All you need to know about safety at work

In companies, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the occupational safety of its employees. This involves putting in place the information, prevention, training and protection measures necessary to deal with the various risks involved in each workstation. 

If this legal obligation is not respected, the employer may be held civilly and/or criminally liable. However, employees are also required to comply with certain rules. Here is everything you need to know about safety at work. 

What is safety at work?

Health and safety at work are two concepts of primary importance in the protection of employees.

Indeed, any professional activity generates risks for workers (physical, psychosocial), which is why it is the employer’s duty to respect certain regulations and measures enacted by the Labour Code.

The aim is to reduce the risks present as much as possible in order to protect employees from potential work-related accidents and long-term illnesses. 

In addition, it is a matter of doing everything possible to preserve the physical and moral health of workers by guaranteeing optimal working conditions.

In the event of a breach of this safety obligation, the employer may pay damages to the employee concerned and/or be exposed to certain criminal sanctions.

What are the obligations of the employer and the employee?

Employer obligations

In France, under Article L.4121-2 of the Labour Code, company managers are required to:

  • identify and assess occupational risks and record them in a Profesional Risk Evaluation (Single Occupational Risk Assessment)
  • set up a health, safety and working conditions committee (CHSWC) responsible for drawing up, implementing and enforcing the safety plan (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • taking measures to encourage the improvement of working conditions, with the aim of avoiding, limiting and combating risks at source.

This last point involves initiatives such as:

  • collective protection measures (installation of signs, securing of passages and areas at risk)
  • technical monitoring of the most suitable safety equipment and measures for the risk environment (safety at work at height, safety on building sites, safety on SEVESO sites, etc)
  • individual protection measures (obligation to wear PPE, employee training)
  • regular maintenance of dangerous equipment and its replacement if necessary

Employee obligations

As for the employee, he/she is required to apply the recommendations and safety rules issued by the employer: 

  • respect the traffic zones in the company
  • respect the instructions issued for each area or each workstation 
  • respect the instructions for use of work equipment 
  • use the Personal Protection Equipment provided (gloves, helmets, overalls, etc.)
  • follow the mandatory training courses and be informed about the conditions of use of products, specific protection measures, etc.
  • know the evacuation instructions and emergency exits in case of fire.

Why is wearing PPE essential for the safety at work?

Collective protective equipment (CPE) is a technical device that isolates a hazard from those potentially exposed to it.

When CPE is not sufficient to ensure the safety of employees at work, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) enables individuals to be protected against one or more risks (French Labour Code, article R.233-83-3). 

Indeed, adapted PPE reinforces the protection of employees and makes it possible to limit or eliminate the effect of the risks to which they may be exposed: risks of cuts, risks of crushing, risks of burns, etc.

Ask us for advice, Rostaing will come to you to assess your employees’ needs by carrying out a precise workstation audit.

However, the choice of PPE is not made at random and must be the subject of a risk assessment process. Of course, particular attention must be paid to the safety standards governing protective equipment, particularly gloves.

To find out more about our range of protective gloves, consult our 2022 catalogue.

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