the development and implementation of health and safety regulations, provides advice and information, and conducts educational campaigns.
Labour Inspection (Inspection du Travail – IT)An independent body enforcing health and safety regulations. Conducts employer inspections, imposes penalties for non-compliance, and investigates workplace accidents.
Offices for Health and Safety at Work (DIRECCTE)Regional branches responsible for implementing health and safety policy at the local level. They cooperate with local authorities and provide support in health and safety matters.
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (INRS)A public research institute specializing in health and safety. Conducts research, publishes informational materials, and provides training and consultancy in health and safety.
Health and Safety Regulatory Bodies in France

Legal Requirements for Health and Safety Professionals in France

In France, legal requirements for health and safety professionals vary depending on their level of expertise and scope of responsibility. Below is a general outline:

Qualifications:

CategoryDescription
EducationA higher education degree, often a bachelor’s (Licence), master’s (Master) or engineering degree (Diplôme d’ingénieur) in occupational health and safety or a related field.
Knowledge of Health and Safety RegulationsA health and safety specialist must know and understand the applicable health and safety regulations in France and be able to apply them in practice.
Hazard Identification and Risk AssessmentThe ability to identify potential dangers to employee safety and health and to assess their risk.
Implementation of Health and Safety ProgramsThe ability to develop and implement programs aimed at improving workplace health and safety.
Communication and CollaborationThe ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with workers, employers, and other stakeholders involved in health and safety.
Qualifications for Health and Safety Professionals in France

Certificates:

CertificateDescription
Titre Professionnel Conseiller en Sécurité et Santé au Travail (CSPS)A national certificate offered by the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sport. Requires completion of a 2-year vocational training or relevant professional experience. Confirms skills in health and safety consultancy.
Diplôme Universitaire de Formation Complémentaire (DUFC) en Sécurité et Santé au TravailA university certificate that provides in-depth knowledge and practical skills in occupational health and safety. Requires the completion of higher education and additional training at a university.
Diplôme d’Etat d’Ingénieur Spécialisé en Sécurité et Santé au Travail (DESS Sécurité et Santé au Travail)A postgraduate diploma that prepares for managerial positions in health and safety. Requires a master’s degree (e.g., in engineering) and additional training.
Certificat de Spécialisation en Sécurité et Santé au Travail (CSSST)A specialization certificate offered by the French Chamber of Engineers. Aimed at professionals in fields such as construction, chemical industry, or energy. Requires a master’s degree in engineering and additional specialized training.
Certificates for Health and Safety Professionals in France

Legislation:

In France, the prevailing health and safety legislation is based on several key pillars:

1. Labour Code (Code du travail):

  • This is the main legal act regulating occupational health and safety in France.
  • It defines the general duties of employers and employees concerning health and safety, as well as detailed regulations for various sectors and occupational hazards.
  • It includes provisions for issues such as:
    • Occupational risk assessment
    • Prevention of accidents and occupational diseases
    • Protection of employee health and safety
    • Information and training in health and safety
    • Employee representation in health and safety matters
    • Penalties for health and safety regulation breaches

2. Decrees and Ordinances:

  • The Ministry of Labour and the Directorate General for Labour issue decrees and ordinances that supplement and specify the provisions of the Labour Code.
  • These may address specific issues, such as:
    • Use of personal protective equipment
    • Safety of machinery and equipment
    • Chemical and biological hazards
    • Work under extreme conditions

3. Standards and Regulations:

  • In France, there are many standards and regulations related to occupational health and safety, developed by various bodies such as AFNOR (French Standardization Agency) and INRS (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).
  • These standards are not legally binding but serve as guidelines for employers and can be used in court as evidence of safety negligence.

4. Employer Duties:

  • Employers in France have a range of duties concerning occupational health and safety, including:
    • Conducting an occupational risk assessment at their workplaces
    • Implementing preventive measures to eliminate or reduce risk
    • Providing employees with appropriate personal protective equipment
    • Informing and training employees on health and safety
    • Regularly monitoring the condition of health and safety at workstations
    • Cooperating with employee representatives on health and safety matters

5. Employee Duties:

  • Employees in France also have duties concerning health and safety, including:
    • Following directions and instructions related to health and safety
    • Using personal protective equipment as intended
    • Not exposing themselves or others to danger
    • Reporting any workplace health and safety hazards to the employer

6. Supervisory and Enforcement Bodies:

  • The Labour Inspection (Inspection du Travail) is responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations in France.
  • Labour inspectors can conduct workplace inspections, issue orders, and impose penalties on employers who violate regulations.
  • Employees have the right to report any health and safety hazards to the labour inspectors.

