Taking company emergency response measures (BHV)

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 22 Nov 2022
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

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

What are company emergency response measures

For the mandatory company emergency response measures, you need 1 or more emergency response officers (BHV’ers). An emergency response officer is an employee who is trained to help in case of emergency (workplace or industrial accident, disaster) and who will get employees, customers, or visitors to safety. An emergency response officer can provide first aid and they can 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, there is no fixed number. With a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) you can determine how many emergency response officers you need and which equipment they must have. The number of employees and the average number of visitors are especially important factors. In the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands’ (SER) Dutch-language guide to company emergency response you can find several methods to determine how many first responders you need (pdf, Annex 9).


You have to make sure that the emergency response officers are well trained and well equipped, see guidelines in Article 15 of the Working Conditions Act. It is up to you to decide which training they will receive. You have to reimburse costs for equipment and training (both inside and outside normal working hours). The equipment they need results from your RI&E.

Emergency response plan and evacuation plan

An emergency response plan (company emergency plan) is not legally required, but it is important to arrange your emergency response measures. This plan details precisely how to act when there is an emergency. If you have a fire alarm control centre in your building, you must have a current evacuation plan, which states how to evacuate safely.

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 2 or 3 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.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO