How to assess and manage occupational risks in your business?

How to assess and manage occupational risks in your business?

Management of occupational risks remains an obligation of managers. Under the responsibility of employers, its evaluation as well as its good management commit the manager. This originates from the general obligation of safety and protection of employees and cannot be neglected under penalty of sanction which may go as far as criminal.

Occupational risk assessment (EvRP)

Many leaders neglect this obligation believing that the worst never happens. However, this is an obligation that exists in the labor code in articles L4121-2 and L4121-3. They must first of all identify the existing risks within the company, classify them and carry out an action plan to prevent them. This entire process must be formalized in a document called a “single document” which must be made available to employees, the CHSCT, staff representatives, the occupational physician and the labor inspector. The simple absence of a document is also liable to a fine of 1,500 euros which can be doubled in the event of a repeat offense.

Security to often take into account

It is very rare to be able to fully control all the risks weighing on the business. Obtaining professional insurance remains common especially if you notice that the risks are serious and that a danger turns into damage. Owning it allows you to have “financial support” in the event of a disaster. It is also often the realization of the damage that gives everything the interest of investing in professional insurance. Above all, the professional risk assessment allows you to choose the right guarantees to protect you, whether through professional civil liability, professional multi-risk, cyber insurance or other.

The start of the process

The primary purpose of EvRP is to prevent damage. If we cannot eliminate all the dangers that exist in a company, certain activities involving an inherent risk, it is above all a question of reducing the risks and taking measures to limit them as much as possible. The evaluation starts with declaring your desire to reduce the risks and by determining the evaluation tools as well as the means that you will allocate to them. Each company chooses the appropriate tools but the most classic approach consists in designating a person or a group who will be responsible for coordinating, gathering information on risks, defining a budget, internal training as well as the necessary communication. If you can get help from outside organizations, it is still advisable to maintain internal control, involve employees in identifying risks and determining preventive actions.

Note that small businesses are not exempt from this obligation even if you can obtain computer applications from INRS in particular.

Identification of risks

If you want to take this step, know that you can start by identifying the dangers weighing on your employees. They can be linked to the equipment they use, to schedules and more generally to anything that can affect the physical integrity of your employees, but not only. You have to take their mental health into account as well. The next step is to move on to risk analysis. In this case, different methods exist and the latter can involve checks or verifications, analyze each workstation or even calculate the probabilities that a risk occurs.

Risk classification

Once the risks have been determined and analyzed, it is a matter of classifying them in order to determine an appropriate action plan. If the employer decides how to classify the risks, it is still advisable to rely on the knowledge of the employees and to discuss the priorities for action with them before deciding on the planning of actions. Once these have been identified, the employer’s task does not end there because he will have to determine the actions and propose them to the employee representative bodies. Resolution groups can be formed for this purpose.

The unique document itself

Certain elements must be annexed to the single document, such as all the data which allowed “the assessment of exposure to stress factors” as well as the proportion of employees exposed to these dangers.

These documents remain essential, in particular to ensure the follow-up of actions as well as the consistency of your approach. It will then be a question of using them in order to check that the actions have been carried out, that the process of continuous improvement as well as to take into account any changes in health and safety rules.

In particular, INRS publishes a practical brochure in this area which can help you by providing you with the form of the document, the methods of production, its content and other elements such as follow-up.

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