Duties:

DutyDescription
Occupational risk assessment– Identification and assessment of hazards at workplaces
– Cooperation with the employer in developing a risk assessment plan
– Documenting the assessment results
Implementation of preventive measures– Proposing and implementing preventive measures
– Advising on personal protective equipment
– Conducting training on the use of preventive measures
Informing and training employees– Informing employees about hazards and occupational risk
– Conducting health and safety training
– Providing educational materials on health and safety
Monitoring and control– Regular monitoring of health and safety conditions at workplaces
– Conducting health and safety audits
– Documenting the monitoring and control results
Cooperation with others– Cooperation with the employer, employee representatives, labour inspectors
– Cooperation with occupational health physicians and work psychologists
Consultancy– Advising the employer and employees on health and safety aspects<br>- Providing information and advice on health and safety regulations
Development and updating of knowledge– Participation in training and conferences on health and safety
– Updating knowledge on regulations and best practices in health and safety
– Participation in exchanging information with other health and safety specialists
Additional duties– Conducting health and safety research and analysis
– Developing health and safety procedures
– Representing the company in contacts with health and safety supervisory bodies
– Managing the health and safety management system (OHSAS)
Duties of a health and safety specialist in France

Additional information:

OrganizationWebsite
Ministry of Labourtravail-emploi.gouv.fr
General Directorate of Labourtravail-emploi.gouv.fr
Labour Inspectorateinspection-du-travail.com
Occupational Health and Safety Officesdreets.gouv.fr
Institute of Occupational Safety and Healthinrs.fr
Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sporteducation.gouv.fr
French Chamber of Engineersoiq.qc.ca
National Council of Occupational Safety and Health Workplacestravail-emploi.gouv.fr
Institutions providing additional information for health and safety specialists in France

Documents in French law

Code du travail

  • It is the main legal act regulating occupational safety and hygiene in France.
  • It defines the general duties of employers and employees in terms of health and safety, as well as detailed regulations concerning various sectors and occupational hazards.
  • It contains provisions relating to:
    • Occupational risk assessment
    • Prevention of accidents and occupational diseases
    • Protection of health and safety of employees
    • Information and training in health and safety
    • Representation of employees in health and safety matters
    • Sanctions for violations of health and safety regulations

What are the main duties of employers arising from the labour code in France?

Employers have a range of duties arising from the Labour Code to ensure the safety and health of their employees. These duties include:
– Conducting risk assessments to identify and evaluate hazards in the workplace.
– Implementing preventive measures to eliminate or minimize risk.
– Providing employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
– Informing and training employees on occupational hazards and safety procedures.
– Ensuring regular maintenance and inspections of machinery and equipment.
– Developing emergency procedures and evacuation plans.
– Cooperation with employee representatives on health and safety matters.

What rights do employees have under the Labour Code in France?

Employees have, arising from the Labour Code, the right to a safe and healthy work environment. These rights include:
– The right to be informed about hazards in the workplace and the risk associated with them.
– The right to receive proper training and instructions on safety procedures.
– The right to refuse to perform dangerous work.
– The right to participate in discussions and decision-making concerning health and safety.
– The right to access information on health and safety.
– The right to protection against discrimination and harassment related to health and safety.

What are the consequences of not complying with the Labour Code in France?

