France: New Obligations come into force concerning the ‘Document Unique d’Evaluation des Risques’
“Loi Santé au travail”: New obligations relating, in particular, to the procedures for updating and making available the single document (“document unique d’évaluation des risques”) come into force on 31 March 2022.
The law of 2 August 2021 reformed occupational health. Several obligations will be applicable from 31 March. The risk assessment system in companies has been strengthened: the “document unique” for assessing occupational risks must be updated every year and must be kept for 40 years to ensure collective traceability of these exposures.
In addition to the obligation to draw up the “document unique”, there is also the obligation, depending on the size of the company, to draw up an annual programme for the prevention of occupational risks and the improvement of working conditions, or to draw up a list of preventive actions to be implemented.
With the aim of improving prevention in companies, the “Labor Health Act” of 2 August 2021 strengthens the whole system of occupational risk assessment. The single risk assessment document (“document unique d’évaluation des risques”), which lists all the occupational risks to which workers are exposed, must now ensure the collective traceability of these exposures. To this end, the “document unique” and its successive versions must be kept by the employer and made available to employees, former employees and any person or body able to prove an interest in having access to it for a period to be determined by decree, which is at least 40 years.
From 1 July 2023 (for companies with at least 15 employees, and one year later for others), the “document unique” must be filed on a digital portal.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees must include a list of prevention actions to be implemented in the single document. Companies with at least 50 employees are required to draw up an annual occupational risk prevention programme, with measures to be implemented, monitoring and cost indicators and an implementation schedule.
Important: the CSE must be consulted on the single document and its updates.
The “Labor Health Act” provides for other measures: creation of a prevention passport (by 1 October 2022 at the latest), extension of the content of compulsory negotiation, development of occupational health training for staff representatives, introduction of a mid-career medical check-up for employees, reinforcement of medical monitoring of employees exposed to particular risks. The monitoring of an employee returning to work after a prolonged absence is also reinforce.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
It is necessary to carry out an audit of the company’s activities in order to identify the necessary updates to the single document. The CSE is now informed about risk prevention measures and consulted on the document and its updates: there is a risk of obstruction.