Workplace compliance: ensuring employee safety!

November 2, 2022
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Workplace compliance is a term used to describe the rules and laws that govern the working environment. It is important because it ensures that workers are protected against risks associated with the premises in which they work. As we shall see, however, there is a difference between premises within a company and remote work at home.

So in this article, we will define workplace compliance in detail and explain why it is important for both the employee and the employer.

What is workplace compliance?

Workplace compliance refers to the rules and regulations that the employer must respect in order to create a safe and healthy working environment. This may involve ensuring that workers at remote work have adequate ergonomic facilities, or providing all employees with the protective equipment necessary for their health and safety.

In fact, the employer must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, such as those governed by the Labour Code.

What does the Labour Code say?

Safety in the workplace is obviously present in a good number of articles of the Labour Code. However, within the regulatory part, the fourth part (Health and safety at work) gives us information on many measures to be taken in order to bring workplaces into compliance. Here are some examples.

The right to individual protection of workers

According to the Labor Code (Article R4222-26), the employer is responsible for taking the necessary measures to ensure that personal protective equipment is used effectively, maintained in good condition and disinfected before being assigned to a new employee.

The employer must also ensure that employees are properly trained in the use of personal protective equipment and that it is suitable for them.

Electrical installations (Articles R4226-1 to R4226-21)

The provisions of this chapter VI of the Labor Code establish a framework for the use and provision of electrical installations, both permanent and temporary.

These provisions help to ensure that workers are safe when using or being near an electrical installation and are therefore able to move safely throughout their work area.

For example, these electrical installations must be checked by a qualified person on a regular basis. This is to ensure that you are not at risk when you plug in your laptop or use any equipment in your office that is connected to the electrical network.

Storage of a hazardous material

If a material that can catch fire very quickly is stored on the company's premises, then :

  • No workstation should be more than 10 meters from an emergency exit
  • Doors must open outward
  • Windows should open very easily from the inside

Explosion protection training for employees must also be provided if explosive atmospheres can form and present a risk to the safety and health of employees or others.

The risks of a non-compliant workplace

The control agent of the labor inspection can come and carry out an inspection of the workplace at any time. He will check that the provisions of the labor code are respected and that the employer ensures the safety of the workers.

If he finds risks, he advises on the measures to be taken to remedy them. However, if the employer does not implement any of these measures, he may be subject to severe penalties. These may include:

  • a fine,
  • of the company's closure,
  • or even a prison sentence.

Therefore, it is essential for the employer to take workplace safety seriously and ensure that they comply with all applicable regulations.

Risks to workers

According to government data, 10.40% of private sector workers suffered an occupational injury in a single year.

These data should be taken into consideration. They show that employees can be exposed to certain risks in the workplace.

Compliance within the remote work

Although the rules for verifying compliance of the home where remote work is performed are not defined by the Labor Code, the employer nevertheless has a general obligation to ensure the safety and protection of his employees. This means that the employer must take reasonable steps to ensure that the remote work premises meet health and safety standards.

In addition, employers must ensure that employees have access to the same resources and support as in a traditional office. By taking these precautions, employers can help ensure the safety and productivity of their employees at remote work.

In conclusion, it is important that employers are aware of the importance of workplace compliance. Depending on the activity of the company, employees may be exposed to certain risks and it is therefore crucial that employers take all necessary measures to ensure their safety.