The safety obligation is no longer understood only as an obligation for the employer to guarantee the physical safety of employees (work accidents and occupational diseases). It has widened and now includes the protection of all the risks to which an employee could be exposed as a result of his missions, and in particular the protection of psychosocial risks such as burn-out, alcoholism, reactive anxiety.
Use the Labor Code
And if the Labor Code only requires the employer to take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety and protect the physical and mental health of its employees, case law goes further by imposing a real obligation of result, it that is to say by extending to all aspects making it possible to ensure the good physical and mental health of employees the obligations originally put in place in the context of exposure to occupational diseases, the first of which is asbestos. Choose the health and safety services for the best results.
What The Employer Does
Thus, the employer being required to achieve a result, in the event of endangerment of the employee or of a lack of safety, the employer will be presumed to be fully responsible. He can only be exonerated from his liability by demonstrating a case of force majeure or, failing that, the fact that the employee himself contributed to the production of his damage.
- The employer’s obligation to achieve safety results presupposes that the latter arranges the work premises in such a way as to guarantee the health and safety of employees. They must therefore be kept in a necessary state of cleanliness and hygiene, and be free of any clutter.
- The installations, technical rooms and safety devices (fire extinguishers, SCBA, defibrillators, etc.) must be meticulously maintained and regularly checked.
These precautions seem elementary and are common sense. What we often forget is that the employer, to comply with his safety obligation, must also make special efforts with regard to ventilation and sanitation of premises, lighting, heating, etc. catering for staff, protection against noise and tobacco, fitting out computer workstations in order to limit fatigue, stress, visual fatigue or MSDs for example, sanitary facilities, danger zones (ATEX for example), first aid equipment or the prevention and fight against fire and risks related to electrical installations.
- Health and safety in the workplace: an assessment specific to each company.
- Every business is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all recipe.
In order to comply with its obligation of security of result, the employer must assess the risks for each of his employees according to the activities of his company and working methods, including with regard to the choice of manufacturing processes, work, chemical substances or preparation (e.g. computer screens fitted with filters, etc.), the layout of workplaces or facilities (e.g. natural, artificial light, etc.), definition of workstations.
This assessment must take into account all the constraints, including personal constraints: gender inequalities, disabled employees, etc.
Occupational health and safety: and in the event of non-compliance?
The control of compliance with safety rules in the company is the responsibility of the labor inspectorate. When the inspector finds a breach, he can draw up a report and give formal notice to the employer in the event of an infringement, seize the summary judge in all cases of serious risk of harm to physical or mental integrity. of an employee, or, in the event of serious and imminent danger, prescribe all useful measures, in particular the temporary stopping of certain work on the site (for example in the event of non-compliance with the regulations relating to scaffolding).