Health and safety: use and organization of workplaces

Verified 19 April 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The employer must ensure the health and safety of employees. This general principle implies obligations concerning the layout and use of workplaces. What place can be considered as a place of work for the application of these rules? What are all the employer's obligations regarding the workplace? We are taking stock of the regulations.

Places intended to accommodate work stations shall be considered as places of work. They may be located inside the buildings or in any other place to which the worker has access in the course of his work.

For an agricultural or forestry establishment, any land within the built-up area is considered to be a place of work.

Any employee (temporary, intern, employee in CSD: titleContent or DTA: titleContent) must benefit from the health and safety rules implemented. He has to respect.

The employer must take all necessary measures to avoid occupational risks.

This requirement implies an obligation to maintain the conformity and the cleanliness workplaces.

The rules shall apply to private-law employers, public health, social and medico-social institutions and, subject to conditions, to Epic: titleContent and to Epa: titleContent employing staff under private law conditions.

Sanitary facilities include changing rooms, washbasins, toilets and possibly showers.

The catering facilities must be separate from the workplaces.

Sanitation rooms

The employer must allow workers to keep themselves individually clean.

Changing rooms

The group changing rooms are settled in a insulated room work and storage rooms.

They're placed close to the places of passage employees (hall, corridors).

In establishments employing mixed staff, separate installations are intended for women and men.

The communal changing rooms are equipped with a sufficient number of seats andindividual cabinets.

These cabinets are non-flammable and equipped with a lock or a padlock. They allow you to hang 2 city clothes.

Some workers are not required to wear specific work clothing or personal protective equipment.

The employer can then replace the group locker rooms with a secure storage unit, dedicated to their personal effects, placed near their workstation.

Please note

Where changing rooms and washbasins are settled in separate rooms, it must be possible to communicate between them without passing through the work or storage rooms and without passing through the outside.


The washbasins must be settled in a special room of a suitable surface placed in the vicinity of workers.

This room is placed away from workplaces and storage locations.

The floor and walls of the room allocated to the wash basins must be such as to permit effective cleaning. This room must be kept clean at all times.

The employer must provide one washbasin for 10 workers at most.

The water in the washbasins must be drinkable and the employee must be able to adjust temperature.

To limit the risk of burning, the employer must comply with the following provisions:

  • Maximum temperature of domestic hot water set at 50°C at tapping points (tap outlet) in rooms intended for the toilet
  • Temperature of domestic hot water is limited to 60°C at tapping points in other parts

The employer must put in place ways to cleaning, of drying orwiping appropriate.

They are maintained or changed every time it's necessary.


In the company or establishment, there must be at least 1 toilet and 1 urinal for 20 men and 2 toilets for 20 women.

In establishments employing mixed staff, the toilets are separate for female and male staff.

At least one cabinet has 1 water station.

The toilets cannot communicate directly with the enclosed spaces in which the workers are to stay.

They are laid out in such a way as not to give off any smell. They are equipped with flush toilets and toilet paper.

The toilets are aerated in accordance with the rules on aeration and cleaning and suitably heated.

The employer shall cause the cleaning and to the disinfection toilets and urinals at least once a day.

Toilet doors must be full and equipped with an internal closure that can be unlocked from the outside.


Showers must be provided for employees carrying out unsanitary or dirty work.

Showers must be settled in cabins individual. They comprise at least 1 apple for 8 persons when each shower cabin comprises 2 dressing or undressing cells.

Dining rooms

It is forbidden to let employees eat their meals in the premises assigned to work.

The location of the catering room must not be located in the rooms used for work.

The catering room in the companies more than 50 employees shall be provided with a sufficient number of seats and tables.

It must have a tap for drinking water, fresh and hot, for 10 users.

It has a means of preserving or refrigerating food and beverages and a facility for heating dishes.

Both indoor and outdoor workplaces shall be provided for safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

Transparent doors shall be marked at sight height.

Sliding doors and gates are equipped with a safety system preventing them from coming out of their rail and falling.

Those who open up must have a safety system that prevents them from falling back.

Doors and gates are maintained and checked regularly.

Seats at the workstation

The employee must be provided with an appropriate seat at or near his work station.

Drinking water supply

The employer must make fresh drinking water available to employees.

It must also make available free of charge at least 1 non-alcoholic beverage, in particular when particular working conditions lead employees to frequently quench their thirst (for example, during heat waves).

The employer determines the location of the beverage distribution stations.

These must be near the work stations and in a place which meets all the conditions of hygiene.

The employer must ensure compliance with the following provisions:

  • Good storage of beverages
  • Maintenance and proper operation of distribution apparatus
  • Absence of any contamination

First aid equipment and training

Workplaces must be equipped with first-rate equipment relief.

This equipment must be adapted to the nature of the risks and must be easily accessible.

The hardware of the first standby is the subject of a signaling by display.

A staff member must have been trained as an on-the-job rescuer in the following situations:

  • Workshops where hazardous work is carried out
  • Yards employing at least 20 workers for more than 15 days where hazardous work is carried out

Prohibition of smoking and vaping in the workplace

He is no smoking in all enclosed and covered places which constitute workplaces.

The principle of a ban on smoking in workplaces must be clearly stated within the company.

The employer must put in place visible signs recalling this principle in the various places of work.

The employer may set up certain smoking areas within the company after consulting the ESC: titleContent and the occupational physician.

