Do you own a business in the Netherlands, and do you employ staff (including temporary workers, interns, and/or flex workers)? You must make sure your employees can work safely and healthily. You must conduct a risk assessment and evaluation (RI&E, in Dutch). An RI&E describes any risks to the health and safety of your employees. The Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA) checks if you have an RI&E.
What is an RI&E?
The RI&E must be performed before the official start of your business. When carrying out an RI&E, you must check:
- which risks you and your employees encounter
- which risks are the most severe or important
- what measures you have taken to prevent harm to your own health and that of your employees
- what measures you are planning to take (Plan van Aanpak)
You must implement and regularly evaluate the measures. You must also make sure that the RI&E is accessible for and can be examined by employees.
A measure you could write down in your plan of action, is to use the Hand arm risk-assessment method (HARM). This helps prevent your employees from getting arm, neck or shoulder problems, when they work with their hands or arms all day. A measure against improper conduct, such as for instance harassment, might be to appoint a trusted person.
The Dutch support centre for risk inventory (RI&E) offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide in English for business owners.
Drawing up an RI&E
When you draw up an RI&E, there are a few scenarios:
You have more than 25 employees
You must be assisted by a health and safety officer when drawing up the RI&E. A certified occupational health and safety service or health and safety expert must assess the RI&E.
You have 25 employees or less
You do not need to have the RI&E assessed if you use a recognised RI&E-tool developed by your sector organisation. Several of these sector organisations offer their RI&E tool on their website. You can find your sector and RI&E using the (Dutch-language) Rie.nl website. If the total amount of hours worked by your employees (combined) is no more than 40 hours a week you may use the Checklist Health Risks (Checklist Gezondheidsrisico's, in Dutch).
You work with volunteers
Do you work (solely) with volunteers? You do not always need to conduct an RI&E (in Dutch) or have it assessed. For instance, if you have employees for at most 40 hours a week in total besides the volunteers, you do not need an RI&E. You can instead use a sector RI&E or the Checklist Health Risks (Checklist Gezondheidsrisico's, in Dutch). The (sector) RI&E does not have to be assessed.
Fine for not having an RI&E
The Netherlands Labour Authority will check if you have an RI&E and an action plan (Plan van Aanpak or PvA). They check for example if you have covered all risks and measures in your plans. Is your RI&E or action plan incomplete or is it not approved by the Netherlands Labour Authority? They may give you a warning, demand that you improve it, or even fine you. Do you not have an RI&E or action plan? You may be fined at once.
You can use the Dutch-language RI&E guide (Wegwijzer RI&E) to:
- find out if you need to conduct the risk inventory and evaluation.
- check how to draw up your risk inventory and evaluation.