Corporate liability

The Labour Inspectorate (Arbeidsinspectie) can impose a penalty on employers who do not comply with their obligation to protect their employees. 

Written Notice
The Labour Inspectorate can issue a Written Notice if a situation arises in which danger of life or serious injury to employees occurs or is likely to occur. A written notice will also be drawn up in the event of accidents. In that case, the Labour Inspectorate will call in the Public Prosecutions Office, which will decide whether the company has been criminally negligent.


Responsibilities of the employee
In the first instance, the employer is responsible for the working conditions. But employees too have obligations. In an employee does not comply with the safety regulations (e.g. by removing a guard on a machine), the Labour Inspectorate has the right to impose a penalty.

Responsibilities of the employer
In the first instance, the employer is responsible for the working conditions. The employer must ensure a safe workplace at all times. This not only applies to permanent and temporary employees, but also agency and self-employed personnel. If the employee (employed or hired) has an accident, the employer can be held liable. 

The Labour Inspectorate (SZW, formerly Arbeidsinspectie) can impose a penalty on employers who do not comply with their obligation to protect their employees. Situations in which penalties are imposed are described in detail in the Working Conditions Act. For example in the case of:
  •     An incomplete Risk Identification and Evaluation, or none at all. A Plan of Action also needs to be included
  •     Inadequate training or instructions, or none at all
  •     Not reporting an industrial accident
  •     Ignoring preventive measures
  •     Not organising and/or facilitating regular health inspections

The Working Conditions Decree also specifies situations in which a penalty can be imposed. For example, in situations where no measures have been taken to prevent and/or restrict harmful noise.

The employer must take measures

It is sensible for employers to take the following measures so that the chance of accidents is kept to a minimum:
  •     To make working conditions an integral part of company policy. To make this subject an item on the agenda at all workplace meetings. 
  •     To provide employees and visitors with regular instructions regarding risks and preventive measures.
  •     To acquire information from experts if there is any ambiguity regarding legislation and regulations about working conditions.
  • If agency or self-employed workers have been hired for work, consult beforehand. This can also be set down contractually so that it is clear what everyone does.

The Risk Identification and Evaluation (RI&E) can be extremely helpful in identifying risks associated with work. This also applies to work carried out by third parties. Protective measures need to be agreed on with employees (of both parties if a third party is hired).

Cranes and hoists have a finite life. This means they need to be periodically reconditioned.
To get an indication as to whether the end of an operational period has been reached, a handy calculating method can be downloaded (SWP-tool) for determining the remaining lifespan (remaining period of use according to FEM 9.755). This tool is an Excel template, which generates a new calculation sheet which can be kept separately in the crane manual.
(NB: as of 13 February 2018, version V9 of this tool is available. This enables a more accurate calculation of the load spectrum (kM)).
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