It is also no vaping at the workplace closed and covered for collective use.

There is an apparent sign reminding people of the principle of the ban on vaping and possibly its conditions of application within the premises concerned.


Room temperature

The equipment and characteristics of the work rooms must enable the adaptation of temperature to the human body during working hours.

The working methods and physical constraints of the workers must then be taken into account by the employer.

Ancillary premises, such as sanitary, catering or medical premises, must comply with the same principles.

Premises with suitable thermal insulation and equipment such as heating, ventilation or air conditioning make it possible to achieve this objective.

High heat

The employer must incorporate the risk of high temperatures into the Single Occupational Risk Assessment Document (DUERP).

He must take account of the prefect's directives and implement an action plan with corrective measures.

The ESC: titleContent must be consulted if it exists.

The employer may take the following preventive measures:

  • Adjustment of work shift schedules as far as possible (e.g. early morning start of work, abolition of afternoon shifts, reduction of physical load)
  • Organization of additional and/or longer breaks at the warmest hours, if possible in a cooler room
  • Useful means of protection (auxiliary fans, mineral water misters, external blinds, shutters, etc.)
  • Provision of fresh drinking water to employees
  • Information to all workers on the risks, prevention measures, signs and symptoms of heat stroke (document drawn up with the occupational doctor)
  • Ambient temperature monitoring

In summer, a telephone number is available:

Who shall I contact

The employer must maintain all electrical installations in accordance with the standards in force.

The employer shall periodically inspect or cause to be inspected the electrical installations to ensure that they are kept in good working order.

The initial verification be carried out by a body accredited for that purpose.

The periodic checks are carried out either by an accredited body or by a qualified person belonging to the company whose competence is assessed by the employer.

The establishment must have emergency lighting to ensure the evacuation of persons in the event of accidental interruption of normal lighting.

Each employee is a user of the electricity grid. It must be able to use electrical equipment without running the risk of coming into contact with live bare parts.

The employer may decide to involve an employee in the electricity network (for example, to change a light bulb).

The intervention can be done off or on and the employee is then one speaker on the electricity grid.

To intervene on the electricity grid, the employee must have received training which will enable it to carry out certain work.

To perform work under tension, the employee must have a specific authorization issued by his employer.

This authorization shall be granted after obtaining a document from an approved training organization attesting to the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills.

Fight against fire risk

The employer must take all necessary measures to ensure that any outbreak of fire can be combated quickly and effectively.

Fire-fighting equipment shall be provided by a sufficient number of extinguishers and kept in good working order.

There must be at least 1 portable spray water extinguisher with a minimum capacity of 6 liters per 200 m2 floor and at least 1 aircraft per level.

Fire extinguishing systems shall be durably marked at the appropriate locations.

In establishments with more than 50 employees, there must be a fire safety instruction.

This instruction must be displayed very clearly in the following places:

  • Local where the staff is more than 5 people
  • Premises containing substances or preparations classified as highly flammable
  • Local or each alternate serving a group of premises in other cases

Fire safety instructions indicates the following information:

  • List of extinguishing and emergency equipment in or near the premises
  • List of persons responsible for putting this material into action
  • List of persons responsible, for each premises, for directing the evacuation of workers and possibly the public
  • Set of specific measures related to the presence of persons with disabilities
  • Means of alert and list of persons responsible for alerting fire-fighters at the start of a fire
  • Emergency service address and telephone number
  • Reminder of duty, for anyone who sees the start of a fire, to sound the alarm and to implement the means of 1ers relief, without waiting for the arrival of specially designated workers

The instruction includes the exercises during which the employee learns to recognize the characteristics of the alarm signal.

He must also learn to use the means of 1ers and to carry out the various maneuvers necessary.

These periodic exercises and tests shall take place at least every 6 months.

An audible alarm system is mandatory in establishments occupying or where more than 50 people.

This system is also compulsory in establishments where flammable materials no matter how many people they employ.

Combating explosion risk

The employer must take technical and organizational measures appropriate to the company on the basis of the principles of prevention.

In order to prevent explosions, the employer must first of all seek to respect the following principles:

  • Preventing the formation of explosive atmospheres
  • Avoid ignition of explosive atmospheres if the nature of the activity does not prevent their formation
  • Mitigating the adverse effects of an explosion on the health and safety of workers


The establishment must have emergency lighting to ensure the evacuation of persons in the event of accidental interruption of normal lighting.

The company has clearances. These are all parts of the construction allowing the evacuation of people (doors, exits, corridors, stairs and ramps for example).

These clearances shall be so distributed as to permit the rapid evacuation of all occupants under maximum safety conditions.

The path to the nearest exit shall be indicated by a signal.

The employer must ensure that the premises are properly maintained.

It must take all necessary measures to eliminate the risks associated with non-compliance with the rules governing the maintenance and upkeep of workplaces.

Maintenance of premises

The working rooms and their annexes must be regularly maintained and cleaned. They should not be cluttered.

The employer may request the opinion of the occupational physician and the ESC on the provisions concerning cleaning procedures, frequency and frequency, schedules, products and equipment in particular.

Maintaining compliance

Technical and safety installations and devices at the workplace must be maintained and audited by following a appropriate periodicity.

Any breakdown or irregularity which may affect the health or safety of the employee must be eliminated as soon as possible.

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