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Health and Safety Coordinator

The Health Protection and Safety Coordinator is a person or body appointed by the client at the preliminary design and development phase of the project.

The three key areas for the Health Protection and Safety Coordinator are to:
- analyse of the risks linked to the various activities on site
- define the preventative measures to reduce the risks
- supervise the correct implementation of these measures

On all building and construction sites where several companies, workers, contractors and sub-contractors are
involved, the coordination of health protection and safety must be organised in such a way as to anticipate and
prevent the risks that can result from different operations and proceedures taking place simultaneously or
successively on the site. This must be considered from the conceptual phases through to completion of the project, taking into account the common infrastucture, logistics and the safety protections for each of the interested parties (Art L.235-3 et L.235-4). 

The Health And Safety coordinator's job is to forewarn and instruct against the possible dangers that may result from the numerous activities taking place by various teams and contractors working alongside each other throughout the works. In order to produce a detailed assessment, he analyses the inherent risks of each trade, examines the programme of works for the key periods of co-activity and proposes preventative measures in order for the site works to be managed safely. He must also understand the occupational health risks and their prevention.

Throughout the project he may modify certain proceedures, reacting to the reality on site and trying to intervene
whenever possible to keep ahead of potential risks. In the eventuality of a failure to implement a proceedure or in the case of a dispute, the coordinator ascertains the responsibility of each party involved and then proposes to the client the necessary correctative measures and conditions to be actioned. If he observes a more serious danger, he may advise the client to stop the works or at least the parts of the work that he considers dangerous and emergency measures are put in place immediately. If necessary, he may reinforce his actions by informing the official authorities involved in the project.

The terms of his contract with the client, his experience and position of authority within the project, enable the
coordinator to put in place all the necessary measures to prevent, eliminate and correct any risks arising. Any
intervention from the Health and Safety Coordinator does not change the description or scope of responsibility of any of the other participants in the project.

When do you have to have a health and safety coordinator in France? Typically in the following circumstances :
  • At least 2 contractors, independent workers or subcontractors, working on a building site with a possibility that their work presents a risk to each other
  • Cost of the works > 300 000 €, duration > 30 days, volume of works > 500 mandays or works with particular risks

A health and safety coordinator is obligatory in very precise circumstances and it's the client who employs one.  There are different levels of health and safety coordinator depending on the category of the operation to coordinate.

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