Working Conditions Act (in Dutch: Arbeidsomstandighedenwet)
The Working Conditions Act distinguishes the following emergency response tasks:
- providing first aid
- containing and fighting fires and containing accidents
- alerting and evacuating employees and all other persons present on the premises in the event of an emergency
Wherever work is carried out, there must be arrangements for emergency response. Emergency Response Officers (EROs) are regular employees who perform emergency response tasks if an incident occurs. Their employer must ensure that they have been properly trained and that they keep their skills up to the required standard to conduct their duties correctly.
There must always be sufficient EROs, also if one or more of them are ill or on leave. The employer must also ensure that they have the required equipment. Safety and health at work are regulated by the Working Conditions Act. Under this Act, employers are obliged to inform all their employees about how emergency response is arranged. Emergency response is designed to restrict the effects of unavoidable workrelated risks in your organisation. These include fire or employees falling, tripping over or cutting themselves.
The arrangements and procedures for emergency response are agreed in consultations between employer and employees. Depending on the nature of the organisation, this consultation occurs during a meeting with the staff or their representatives, for example the Works Council. In the case of employees who work alone (e.g. home-careers), employers and employees must make specific agreements on the way emergency response is arranged.
Every employer must ensure that there is sufficient emergency response capacity in his business. The capacity required is determined by a Risk Identification and Assessment (RIE). Depending on the nature, scale, location and any other risks relating to the organisation’s activities, one or more employees must be trained as Emergency Response Officers. Each ERO must be trained for one or more emergency response task.
The emergency response team as a whole must be capable of fulfilling all the necessary tasks.
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