Non-compliance with the Labour Code can result in serious consequences for the employer, including:
– Fines and financial penalties.
– Administrative sanctions, such as an order to cease operations or an order to remove violations.
– Criminal liability in cases of gross negligence or intentional endangerment of employees.
– Civil liability for damages caused to employees as a result of workplace accidents or occupational diseases.
– Damage to reputation and loss of business opportunities.
Equivalent to “Code du travail” in other countries:
CountryEquivalent to “Code du travail”
UKLabour Code / Employment Law
GermanyArbeitsvertragsgesetz, ArbVG
ItalyCodice del Lavoro
SpainEstatuto de los Trabajadores
PolandKodeks Pracy
NetherlandsBurgerlijk Wetboek (BW) – part concerning labour law
BelgiumCode du travail / Arbeidswet
SwedenLag om anställningsskydd (LAS)
DenmarkArbejdsmarkedslovgivningen
AustriaArbeitsrecht / Arbeitsgesetzbuch
Equivalent to “Code du travail”

Évaluation des risques professionnels

In France, “Occupational risk assessment” (Évaluation des risques professionnels) is a mandatory requirement for all employers arising from the “Labour Code” (Code du travail).

Who is responsible for conducting Évaluation des risques professionnels in France?

In France, the “Occupational Risk Assessment” (Évaluation des risques professionnels) is a mandatory requirement for all employers derived from the “Labour Code” (Code du travail).

What is Évaluation des risques professionnels and why is it important in France?

Évaluation des risques professionnels (Occupational Risk Assessment) is a mandatory process for all employers in France aimed at identifying, evaluating, and controlling occupational hazards in the workplace. It is a key element in ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for employees and preventing occupational accidents and diseases.

What are the steps in the Évaluation des risques professionnels process in France?

The Évaluation des risques professionnels process includes several key stages:
Hazard identification: The first step is to precisely identify all potential hazards in the workplace that may pose a risk to the health and safety of employees. This can include physical factors (e.g., noise, vibrations, radiation), chemical (e.g., hazardous substances, dust), biological (e.g., microorganisms), and psychosocial factors (e.g., stress, work overload).
Risk assessment: Next, it is necessary to assess the probability of harm and its potential severity for employees if exposed to each identified hazard. Factors such as the frequency and duration of exposure to the hazard, individual susceptibility of employees, and already implemented protective measures should be considered.
Implementation of preventive measures: Based on the risk assessment, appropriate preventive measures should be implemented to eliminate or minimize the risk. This may include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), implementation of technical safeguards, changes to work organisation, provision of training and instruction for employees, and regular monitoring and review of safety protocols.
Documentation: The entire Évaluation des risques professionnels process must be documented in order to demonstrate its conduct and the implementation of appropriate preventative measures. Documentation should include hazard identification, risk assessment, implemented preventive measures, and plans for monitoring and review.
Equivalent of “Évaluation des risques professionnels” in other Countries:
CountryEquivalent of “Évaluation des risques professionnels”
UKRisk Assessment
GermanyGefährdungsbeurteilung
ItalyValutazione del rischio
SpainEvaluación de riesgos
PolandOcena ryzyka
RomaniaEvaluarea riscului
NetherlandsRisicobeoordeling
BelgiumRisicoanalyse / Évaluation des risques
GreeceΕκτίμηση κινδύνου (Ektími̱si̱ kíndynou)
PortugalAvaliação de riscos
Equivalent of “Évaluation des risques professionnels”

Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels (DUERP)

Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels (DUERP), is a mandatory document for all employers in France. It is a key element of occupational safety and health management in the workplace, aimed at identifying, evaluating, and controlling occupational hazards to protect workers from occupational accidents and diseases.

1. What is DUERP and why is it important?

DUERP (Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels), or Single Document Occupational Risk Assessment, is a mandatory document for all employers in France. It serves to identify, evaluate, and control occupational hazards in the workplace, to protect workers from occupational accidents and diseases. DUERP is a crucial element of occupational safety and health management in any enterprise.

What information does DUERP contain?

DUERP should contain at least the following information:
Description of the workplace and activities performed
Identification of all potential occupational hazards
Risk assessment of each identified hazard
Implemented preventive measures
Plans for monitoring and review prevention measures
Data concerning persons responsible for risk assessment and implementation of preventive measures

How often should DUERP be updated?

