French occupational risks assessment document DUERP: An employer obligation
French labor laws are rigorous and often pro-employee. It is part of the employer’s obligation to ensure the employees’ health and safety. The new French occupational health law ‘loi santé au travail’ that became effective in March 2022 brought some changes to the existing employer’s obligations. It focuses on anticipation and prevention.
The new French law strengthens the role of occupational health services, imposes new occupational health appointments in France, and amends the provisions regarding the French occupational risks assessment document DUERP.
What is the French DUERP document?
In France, it is mandatory to establish a DUERP in all companies from the 1st employee. DUERP stands for ‘document unique d’évaluation des risques professionnels’, translating to evaluation document of professional risks.
The French occupational risks assessment document DUERP has to list all professional risks to which employees are exposed and must ensure the collective traceability of these exposures. Companies with less than 50 employees will have to define risk prevention and employee protection actions in the DUERP. Companies with a headcount of at least 50 employees, have to establish an annual prevention program of occupational risks including measures to improve working conditions.
The work council CSE should be consulted. Employees’ practical knowledge gives them an important role, particularly when it comes to suggesting improvements and proposing preventive measures.
No DUERP model is imposed by law. The document must be adapted to the company, its activity and its professional risks.
Annual update of the DUERP
In the past, all companies, regardless of their staff headcount, had to update their French occupational risks assessment document DUERP every year. Based on the new occupational health law, small companies with less than 11 employees are no longer concerned by this obligation.
However, an update of the DUERP will be mandatory for instance when working conditions are modified or when additional information concerning the assessment of a risk is brought to the attention of the employer.
Record keeping of the French Occupational risks assessment document
Companies will have to keep the DUERP with all its updates, for a period of at least 40 years.
A dematerialized deposit of the DUERP on a digital portal will be mandatory from 1st of July 2023 for companies with at least 150 employees. From 1st of July 2024 it will be mandatory for all companies.
How to establish a French occupational risks assessment document DUERP – step by step
The establishment of a DUERP consists mainly of the following steps:
– Risks identification and evaluation (is the risk controlled?)
– Risks prioritization (low or high risk)
– Proposal of preventive actions for the risks that are not controlled
– Editing of the DUERP document
Different free assessment tools can be found on
Example: occupational risks assessment document for office work
Office work can contain more risks than someone might think at first: working all day in front of a screen, home office, responding to an exceptional workload, occasional business travel …
The prevention of occupational risks in the context of office work must aim to reduce physical risks such as back pain and musculoskeletal disorders; as well as psychosocial risks like stress.
For office work an interactive questionnaires can be found on
The questionnaire can be accessed after creating a free account.
This questionnaire helps employers to identify risks and develop a specific action plan if the risk is not controlled in the company.
As an example, the risk evaluation of the work space is done for several aspects: noise, illumination, temperature, potential trip hazards, electrical risks, fire risks. In case that any of these risks is not controlled in the company the tool gives ideas of preventive measures.
For instance if noise is an issue in an open space work environment, the employer can provide shared spaces for group work and separate rooms for meetings. Moreover, the employer can equip the workspace with silent equipment (e.g. printers) or separate noisy equipment from the open space work environment.