Prevention Advisor from the internal service for prevention and protection at work
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Role of the Prevention Advisor from the internal service when the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects is part of the external service
The Prevention Advisor responsible for the internal service is more involved in psychosocial risks if the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects is part of the external service for prevention and protection at work.
It is in fact useful for a person within the internal service to be aware of what is happening in the company in terms of psychosocial risks.
This also allows this Prevention Advisor to work in coordination with the external service for prevention and protection at work employed by the company.
The Prevention Advisor from the internal service may be required to assist the employer if the latter believes that the situation is complex and decides to carry out an analysis of psychosocial risks in the company as a whole or in a specific work situation without the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects from the external service. However, this Prevention Advisor must have the time and skills to be involved in these analyses. It is advisable for the Committee to give its advice in advance on the principle of this involvement and give its prior agreement to any change to the minimum duration of the services provided by the Counsellor as a result of these additional tasks. This Prevention Advisor is entitled to refuse these tasks if they do not have sufficient skills or to ask for specific additional training.
The Prevention Advisor from the internal service may also still use their general power to issue an advice on the components of the work organisation, the content of the work, the working conditions, living conditions at work and interpersonal relations at work that may lead to psychosocial risks.
To be able to give this advice, the Prevention Advisor from the internal service must be able to review these components with the employer, and the employer must inform them of any changes made to these components that may result in psychosocial risks.
Real collaboration develops between the prevention Advisor and the management bodies, which allows prevention to become a direct part of management decisions.
In the internal procedures, the Prevention Advisor responsible for managing the internal service is informed of developments in the formal request for psychosocial intervention:
- they are informed of the proposed preventive measures and their justification, which are included in the advices of the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects.
- they are informed by the employer of the decision on how to follow up the request.
The Prevention Advisor responsible for managing the internal service will automatically take on the information role of the confidential counsellor under the following conditions:
- the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects is external,
- there is no designated confidential counsellor,
- the Committee or interested party has not signalled their disagreement to this role, and
- it does not concern a small company with fewer than 20 employees, in which the employer acts as the Prevention Advisor.
This means that they do not have to take the specific training for confidential counsellors. This person is therefore available in the first instance only to inform workers about the various existing procedures and to provide the contact details of the external Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects.
If the internal Prevention Advisor wants to take on all the tasks of the confidential counsellor, i.e. both prior information and the management of informal requests for psychosocial intervention (interview, intervention with a third party, reconciliation), nothing prevents them from training as a confidential counsellor and asking the employer to be appointed as such in accordance with the procedure.
The Prevention Advisor responsible for the internal service holds the register of third-party facts if the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects is part of the external service for prevention and protection at work and no confidential counsellor has been designated.
Role of the Prevention Advisor from the internal service when the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects is part of the internal service
If the internal service comprises Prevention Advisors with different skills (safety, psychosocial aspects, …), each of them will be required to assist the employer within the scope of their specific skills.
However, the internal service must perform its role based on the principle of multidisciplinarity, using the coordinated intervention of the different Prevention Advisors by the person responsible for the internal service.
This coordination is particularly necessary as there are links between psychosocial risks at work and 'traditional' risks to the health and safety of workers. Psychosocial risks may lead to occupational accidents, and some psychosocial dangers can be found in living conditions at work (physical environment, layout of the workplace, work equipment, environmental factors, substances used, etc.).
This coordination must take place with respect for the professional secrecy of each participant.
The Prevention Advisor of the internal service must include the information on the prevention of psychosocial risks at work in the annual report of the internal service for prevention and protection at work.
The Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects and the confidential counsellor are responsible for sending them in the form of anonymous data so that the report can be completed.
The data can be used to assess the collective preventive measures.
Psychosocial risks can lead to occupational accidents: a study was carried out on the link between psychosocial factors at work and (serious) occupational accidents in Belgium
The Prevention Advisor from the internal service considers the possible psychosocial causes during their investigation into an occupational accident.
These causes may include:
- work-related conflicts,
- abusive behaviour comprising violence or harassment,
- the distribution of tasks,
- the clarity of instructions
The report drafted following a serious occupational accident must always mention these causes if they have been observed.
A checklist on the link between psychosocial aspects and occupational accidents has been drafted in French (Check-list sur le lien entre les aspects psychosociaux et les accidents du travail (PDF, 232.6 KB))
- 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.