DUERP must be regularly updated, at least once a year or in the event of any changes in the workplace, the activities performed by employees or implemented technologies. It should also be updated after every occupational accident or disease.
Equivalent of “Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels (DUERP)” in other Countries:
CountryEquivalent of Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels (DUERP)
UKRisk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS)
GermanyGefährdungsbeurteilung und Betriebsanweisung (GuB)
ItalyValutazione dei Rischi
SpainPlano de Seguridad y Salud
PolandInstrukcja Bezpiecznego Wykonania Robót (IBWR)
RomaniaSistem de Securitate a Muncii (SSM)
NetherlandsVeiligheids Beheer Systeem (VBS)
BelgiumVeiligheid, gezondheid en milieu Checklist Aannemers (VCA)
GreeceΕκτίμηση Κινδύνου (Ektí̱mi̱si̱ Kíndynou)
PortugalPlano de Prevenção de Riscos
Equivalent of Document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels (DUERP)

Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)

Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT), is a document used in France to specify the scope, frequency, and procedures for conducting inspections and tests on equipment and machinery. PIT is a key element of occupational safety and health management, aimed at ensuring safe and correct operation of equipment and protecting workers from occupational accidents and diseases.

What is a Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT) and why is it important?

PIT (Plan d’Inspection et de Test), or Inspection and Testing Plan, is a document used in France to define the scope, frequency and procedures for inspecting and testing equipment and machinery. The PIT is a key element in managing health and safety at work, aiming to ensure the safe and proper functioning of equipment and to protect workers from accidents and occupational diseases.

What information does a Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT) contain?

The PIT should include at least the following information:
1. Description of the equipment or machinery
2. List of checkpoints
3. Testing methods
4. Frequency of inspections and tests
5. Acceptance and rejection criteria
6. Repair procedures
7. Details of responsible persons

What are the benefits of implementing a Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)?

Benefits of implementing a PIT include:
1. Increased safety for workers
2. Reduced risk of accidents and failures
3. Improved performance and reliability of equipment
4. Extended lifespan of equipment
5. Compliance with regulatory requirements
6. Reduced repair and maintenance costs
Equivalent of “Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)” in other countries:
CountryEquivalent of Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)
UKInspection and Test Plan (ITP)
GermanyPrüf – und Inspektionsplan (Prüfplan)
ItalyPiano di Ispezione e Test (PIT)
SpainPlan de Inspección y Prueba (PIP)
PolandPlan Inspekcji i Badań (PIB)
RomaniaPlanul de Inspecție și Testare (PIT)
NetherlandsInspectie- en Testplan (ITP)
BelgiumInspectie- en Testplan (ITP) / Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)
GreeceΣχέδιο Επιθεώρησης και Δοκιμών (ΣΕΔ)
PortugalPlano de Inspeção e Teste (PIT)
Equivalent of Plan d’Inspection et de Test (PIT)

Loi sur la sécurité incendie

Loi sur la sécurité incendie, is the main legal act regulating fire safety issues in France. This act was enacted in 2011 and replaced earlier regulations concerning fire protection.

Main objectives of the law:

  • Preventing fires and limiting their effects
  • Protecting the life and health of people and property from fires
  • Ensuring safe evacuation conditions in the event of a fire
  • Promoting a culture of fire safety

Scope of the law:

The Fire Safety Law encompasses a wide range of issues related to fire protection, including:

  • Obligations of owners and users of buildings to ensure fire safety
  • Requirements for the design, construction and use of buildings in terms of fire safety
  • Installation of alarm and extinguishing systems
  • Regular fire safety inspections
  • Fire safety training
  • Procedures in the event of a fire
  • Knowledge of regulations: Detailed understanding and compliance with occupational safety regulations.
  • Hazard assessment: Regular identification and evaluation of occupational hazards.
  • Implementation of preventive measures: Effective elimination or reduction of occupational hazards.
  • Employee training: Providing adequate training in health and safety.
  • Documentation of actions: Recording actions and decisions related to health and safety.
  • Cooperation: Active cooperation with employers and employees in promoting a safety culture.
  • Professional liability insurance: Considering the purchase of insurance to protect against potential claims.

Specifics of health and safety training for employees in France

Health and Safety Training (formation en sécurité et santé au travail) for employees in France is mandatory and a key element of occupational safety and hygiene management. The goal of the training is to provide employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and healthily perform their work, and to prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases.

