Drawing up a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) for your company

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Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW

Your employees must be able to work in a safe and healthy environment. That is why you must carry out a risk assessment and evaluation (abbreviated to RI&E in Dutch). With an RI&E, you identify any risks in the workplace, and make a plan for how to solve or prevent those risks. Read how to draw up an RI&E.

What is an RI&E?

When you are an employer, you are required by law to make a risk assessment and evaluation, an RI&E. This is a mandatory evaluation of the risks in the workplace for your staff. You identify the risks in the workplace and make an action plan. The action plan outlines what you will do to provide safe and healthy working conditions for your staff.

Common risks include working with dangerous chemicals or lifting heavy things. Some risks are not visible. For example, stress or discrimination.

If you have no RI&E, the Netherlands Labour Authority (Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie, NLA) can fine you.

What is in an RI&E? Watch the video

Drawing up an RI&E

You can draw up an RI&E yourself, or you can use one of the Online interactive Risk Assesment tools provided by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) on their website. You can also use a tool for RI&E (in Dutch) from Steunpunt RI&E or another sector organisation. The RI&E must be drafted together with or by a health and safety officer. This person deals with health and safety in your business every day.

Identify the risks in your company

You research the risks in your company. For instance, physical risks such as lifting, vibrations that can cause hearing damage, and too much screen work. And risks of work-related stress due to irregular working hours. Or safety risks, for example, if heat or radiation is released during work activities.

Decide which risks are the most serious

When you know the risks, you can assess them. Think about how many employees are at risk. What are the consequences? And how often does the risk occur? You make a list of the risks and compare them. Then you put them in the right order, from most important risk to least important risk. This forms the basis of your action plan.

Draft an action plan

An action plan is a mandatory part of the RI&E. In your action plan, identify what measures you will take to manage the risks. Who does what, and when?

Assessing your RI&E

In most cases, you must let a certified occupational health and safety service or occupational health officer (in Dutch) assess your RI&E (including your action plan). This will tell you whether you have taken the right measures. And whether your employees are properly protected against the risks. Whether you need to test depends on the size of your company. Check if you are required to have your RI&E assessed (in Dutch). The costs for testing an RI&E are not fixed. Therefore, ask for a price quotation from the occupational health and safety service.

Discuss the RI&E in your business

It is a good idea to involve your employees in drawing up the RI&E. What are the risks they see? Which measures do they consider most important? This way, your employees are involved in the development of occupational safety.

Your works council (ondernemingsraad, OR) or the staff representation (personeelsvertegenwoordiging, PVT) must be consulted on decisions about working conditions. This is called the right of consent. Make sure your staff knows that there is an RI&E.

Review the RI&E and adjust it regularly

You should regularly review your RI&E and adjust it if necessary. Are you changing work processes or workplaces? If so, this sometimes affects the RI&E and the action plan. Working conditions may also change. And sometimes there are new insights. For example, about the health effects of a particular chemical, working with a new machine, or moving to new premises.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theMinistry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW