Labour safety

Do you know all the risks to your staff and your equipment? What if there is a sudden accident with a machine? Or an employee ingests hazardous substances? Or someone goes sick because his work is too onerous? This may bring production to a halt, or you may have to achieve it without that employee. Then there are the repair costs and costs associated with employee sickness. It can harm your reputation. In short, these are considerable risks.

Obligations in Accordance with the Working Conditions Act
Since 1 January 1994, the Working Conditions Act has made the Risk Inventory and Evaluation (RI&E) mandatory for all employers.

A RI&E is simply a LIST of all the risks in your business and a PLAN to deal with them. With these two elements you can reduce the risks to your employees and your business – and hence the financial risk as well.

Each business that has employees must assess (or call in someone else to assess) whether the work can cause danger or threaten the health of the employees. This assessment is called a RI&E and it must be recorded in writing.

Plan of Approach
In the plan of approach, the employer must indicate the date by which the business intends to take measures to deal with the listed risks, and what effect these measures will have.

Discussion with the Employees
The employer must report to the employees (or their representatives) each year regarding the implementation of the plan of approach.

Evaluation
The employer may personally carry out the RI&E. Is every employer obliged to have his RI&E evaluated? No, this depends on a number of factors, such as the number of employees, the RI&E instrument used or recognised in the industry, and the RI&E instrument that is specified in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO).

Keeping It Up to Date
If the working conditions in your company change, you must modify the RI&E. Examples can include installing new production line, expanding your service package, radical rebuilding or new tasks for your employees. The RI&E must always be up to date.

What if you don’t do anything?
If an inspector asks for the RI&E while carrying out checks, and the employer does not have one, the inspector will impose an immediate fine. If the RI&E is shown but is incomplete, the inspector will issue a warning, giving up to 3 months to correct the deficiency.

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