Committee for prevention and protection at work

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    If the Committee's agenda contains a point on the prevention of psychosocial risks, the confidential counsellor and the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects take part in the meeting in an Advisory capacity.

    Prior notice

    For psychosocial risks, the Committee issues an advice on:

    • whether to issue the tasks of the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects to an internal or external service;
    • 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. The Committee's advice only covers the aspects of these components linked to employee well-being;
    • the collective prevention measures that result from the initial risk analysis;
    • the collective prevention measures resulting from the evaluation of the prevention policy relating to psychosocial risks;
    • the proposals for collective preventive measures made by the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects in their advices issued following the submission of a formal request for psychosocial intervention, whose aim is to prevent a repetition in other work situations;

    Once a year, the employer must send the Committee all the proposals contained in the advices of the Prevention Advisor for psychosocial aspects from the past year. These are not proposals for measures aimed at individual cases.

    Prior agreement

    The entire committee must give its prior agreement to the modalities of the internal procedure relating to the prevention of psychosocial risks at work.

    The prior agreement of all the workers’ representatives on the Committee is required in certain cases:

    Risk analysis for a specific work situation

    When a psychosocial danger is detected in a specific work situation (in a specific service, for example), the employer must carry out a risk analysis of this situation if at least one third of the workers’ representatives on the Committee request it. In this case, the employer is in principle obliged to carry out this analysis. However, the employer does not have to respond to this request if it is totally unfounded. This request is based on concrete indicators: high number of workers ill, significant employee turnover, information from several workers, etc. The justified or unjustified nature of the request will be checked by the Supervision of Well-being at Work inspection service based on the indicators provided by the applicants.

    When calculating one third, account is taken of the number of full workers’ representatives on the Committee. Account should not be taken of the number of members present at the Committee meeting during which the request is made, or of the number of alternate members.

    If the workers representatives are at the origin of this analysis, the employer sends the Committee the results of the analysis (in the form of anonymous data) and its decision regarding the measures to be taken.

    This request for an analysis of a specific work situation can also be submitted by a member of the line management. In this case, the Committee is informed by the employer that the analysis has been carried out and makes the results available (in the form of anonymous data).

    If there is no Committee

    The legislation has introduced a cascade approach for cases where there is no Committee or trade union delegation in the company:

    If there is no Committee within the company, the trade union delegation will take on the tasks of the Committee.

    In companies where there is neither a Committee nor a trade union delegation, the workers themselves are directly involved in handling questions relating to the well-being of workers. The concrete implementation of this direct participation is described in the specific titles each time.

    This cascade approach also applies when the provisions entrust tasks only to the workers’ representatives within the Committee, unless another rule is expressly stipulated.

    The legislation excludes the application of this rule in these exceptional cases. In the event of a formal request for psychosocial intervention that is mainly collective, for example, the employer is required to consult the Committee. If there is no Committee, the employer must consult the trade union delegation. If there is no trade union delegation, however, the employer does not need to consult the workers. The cascade approach does not apply in this case.

    Information and training

    In addition to the points set out in the 'Prior advice' and 'Prior agreement' titles, the employer must inform and train the Committee members on:

    • the procedures accessible to workers,
    • the request for a risk analysis of a specific work situation,
    • the right to record a declaration in the register of third-party facts,
    • the obligation to refrain from abusive behaviours.

    This involves the right to receive verbal explanations of the written instructions so that they can ask questions.