General principles for welfare policy
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Every employer must draw up a company or institutional policy on the well-being of workers in the performance of their work. This policy is designed to prevent occupational accidents and diseases and clarify the relationship between people and work, so as to take greater account of the person as a whole. To this end, each employer will have to determine the preventive measures that must be present in the company or institution, based on the nature of his business activities, the number of workers employed and their specific risk profile. This prevention policy must take into account a number of specific legal and regulatory provisions that have been promulgated by the government to indicate the framework within which this prevention policy can be established.
Title 2 "General Principles of the policy on Well-being" of book I of the Code on Well-being at Work relates to the employer's general obligations and introduces the dynamic risk management system for this purpose.
The dynamic risk management system covers the eight areas that make up the concept of "well-being". It takes into account the interaction that does or could exist between these areas. This system aims to enable prevention planning and the exercise of the policy and therefore involves four stages:
- the creation of the policy, which mainly determines the objectives and the necessary means;
- policy planning, which mainly determines the methods, duties, obligations and means to be applied by the persons concerned;
- the implementation of the policy;
- the evaluation of the policy, which mainly involves setting the evaluation criteria.
This system takes into account:
- the nature of the business activities;
- the specific risks associated with those activities;
- the specific risks appropriate to certain groups of workers.
The dynamic risk management system is based on the principle of risk analysis, which is carried out in order to be able to establish appropriate preventive measures. This is done on three levels:
- the organisation as a whole;
- each group of workstations or positions;
- the individuals themselves.
There are three phases in the risk analysis:
- hazard identification;
- the definition and identification of risks;
- risk analysis.
Preventive measures are set out in the following order:
- measures aimed at risk prevention;
- measures aimed at damage prevention;
- measures aimed at damage limitation.
For each group of measures, their influence on the risk needs to be examined. They also need to be checked to see whether they themselves entail risks so that another group of preventive measures must be chosen or additional measures from another group must be applied. For example, these preventive measures may be of an organisational nature, concern the design of the work station, the choice of work equipment, collective and personal protective equipment, safety signs, health supervision and emergency procedures.
The dynamic risk management system is expressed through an overall prevention plan which is drawn up by the employer in consultation with line management and the services for prevention and protection at work and covers a five-year period. This plan provides a practical description of the results of the risk analysis , the priority objectives and the activities to be carried out to achieve this objective. It also describes the resources that are used and the duties and obligations of all the relevant persons.
For each year of service, an annual action plan should also be written in the same way and include:
- the priority objectives for the year of service;
- the resources and methods for achieving these objectives;
- the duties, obligations and resources of the relevant persons;
- the adjustments to be made to the overall prevention plan as a result of changed circumstances, incidents and accidents, the annual report of the internal service and the Committee's opinions.
The dynamic risk management system is evaluated regularly, resulting in a new overall prevention plan at least once every five years.
Title 2 of book I of the Code also concerns:
- the obligations of members of line management;
- the free nature of the measures with regard to workers;
- information and training for workers;
- the measures to be taken in the event of emergencies and in the event of serious and imminent danger;
- the reception and support for workers.
- Firstly, with the prevention advisor of the internal and/or external service for prevention and protection at work.
- Secondly, with the competent regional directorate for Supervision of Well-being at Work.
- Questions on the interpretation of the legislation: in writing to the Directorate-General for Humanisation of Labour.