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Who is responsible for safety and health of the employees?

The employer is responsible for the safety and health of his employees and must make every effort to protect them against all types of risks (law of 31/12/1991 - L4121-1). He must in particular, where it is technically feasible, replace a dangerous substance by a non-dangerous or less dangerous substance. In the absence of specific regulations, the decree 2003-1254, 12/23/2003 (Directives EEC 98-24 and 99-38) on the prevention of chemical risk applies.

Following instructions given by the employer, it is incumbent on each worker to take good care of their health and their safety and of other individuals who may be affected (labor code, L4122-1).


The activities related to nanomaterials, considered as presumed dangerous chemical agent, are subject to the “precautionary principle”.

Since the court judgments of the Court of Cassation (02/28/2002) on asbestos, the employer has a security performance obligation, in accordance with the employment contract and even in the absence of a regulation. The employer must therefore take all necessary precautionary measures, andmay propose protection equipment's andprotect the health of hisemployees (L 122-45 labor code).