Are you a business owner with personnel? In the Netherlands, you have to designate 1 or more health and safety officers. A health and safety officer (preventiemedewerker) focuses on day-to-day health and safety issues within a company.
When you have selected a health and safety officer for your business, you need approval from the works council or staff representation before you can appoint them.
Tasks of the health and safety officer (preventiemedewerker)
The precise tasks of a health and safety officer depend on the size, structure, and circumstances of your company. A health and safety officer has three statutory duties:
- Help carry out and formalise (either independently or with others) the mandatory risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E).
- Advise, consult, and cooperate with the company doctor and the works council or staff representation on working conditions.
- Implement health and safety measures at work.
The health and safety officer must:
- be easily and safely accessible
- be given enough time to perform his or her duties
- have enough knowledge and experience to carry out these tasks. Is no one in your company able to perform these tasks? Then you may call on an external health and safety expert for support.
How many health and safety officers do you need?
According to the Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet) every company must have at least 1 health and safety officer. Do you have 25 employees or less? Then you yourself may act as the health and safety officer.
The act does not state the exact number of health and safety officers you need in relation to the size of the company. How many officers you need and how many hours they should work depends among others on the risks at the company. You have to determine and describe these risks in your RI&E. You can ask an external health and safety service or health and safety expert for advice on this.