Legal obligation of inventory and risk assessment- Health and safety checklist

When running the business in the Netherlands, the employer is obliged to ensure the safety and health of employees in all aspects related to work.  The legal basis for the need for inventory and risk assessment (performing health and safety checklist) is described in Article 5 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (direct link to When assessing risk, attention should be given to providing the access of employees to the expert or person referred to in Article 13 and 14, or occupational health and safety services. Employers must also take care of the internal prevention service responsible, among other things, for the provision of first-aid accident (BHV). Employees must also take initial courses, VCA (for high risk jobs), as well as appropriate professional courses depending on the industry and position occupied.

But what happens in the case of self employment or employment for a limited time period? In case of employment to a maximum of 40 hours (total working time of all employees), we can use the general list of health threats. As we mentioned earlier, there are online instruments to facilitate risk analysis. What is more, also in this case, the Steunpunt group created a free online tool including general health and safety checklist. Steunpunt is a working group that stimulates the development of digital risk assessment instruments. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is one of its members.

What does the health and safety checklist contain?

It is a general list for employees with a maximum of 40 hours per week in total. It is also a good starting point for those interested in the topic of safety at work. The online form prepared by Steunpunt contains a number of topics. When preparing the report, the employer can answer questions related to his sector of activity and omit those that do not apply to his or her company.

Health Risk Checklist – topics

1.    The conditions inside the office

This section should specify the working conditions in the office, covering such issues as appropriate temperature, lack of draughts, adequate lighting and lack of uncomfortable sunlight. The section consists of 5 questions.

2.    Working with a monitor

This section contains one question and tips on how to work safely with a computer.

3.    Workload, work atmosphere, working hours

An inappropriate climate at work, leading to an impact on the mental state of employees is a current topic. The negative effects of stress and poor working conditions can lead to low employee motivation and sick leave. Thanks to the 9 questions in this section, the employers can assess whether their company optimally cares for a positive working climate.

4.    Physical load

Physical loads are for example: the need to work with heavy objects – for example, when moving products (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling)

  • jobs that require long standing or sitting,
  • making the same movements for a long time,
  • work in a painful or exhausting position,
  • work with vibration.

Each employee is subject to external factors (type of work, lighting, position, temperature) and internal factors (stress, psychological burden) at work. To prevent health problems, the government developed safe work practices. Both employers and employees bear responsibility in this regard. Companies must know the risk in this respect (take the risk of inventory and evaluation) and take appropriate measures. The employee’s duty is, among others, to perform a last-minute risk analysis.

5.    Noise

A single question and practical information about working in a place with increased noise levels. In the event of a risk, it can be further assessed.

6.    Hazardous Substances

The question is to determine whether employees are exposed to work with hazardous substances. In case of risk – the answer “yes” to the general question can be further assessed by answering the next 8 questions.

7.    Machine safety

As with the above questions, this is a control question that allows you to add information on the potential risk and a possible more thorough risk assessment to the report.

8.    Falls, slips and choking

This section consists of 6 questions to help assess potential risks and their level.

9.    An organized workplace and help

This section aims to help assess awareness in the field of accident prevention and fire safety.

10. Sensitive groups

Questions from this section support the evaluation of the risk of work for employers:

  • persons under 18 years of age
  • pregnant women
  • persons with reduced capabilities
  • elder people
  • visitors

11. Health and safety care

These questions help in assessing the obligation to have supporting staff in the company as well as the degree of employee awareness related to risk assessment at work.

12. Other risks

This section mentions topics related to appropriate clothing, road safety, the impact on health and work of substances such as alcohol, drugs and medicines.

Health Risk Checklist – report

After answering all the questions, the user can print and save a report in which the risk level and action plan can be included. People using the system, by logging in to it, can save the report on their account and perform the reassessment again after undertaking the relevant work or in situation where change of working conditions occurred.