Scope of Health and Safety training:

The scope of health and safety training in France includes a range of topics, such as:

  • Occupational hazards: Employees must be familiarised with various types of occupational hazards that can occur in their workplace, such as physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychosocial hazards.
  • Safety and hygiene regulations: Employees must know the basic regulations of safety and hygiene applicable in their industry and workplace.
  • Safety and hygiene procedures: Employees must be trained in workplace safety and hygiene procedures, such as procedures for handling machinery and equipment, using personal protective equipment, and responding to emergencies.
  • Rights and responsibilities of employees: Employees must know their rights and responsibilities regarding safety and hygiene, such as the right to refuse dangerous work and the duty to report occupational hazards.
  • First aid: Employees should be able to administer first aid in the event of a workplace accident.

Types of Health and Safety training:

In France, there are various types of health and safety training, depending on the type of job, level of risk, and experience of the employee. The most common types of training are:

  • Initial training: Initial training is mandatory for all new employees and must be conducted before they begin work. This training includes basic information about safety and hygiene in the workplace.
  • Periodic training: Periodic training must be conducted regularly, at least once a year, for all employees. This training involves updating employees’ knowledge and skills in safety and hygiene.
  • Specialised training: Specialised training is required for employees who perform particularly dangerous work or operate machinery and equipment with increased risk.

Conducting health and safety training:

Health and safety training in France can be conducted by:

  • The employer: The employer can conduct health and safety training for their employees, provided they have the necessary qualifications and experience.
  • An external training company: The employer may delegate the conduct of health and safety training to an external training company that has the appropriate permissions and experience.
  • Trade organisations: In some cases, trade organisations can conduct health and safety training for their members.

Duration of Health and Safety training:

The duration of health and safety training in France depends on the type of training, the scope of topics, and the number of participants. Initial training usually lasts from a few hours to one day, and periodic training can last from a few hours to a few days. Specialised training may take longer, depending on its specifics.

Sanctions for non-compliance with Health and Safety training obligations:

Employers who fail to meet their health and safety training obligations may be fined. Employees who do not participate in mandatory health and safety training may be disciplined.

Where can I find training for employees in Germany?

OrganisationWebsite
Ministry of Labourtravail-emploi.gouv.fr
ANACT (Agence nationale de l’amélioration des conditions de travail)anact.fr
OPPBTP (Organisme professionnel de prévention du BTP)preventionbtp.fr
Where can I find training for employees in France?

Cooperation with Local Health and Safety Services in Germany: Why It’s Valuable

Cooperation with Local Health and Safety Services (Services de Santé au Travail – SST) in France can bring many benefits to both employers and employees. SST offer a wide range of services that help protect the health and safety of employees, as well as prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases.

Here are several key reasons why it is worthwhile to cooperate with Local Health and Safety Services in France:

1. Compliance with regulations:

French law requires all employers to cooperate with SST. This cooperation includes conducting regular occupational risk assessments, implementing preventive measures, providing health and safety training for employees, and monitoring the health status of employees. Cooperation with SST helps employers fulfil these obligations and avoid penalties for non-compliance.

2. Improvement of safety and hygiene at work:

SST have the knowledge and experience necessary to identify and assess occupational hazards, and to implement effective preventive measures. Cooperating with SST can help employers create a safer and healthier work environment for their employees, which may lead to reduced numbers of workplace accidents and occupational diseases.

3. Increase in productivity:

Healthy and safe employees are more productive. Cooperating with SST can help employers maintain good health among employees, which may lead to increased productivity and reduced sickness absence.

4. Improvement of employee morale:

Employees who know their employer cares about their safety and health are more motivated and satisfied with their work. Cooperating with SST can help employers create a positive workplace atmosphere, which may lead to improved employee morale and reduced staff turnover.

5. Access to experts:

SST employ qualified experts in the field of health and safety, who can provide employers with advice and guidance on various health and safety issues. Cooperating with SST gives employers access to this knowledge and experience, which can be extremely valuable.

How to establish cooperation with Local Health and Safety Services in France:

Every company in France is obligated to designate an SST with which it will cooperate. This can be done in two ways:

  • Join an existing SST: This is the most common option. There are many SSTs that offer their services to companies of different sizes and industries.
  • Create your own SST: This option is only available to large companies with a large number of employees.