John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Reflections about precaution in the workplace Volume 5, issue 5, Septembre-Octobre 2006

Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS), Avenue de Bourgogne, 54500 Vandœuvre et 30, rue Olivier Noyer, 75014 Paris

The precautionary principle is increasingly becoming a rhetorical leitmotif for the media and the public … Solution to the risks of living in society, society coming of age ... this principle rests on the foundation of humanism but in practice requires knowing how to provide expert advice and opinions that are constructive and even credible in situations of uncertainty. Occupational risks are still studied by the "old" paradigm of risk control, and some see the precautionary principle as a possible more modern successor, especially as it essentially incorporates that model. Nonetheless, the practical implementation of the precautionary principle is not easy, especially for the multifactorial aspects of occupational health that are becoming more important (such as musculoskeletal diseases and stress). The author provides his opinion on the question, although only the State can regulate the application of this principle.