Last up-date May 2013
The general rules of the Working Conditions Act are elaborated upon in the Working Conditions Decree. The Working Conditions Decree contains concrete provisions which employers must follow, classified by subject. Most of the EU-directives related to occupational safety and health have been implemented in this Decree.
The content (by chapter) of this Working Conditions Decree is the following:
- Definitions and scope. In this chapter attention is paid to specific sectors and specific groups of employees. Examples of specific sectors are the transport sector and the armed forces. Examples of specific groups of employees are young employees (younger than 18 years) and pregnant and breastfeeding employees.
- Health and safety management and organisation of work. This chapter deals with different aspects such as specific obligations for the petro-chemical industry related to the risk assessment and evaluation and obligation for occupational safety and health services.
- Organisation of workplaces. For example specific obligations are given for electrical installations, for the prevention of falling from height and for explosive atmospheres. Obligations related to the more technical aspects of the (re)building of workplaces can be found in the Building Decree 2012.
- Dangerous substances and biological agents. By far the biggest chapter of this Decree. This chapter does not deal with dangerous substances in general only, but also with some specific dangerous substances such as asbestos, conventional explosives and carcinogenic or mutagenic substances.
- Physical load. Two EU-directives have been implemented in this chapter of this Working Conditions Decree. The first one is the manual handling of loads (90/269/EEC) and the second one is working with display screen equipment (90/270/EEC).
- Physical factors. The seven sections of this chapter are: 1. Temperature and ventilation; 2. Lighting; 3. Noise; 4. Vibrations; 5. Radiation; 6. Artificial optical radiation; 7. Working under excess pressure (diving).
- Work equipment and specific activities. Provisions are given how to handle safely with work equipment. This is not the implementation of the Machinery-directive (2006/42/EC). This directive has been implemented in the Commodities Act.
- Personal protective equipment and health and safety signs. Two EU-directives have been implemented in this chapter of this Working Conditions Decree: the PPE-directive (89/656/EEC) and safety and health signs at work directive (92/58/EEC).
- Obligations, offences, violations, administrative provisions and transitional and final provisions.
A recent change in the Working Conditions Decree is:
- More strict rules for legal certification procedures in chapter 1 of the Working Conditions Decree (effective since 1-1-2012). This can be found in the articles 1.5a up till article 1.6 of the Working Conditions Decree.
- Less complicated rules have been implemented for work which is not carried out at the workplace in the office (effective since 1-7-2012). Formerly this was called “Home work” in the Dutch legislation but now this is decribed as “Workplace independent work”. If the employees have the right to work outside the office (for example at home), the employer has to comply with some regulations based upon the Working Conditions Decree (Chapter 1, section 10 of the Working Conditions Decree). For example regulations related to VDU-activities.