Creating safer working environments

Preventive care in creating safer working environments for employees is an important employer’s responsibility to which, on our Dutch Caribbean Islands, increasing attention will be paid in the coming years. The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) has already started a number of initiatives to make this possible.

Upcoming changes
For example, the Occupational Safety Decree IV Caribbean Netherlands (het Arbeidsveiligheidsbesluit IV Caribisch Nederland) entered into effect on the 1st of July 2019. This decision calls for more attention, among other things, for the safety of employees, the physical strain on the body while executing work or tasks and regulations for working with asbestos.

Already testable/concept health and safety catalogs have been developed for the Construction, Catering/Hospitality and Diving Sectors. The sectors mentioned have made efforts to publish their own sector-specific safety catalogs (Arbocatalogus). In these catalogs, the sectors indicate what must be done to guarantee the safety of their professionals/employees.This especially in view of the working conditions, the physical stains on the body of employees, the preventive safety measures that are taken and the ways all needed tools/instruments should be safely used.

These concept safety or Arbo (Arbeidsomstandigheden) catalogs were presented to the above mentioned Ministry at the end of last year and now have to be reviewed and approved by the same Ministry. After the catalogs have been reviewed and approved, the corresponding content can be used as a manual for the organization and implementation of the necessary safety measures. Also, through these catalogs, it becomes much clearer to employers what is minimally monitored during possible inspections executed by the labor inspection.

The need for improvement
The above mentioned developments mainly show that the need for more regulation and clarity with regard to the organization of safe working conditions is increasing.The need for more clarity with regard to this subject has also become evident during the safety and HR related workshops/courses that have provided, on our islands, over the past 5 years. Business Owners, HR managers, Supervisors and Employees are starting to understand the need for more training and tools with regard to the matter of employee safety and health.

The Preventive expert/assistant
Corporate health and safety Consultants, more and more, see it as their responsibility to educate and support organizations and employers as much as possible. Cadena will therefore happily share her  experience with regard to Corporate Health and Safety Management, with our clients and their employees through information sessions, workshops and courses.Cadena works together with the Safety Experts and will soon be focusing on the introduction and positioning of the Preventive expert/assistant (De preventiemedewerker). The  Preventive expert/assistant is a trained, in company, officer that can start focusing even more on the preventive, labor related, care and implementation of the mentioned/emerging changes and corresponding legal obligations.  There is also a big probability that law changes will be introduced on our BES islands, forcing all companies to position such a professional within their teams. 

Luckily organizations are already asking for this upgrade and all the above mentioned developments indicate that this, in the Netherlands, legally required additional task is also on its way.

Fortunately, employers, who are already working or focused on the employability and working conditions of their teams, do not need legislation to understand that it is always good and gladly want to pay more attention to the safety and well-being of employees.

Keep empowering your organisation
Consultants should keep on transferring their knowledge to business owners, managers, HR-experts and employees. You can always approached us if you have any/more questions regarding this subject or the above mentioned developments. In any case, let us continue to do our best in ensuring the wellbeing and safety of our employees. 

Ban keda kwida pa otro (let’s keep taking care of each other).