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A Comparative Analysis of the Two Main Documents Used in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in France and Québec as a Framework for Improving Occupational Health and Safety

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Context and background: In France as in Québec, occupational health and safety (OHS) has become a national priority. While organizations in these two societies differ slightly, preventive measures are the same, and legislation requires that the chosen approach to improving OHS be reduced to writing, even in small and medium-sized enterprises. Prevention is managed through existing structures within companies and is documented by the employer. Such documentation is mandatory and allows the company to manage its risks and to monitor the hazards associated its activities. The principal document used for this purpose is known as the “Document unique” in France and the “Programme de prevention” in Québec. Motivation: The aim of this concise review of the literature is to compare the “Document unique” and the “Programme de prevention” and thereby help experts develop a universal document that combines the best features of the French and Québécois versions. Methods: Differences between these two documents are noted. Through comparative analysis, we explain how prevention, the regulatory context and the field of application are defined in each case. We then discuss the helpful features and the limitations inherent in both documents and conclude with a table of comparison. Results and conclusions: The advantages and inconveniences appear to be similar for both documents. There are nevertheless opportunities to combine the best features of the Document unique and the Programme de prévention in order to obtain an improved guide for the writing of a complete accident prevention and OHS policy appreciated by employers and employees alike.

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