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Here are the 9 general principles of risk prevention.

Safety in business is crucial to minimize the risks of accidents and occupational diseases. Indeed, the integration of prevention measures allows for anticipating dangerous situations and promoting a safer work environment for employees. Moreover, this helps the company preserve its reputation. To guide employers in identifying, evaluating, and managing occupational risks, the 9 general principles of prevention have been established.


Definition of General Prevention Principles

Explanation of General Prevention Principles

The general principles of prevention are guidelines aimed at limiting occupational risks. They often originate from the occupational health and safety field. These principles have been established to provide a systematic framework for proactive risk management in business. Indeed, they allow for the implementation of an effective prevention approach and are transferable in different work situations. For example, they are used to guide prevention in the construction sector (BTP).

Why are These Principles Important for Safety in Business?

Prevention principles are important for safety in business because they define a methodical framework to anticipate, analyze, and mitigate occupational risks. By applying them, an employer can improve the health and safety of workers and comply with the Labor Code rules. They can also invest in virtual reality training to help them better understand the dangers.


The 9 General Principles of Prevention

Here are the 9 general principles of risk prevention:

  • avoid risks; 
  • evaluate risks; 
  • combat risks at the source; 
  • adapt work to man; 
  • take into account technical evolution; 
  • replace what is dangerous with what is not or is less so; 
  • plan prevention by taking into account the technicality, organization of work, and social relations; 
  • prioritize collective protection measures over individual protection measures; 
  • give appropriate instructions to workers.

Principle 1: Avoid Risks

This principle involves eliminating the danger or exposure to danger. Indeed, if it proves impossible to eliminate it completely, it is important to be able to reduce or avoid risks that can be.

Principle 2: Evaluate Risks

Some risks cannot be avoided. Thus, it is appropriate to assess their nature and importance to define actions to preserve workers' health. Note that all occupational risks and prevention measures must be recorded in the DUERP or document evaluating occupational risks.

Principle 3: Combat Risks at the Source

Prevention must be integrated as soon as possible to effectively combat risks. You can think about this from the design of workplaces, procedures, or equipment.

Principle 4: Adapt Work to Man

To limit strenuous, paced, and monotonous work, it is advisable to adapt work to man. For this, the employer must consider individual differences and design suitable workstations. For example, if the height of a work surface is unsuitable, it can be identified during the risk assessment phase. Thus, the plan can be lowered or raised to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Principle 5: Take into Account Technical Evolution

Ensure that prevention actions are always in line with organizational and technical evolutions. For this, set up regular monitoring.

Principle 6: Replace What is Dangerous

Some dangerous processes or products should be replaced if safer methods can achieve the same result. For example, a carcinogenic product can be substituted with a less harmful one.

Principle 7: Plan Prevention

Among the 9 general principles of prevention, planning is included. It involves integrating work organization, technique, social relations, working conditions, and the environment into a coherent whole. It is possible to organize prevention in common in case of intervention by several companies.

Principle 8: Prioritize Collective Protection Measures

The employer must prioritize collective protection measures. If they are insufficient, individual protection measures can be added. This is often the case for jobs highly exposed to risks.

Principle 9: Give Appropriate Instructions to Workers

Information and communication are important aspects of the risk prevention approach. For workers to understand the dangers they face, they must have the necessary elements to properly understand the risks.


Applying General Prevention Principles

How to Effectively Apply These Principles in a Business Environment?

To effectively apply the 9 general principles of prevention in a business environment, you can proceed in stages. Analyze workers' activities and identify risks to their health and safety to take efficient prevention measures. This will allow you to prevent risks at the source and adapt work to man. Do not forget to consider human factors in work organization such as fatigue and mental load. Finally, regularly monitor the protection measures you have taken and adjust them if necessary. Likewise, learn from incidents that occur to continuously improve workplace safety.

Illustrations of Some Practical Examples in Business

Here are some practical examples of applying the general principles of risk prevention in business:

1st Case: Prevention at the Source

In a pharmaceutical company, the employer decides to replace a toxic solvent with a less dangerous alternative in manufacturing processes. This eliminates the risk of chemical exposure.

2nd Case: Collective Protection

An import-export company installs efficient ventilation systems in its warehouse to limit workers' exposure to dust. This contributes to both improving air quality and protecting their respiratory health.

3rd Case: Prevention Planning

A construction company integrates fall protection devices during the design of a new building. Thus, risks are anticipated at the beginning of the project.

4th Case: Information and Training

A manufacturing plant regularly organizes training sessions on machine use. This raises workers' awareness of good practices.


Immersive Training to Train Your Teams in Business Risks

Training workers in health and safety risks is crucial in business. For this, you can use virtual reality. This innovative tool guarantees better results thanks to its playful side. Benefit from the support of our experts to set up effective and quality immersive training. Regardless of your field of activity, we offer up-to-date programs accessible by subscription. Thanks to our training, your employees will experience risks as if they were there and change their behavior quickly.

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