The intervention of outside companies on site is a source of many risks, and in some cases even of accidents at work. The activity, the equipment used and the working environment are all elements to be taken into account to guarantee the safety of employees and avoid unnecessary costs for companies already weakened by the health and economic situation.
The Prevention Plan represents an ally in the management of risks on building sites, as long as you know how to optimise it to take advantage of it. What are its objectives? How to use it? What are its operational limits and how can its management be simplified? Answers to follow.
Prevention Plan: Definition
A little reminder to get started. The prevention plan is defined by the French labour code and decree n°92-158 of 20 February 1992.
This concerns operations carried out by an external company on behalf of a user company. The head of the latter ensures the general coordination of the preventive measures that they take and those taken by the head of the outside company, in accordance with the provisions of Articles R. 4515-1 et seq. (French labour code)
Agreements may be concluded between the head of the end-user enterprise and the head of the external enterprise concerning the provision of personal protective equipment, measuring devices and operational dosimeters, as well as their maintenance and verification procedures. They are then appended to the prevention plan provided for in Article R. 4512-7. (French labour code)
The prevention plan must be formalised in writing in two cases:
- If the number of working hours is at least 400 hours over 12 months
- If the work is included in the list of hazardous work
When these conditions are met, the employers shall draw up, by mutual agreement, before the start of work, a prevention plan defining the measures taken by each company to prevent these risks. This document therefore takes into account the risks associated with each activity, the coactivity of people present at the site and interference with installations and equipment.
Risk prevention is a competitive advantage not to be neglected.
An effective prevention plan reduces incidents, increases the level of safety and compliance on the site, and provides a systematic method to easily manage these events.
What are the stages of the prevention plan?
Before work begins, the end-user company triggers the drawing up of the prevention plan and informs the labour inspection of the opening of the worksite. This process takes place in 5 stages:
Step 1: Order / Agreement
This step should be as precise as possible and should review all known data on the intervention. The objective is to specify with the participants the different phases of activities, the human resources (skills) required, the materials and tools to be used and to clearly define the intervention environment (exact location, installations concerned, traffic areas impacted, etc.).
Step 2: Diagnosis
The aim is to carry out a prior Joint Inspection Visit (JIV) of the premises in order to collect the information and elements necessary to carry out an analysis of the risks that may result from interference between activities, installations and equipment.
Step 3: The prevention plan
It is established in writing and identifies the User Company (UC) and External Companies (EC). It brings together in a single document the identified risks to which employees are exposed in the work area, particularly those related to coactivity, and the necessary preventive measures to be implemented at all stages of the worksite.
Step 4: Implementation of the plan
Inform and supervise the personnel of the User Company and the personnel of the External companies of the risks and precautions to be taken into account.
Step 5: Evaluation and Monitoring of interventions
This step consists of ensuring that the preventive actions imposed by the prevention plan are implemented and carried out. An assessment will be necessary in the event of any changes in activity or work environment generating new risks, in order to implement new prevention measures.
It is imperative to inform all parties concerned by the appearance of new risks in real time and to communicate on any new prevention measures to be put in place.
The prevention plan facilitates communication between all the actors because it is drawn up by mutual agreement between the parties and coordinates interventions as far upstream as possible, by formalising the way in which risks are taken into account.
From field reality to digital
Despite the provisions of the labour code, the prevention approach through the prevention plan still fails to fulfil its role in the field. Indeed, the French National Institute for Research and Security estimates that 15% of fatal accidents are the result of work carried out by outside companies.
As an HSE we are continually facing the challenge of collecting, analysing and assessing the risks associated with coactivity, ensuring that staff receive the requirements of the prevention plan in good time and that they are properly respected and applied. Added to this challenge is the archaic nature of paper, which increases the risk of duplication or loss of information and presents a loss of productivity.
Thibaut Gilles est ingénieur QHSE de formation. Après plusieurs années sur le terrain, il est aujourd'hui content Manager chez BlueKanGo, spécialiste des questions HSE/EHSQ Engineer by trade and Content Manager @Bluekango / Ingeniero EHSQ por comercio y Gerente de Contenido @Bluekango/