The operator of a classified installation has an obligation to ensure the running of the installations for which he is responsible and the prevention of risks, pollution and nuisances that they may generate. The fundamental role of the Inspectorate of classified installations is to verify this principle.
Thus, inspectors have an absolute and permanent right to obtain authorisation from the operator to enter the site of a classified installation, and to obtain all the documents relative to regulated installations. They require no court approval to exercise this right. Agents are sworn officials. Obstructing an inspector in the performance of his duties is a misdemeanour.
Inspectors are also bound by professional confidentiality : they cannot disclose or use trade details and secrets they have become acquainted with via the documents of the installation. Violating this confidentiality exposes the inspector to disciplinary and criminal sanctions.
Their findings should be unbiased. Potential non-compliances are explained to the operator at the end of the inspection. A follow-up letter reiterating the findings and follow-up actions they intend to propose is then sent to the operator.
Competence, impartiality, fairness and transparency are the unifying values of the Inspectorate of classified installations. They form an integral part of the inspection mission.