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You must provide good working conditions for all your employees. Your staff must work in a safe and healthy workplace. This also applies to foreign workers and temporary staff. If you employ subcontractors, you must also provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. This means you must:
- provide a proper workplace and safe equipment;
- prevent physical and psychological strain (stress);
- take steps to avoid accidents with hazardous or harmful substances, radiation or contagious diseases.
You have to list the poterntial risks in your workplace in a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E). Use the SZW Inspectorate (Inspectie SZW) online tool (in Dutch) to find out how safe and healthy your workplace is for your employees. Check whether you are aware of the risks in your company by using the self-assessment tool ‘Andere kijk op de zaak’ (in Dutch) and make sure you have taken the right measures to avoid them. If you work with hazardous substances, do the Safety Data Sheet check (SDS check) to make sure your supplier has complied with safety regulations.
Working from home or other locations
If your employees work from home or from a different location (for example an internet café, station, or flexible work location) you are less responsible, or not at all responsible, for their working conditions. However you are obliged to give information and support.
Working conditions catalogue
The requirements for making a workplace safe and healthy are laid down up in four documents: the Working Conditions Act (Arbowet), the Working Conditions Decree (Arbobesluit), the Working Conditions Regulation (Arboregeling), and the Working Conditions Policy Rules (Arbobeleidsregels). Employers and employees use a working conditions catalogue (Arbocatalogus) to agree on how they are going to create the required conditions. A working conditions catalogue may apply to only one company or to an entire sector. On the (Dutch-language) website DeArbocatalogus.nl (in Dutch) you will find practical suggestions and instruments for making a working conditions catalogue.
Sector pamphlets on occupational hazards
The SZW Inspectorate has published several pamphlets in English on the main workplace risks in specific sectors. You can read what you as an employer in your sector have to do, and what precisely the SZW Inspectorate looks for during an inspection.
Mandatory working conditions certificates
You must have a working conditions certificate if you work with certain products or systems, or in specific sectors. This applies to:
- working with lifts, cranes and pressure tanks
- working as a diver, working with explosives, working with professional fireworks
- working as a health and safety officer and working with asbestos
Free career advice for over 45-year-olds
If you employ staff over the age of 45, they are eligible for free career advice from a career advisor. The subsidy scheme ‘Career development advice for over 45-year-olds’ (in Dutch) has been extended to include all over 45-year-olds. Every employee over the age of 45 can request advice on the development of their career in a number of sessions with a coach. The sessions are free for the employee. The coach can apply for a subsidy for €600 per employee.