The law of August 2nd, 2021, applicable from March 31st, 2022, modified the rules relating to risk assessment in companies, occupational medicine, and the medical and professional monitoring of employees, and consequently the rules applicable to the single document for the assessment of professional risks (the so called “Document unique d’Evaluation des Risques Professionnels” or “DUERP”)
- What is the DUERP?
The employer must, considering the nature of its activity, assess the risks to the health and safety of its employees, that may arise from:
- The choice of manufacturing processes, work equipment, chemical substances, or preparations,
- The layout or rearrangement of workplaces or facilities,
- The organization and the definition of workstations.
The employer must then record the results of the risk assessment in the DUERP.
- What’s new?
- Scope defined by law
The employer must record and update in the DUERP the results of the assessment of risks to the health and safety of the employees.
The content of this document has been more precisely defined in the new legislation : it must list all the occupational risks to which employees are exposed and ensure the collective traceability of these exposures revealed by the risk assessment.
The DUERP must be updated at least once a year, but it can be updated less frequently in companies with fewer than 11 employees, provided that an equivalent level of protection of the health and safety of the employees is guaranteed.
The employer must send the DUERP to its occupational health and prevention service each time it is updated.
In addition to its participation in the analysis of occupational risks, the Social and Economic Council (CSE), in companies with at least 50 employees, must now be consulted on the DUERP and its updates.
- The retention period
This document, in its successive versions, must be kept by the employer during a period which may not be less than 40 years.
The minimum retention period of 40 years is explained by the fact that many work-related diseases can occur at a later stage, such as mesothelioma, whose latency period is estimated at approximately 35 years after exposure to asbestos dust. Moreover, such a duration, corresponding approximately to the duration of a professional career, provides an overview of collective exposures over an entire career.
The employer must keep the document available to:
- the employees and former employees,
- the Employee representatives (Social and Economic Council -CSE),
- the occupational physician and the multidisciplinary team of the occupational health service,
- labor inspectors,
- the social security organizations, agents of professional organizations for health, safety and working conditions in branches of activity presenting particular risks,
- radiation protection inspectors.
- Uploading of the DUERP online
The DUERP and its updates will have to be uploaded on a digital portal deployed and administered by an organization managed by the employer organizations at the national and interprofessional level.
The obligation to file the DUERP electronically will enter into force:
- as of July 1st, 2023, for companies with 150 employees or more,
- as of dates set by decree (unknown as of yet) and no later than July 1st, 2024 for companies with fewer than 150 employees.
- Employee protection actions
For companies with less than 50 employees:
The risk assessment must lead to the definition of risk prevention and employee protection actions, recorded in the DUERP and its updates.
For companies with at least 50 employees:
The DUERP is used to draft the report and the occupational risk prevention program that the employer must present each year to the CSE.
- What are the penalties for not complying?
If the professional risks of the company aren’t registered in the DUERP or its update, the company is exposed to a penalty of up to €7,500 (up to €15,000 in the event of a repeated offence).
The employer who doesn’t make the DUERP available to the CSE, commits an offence of obstruction. The maximum penalty can be up to 1 year of imprisonment and a €3,750 fine, though in practice only the fine applies.
In the event of an occupational accident, the employer who didn’t establish a DUERP may be held liable for inexcusable fault. The recognition of the inexcusable fault of the employer allows the victim or his/her heirs to obtain an increase of their pension and an additional compensation for the various prejudices suffered and not compensated by this increase.
- Reminder on the recording of documents related to health and security
- Work accident declarations
The employer must keep the declarations of work accident for 5 years and make it available to the authorities upon request or in case of a control of the labor inspection.
For HiConnect clients who have subscribed to our Employee Management Services, these occupational accidents are declared, monitored and filed by HiConnect.
For other clients, HiConnect can assist you with the declaring and monitoring of occupational accidents, on request.
- Other mandatory documents related to health and security may be recorded in the Register of Safety
There are many documents and registers related to health and security that the employer must keep available to the CSE and the labor inspection.
These documents are:
- The certificates, instructions, results and reports relating to the checks and controls for which the employer is responsible in terms of health and safety at work. They are dated and mention the identity of the person or organization in charge of the inspection or verification as well as that of the person who carried it out (e.g. certificate of control of the fire extinguishers of the premises, control of the heating/air conditioning system, etc.);
- Observations and formal notices issued by the Labor inspection concerning health and safety, occupational medicine and risk prevention.
These documents should be presented to the CSE during the meeting which follows their reception by the employer and kept for 5 years. A register dedicated to safety/heath-related documents of the Company called register of safety (“registre de sécurité”) may include these documents.
Should you have any questions, or should you need assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Credit photo – https://pixabay.com/fr/photos/portable-bureau-main-l-%c3%a9criture-3196481/