The Single Occupational Risk Assessment Document (DUERP): what changes in 2022?


Since 2001, the DUERP is a document in which the employer is obliged to record the results of the assessment of health and safety risks to which all employees may be exposed. This system has just been reformed by the law of August 2, 2021 (known as the law on health in the workplace), which came into force on March 31, 2022. The decree of March 18, 2022 specifies the framework for its implementation.

The need to manage occupational risks within the company

The 'document unique' is a document that helps structure the CSR policy of companies. The assessment of occupational risks has two advantages for an employer. First of all, a risk that is not taken into account by a company is perceived in a negative way by the employees. It is a source of de-motivation and therefore a factor that leads to a loss of productivity. Then, when a work accident occurs in the company, the cost of corrective actions represents a loss, a charge that is greater than the preventive actions. 
The risk management approach in companies is structured as follows:
  • Preparation and evaluation of risks
  • The identification of risks
  • Risk classification
  • Preventive actions
Unfortunately, even if this approach is beneficial to both employers and employees, it is clear that many companies are still behind in this area.

Document Unique

The modification of the obligations regarding the annual update of the DUERP

The law on health at work of August 2, 2021 had taken over a previous regulatory provision that required employers to update the DUERP every year and in particular to include the results of the risk assessments that it must carry out. The decree of March 18, 2022 modifies the law by removing this obligation for companies with less than 11 employees. Nevertheless, this obligation remains in the event of a major development that would modify health and safety conditions at work.

Modification of the obligations concerning the annual program of prevention actions

While the 2021 law did not require companies with less than 50 employees to list all prevention actions in the annual risk prevention plan, today the decree of 18 March 2022 specifies two things:
Companies with more than 50 employees must:
  • Provide a detailed list of prevention actions each year in the DUERP
  • Identify the resources that will be mobilized for this purpose
  • Propose an implementation schedule each year

Companies with fewer than 50 employees must:
  • List the prevention actions to be implemented in the company
  • Update the DUERP each year in case of changes

The right of access to the DUERP and the duration of its conservation

Until now, the law on health at work provided for a right of access to the DUERP of the companies to different persons:
  • The workers
  • The CSE
  • The occupational medicine
  • The labor inspectorate
  • Social security bodies
  • The agents mentioned in articles L 4643-1, L 1333-29 and L 1333-30 of the public health code.
The decree specifies that employees will only have access to the versions of the DUERP in force as of the date they take up their post in the company. However, this right of access is extended to former employees, under the same conditions as current employees.
Although the law had provided for a 40-year retention period for the DUERP, this was not precise enough. The decree therefore corrects this oversight by specifying a period of 40 years from the creation of the DUERP, a period extended by the same amount of time for each updated version.

Other contributions of the decree of March 18, 2022

For companies with less than 50 employees, the decree also specifies the terms and conditions that will allow the training of the members of the staff delegation of the CSE as well as the referent in the fight against sexual harassment and sexist behavior to be paid for. These training courses will be paid for by the skills operator (OPCO), an organization approved by the Ministry of Labor.