Logo of the Dutch government

Taking company emergency response measures (BHV)

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Last updated on

Every company in the Netherlands must take company emergency measures, to care for employees and visitors during emergencies. Read more.

You have to provide a safe (working) environment for your employees and visitors. A company emergency response officer can help you with this.

Mandatory company emergency response measures

You need to take so-called company emergency response measures (bedrijfshulpverlening, BHV). For this purpose, you need 1 or more emergency response officers. An emergency response officer is an employee who is trained to help in case of emergency. They can also help prevent unsafe situations. Which measures you have to take depend on the size of your company and the risks in your company. General guidelines can be found in Article 15 of the Working Conditions Act (Arbowet).

How many emergency response officers do you need?

You must ensure that there are always sufficient emergency response officers available. With a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) you can determine how many emergency response officers you need. The number of employees and the average number of visitors are especially important factors. In the Labour Foundation’s Dutch-language guide to company emergency response you can find calculation methods to determine how many first responders you need (Annex 6).


You have to make sure that the emergency response officers are well trained. It is up to you to decide which training they will receive.

Emergency response plan and evacuation plan

You must draw up an emergency response plan (company emergency plan). This plan details precisely how to act when there is an emergency. You must also have an evacuation plan, which can be part of the emergency response plan.

Company emergency response on construction sites

On construction sites (including temporary sites), contractors and subcontractors must jointly provide the emergency response measures. Joint agreements relating to field of health and safety must be stated in the Health and Safety Plan. It is the responsibility of the person in charge of emergency response to make sure there is a sound emergency response plan. This plan must be in line with the Health and Safety Plan.

Please note: If two or three of your employees are working at a private individual’s premises, this is also considered a construction site. However, a Health and Safety Plan is not required in this situation.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
FAQPartnersContactAbout usDisclaimerPrivacy and cookiesAccessibilityOndernemersplein (Dutch) is an initiative of:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOImmigration and Naturalisation Service, INDTax and Customs Administration, BelastingdienstGovernment.nlStatistics Netherlands, CBSNetherlands Vehicle Authority, RDWDigital Trust CenterYourEurope, this webpage is part of an EU quality networkAccessibility level: W3C WAI-AA WCAG 2.1