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Health and safety officer

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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:

The health and safety officer must:

  • be easily and safely accessible
  • have enough time to perform his or duties
  • 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

The Netherlands Working Conditions ActExternal link (in Dutch) has increased 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.

Basic contracts

Under the Working Conditions Act every employer must have an agreement with a working conditions service (Arbodienst) or company doctor. This is called the basic contract in which the rights and duties of the employer, the health and safety officer and company doctor are laid down. Failure to meet the basic contract requirementsExternal link (in Dutch) could result in a fine from the Social Affairs and Employment InspectorateExternal link. Employers are at liberty to include extra duties in consultation with their health and safety officers. This is called the basic plus contract.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO