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In which cases should a risk prevention plan be implemented?

When a company operates on the site of another, the prevention plan ensures the safety of employees. It assesses the risks associated with interference between the activities of companies operating in the same workplace.

In which cases is it mandatory? How to implement it?


The prevention plan: a risk assessment tool

To carry out interventions related to the maintenance of equipment or buildings, a site, maintenance work, you may need to call on the skills of an outside company. In this case, your employees and those of the outside company work in co-activity at the same workplace. This situation can generate additional risks in addition to those specific to both activities: we talk about risks related to interference.

The User or host Company (UC) is the one where the work is carried out by the personnel of an External Company (EC). Both are legally independent, linked or not by a contractual relationship (for example in the case of subcontracting). EC staff remain under their own responsibility.

To avoid accidents at work and ensure the safety of employees, the Labour Code defines in its articles R.4511-1 et seq., how to prevent risks related to co-activity.

The prevention plan is the document that formalises the analysis of interference risks and puts in place preventive measures.


How to implement the prevention plan?

The prevention plan must be initiated by the UC, but it is always developed in consultation with the EC.

To do this, both managers must perform a joint inspection before the intervention begins. They analyze:

- the workplaces ;

- the facilities within ;

- equipment made available to external employees if necessary (art. R. 4512-6 of the French Labour Code).

When the joint analysis identifies risks related to interference between the activities of the two companies (UE & EC), the prevention plan is formalised in writing.

If there is no identified risk, the document is not necessarily necessary.


When is the prevention plan mandatory?

Regardless of the results of the risk analysis, Article R.4512-7 of the Labour Code requires the drafting of a prevention plan, in the following two cases:

  • At least one of the interventions provided for by the EC is included in the list of dangerous works defined by the orders of March the 19th 1993 and May the 10th1994

  • If the total expected duration of the work is at least 400 hours over 12 months (whether operations are continuous or not).

  • The provisions concerning intervention in high-threshold installations are naturally more demanding.

However, this obligation does not apply:

  • Where specific provisions for site coordination apply, particularly in the fields of building and civil engineering (art. L.4532-2 and R.4511-3 of the Labour Code);

  • When the site is enclosed or independent (art R.4511-3 of the Labour Code);

  • In the context of shipbuilding or ship repair (art. R.4511-2 of the Labour Code).


What does the prevention plan contain?

The content of the prevention plan is regulated by the Labour Code.

It first defines which phases of activities are likely to be dangerous and sets out the preventive measures to be implemented. It specifies the procedures for adapting equipment, installations and devices to the work to be carried out, so that employees can work safely.

The plan provides for the organization of first aid in the event of an emergency and lists the positions that require enhanced surveillance.

It also defines the arrangements to be made in case of isolated work or night work, as well as the arrangements for providing facilities (sanitary facilities, changing rooms, break room, etc.).

The prevention plan is a true operational roadmap, as it details the tasks to be performed and the response schedule.

Finally, it clarifies who does what, not only in terms of delivery but also in terms of coordination and command.


The prevention plan, a contractual document

The prevention plan commits the companies: as such, it is signed in principle by the managers of both structures. In fact, the signature is often delegated to an employee working on the site.

However, the Labour Code stipulates that delegated staff must be provided with the necessary authority, competence and means (art. R.4511-9).

Concretely, the designated person must be invested by management and recognized by the other employees as depositary of the authority (it is therefore not a simple operator).

The delegate must have the financial, organizational and human resources to meet security requirements (for example to order security equipment).

Finally, they will be sufficiently trained and competent to implement the necessary security requirements.

Once signed, the prevention plan is updated with each change in risk analysis, so it is a living document. It must be made available at the work site for the duration of the work. In particular, the labour inspectorate, prevention officers and safety organizations must be able to consult it at all times.


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