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As specified in the Dutch Working Conditions Act(Arbowet), business owners in the Netherlands must designate one or more health and safety officers. If you have 25 employees or less, you yourself may act as the health and safety officer. A health and safety officer focuses on day-to-day health and safety issues within a company.
Tasks of the health and safety officer
A health and safety officer has three statutory tasks:
- Drafting and implementing (either independently or with others) the mandatory risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E).
- Advising and consulting the works council or staff representation on working conditions.
- Implementing health and safety measures.
A health and safety officer must have sufficient levels of knowledge and experience to carry out these tasks. If there is insufficient knowledge and experience within your company, you may call on an external health and safety expert for support.
The health and safety officer and the works council
As of 1 July 2017 the Netherlands Working Conditions Act has been adjusted to increase employee participation in occupational health services.
- The works council has the right of consent on the choice and location of the prevention officer.
- Every employee must be able to make use of the services of the medical officer. This medical officer may speak with the works council, and he/she has gained advisory duties.
- There are minimum requirements for the host contract with the medical officer.
- The SZW Inspectorate has gained more freedom for enforcement and monitoring.