What is Arbo?
Arbo is the abbreviation for ArbeidsOmstandigheden (Working Conditions). This refers to the Arbowet. This law states that every employee has the right to a safe and healthy workplace.
In 1861 Samuel Senior Coronel published the book ‘The Doctrine of Health Apllied to Factory ’. With this Samuel Coronel was seen as the founder of social medicine in the Netherlands.
In 1980 the ArbeidsOmstandighedenwet (Working Conditions Act) was established and from 1983 it was introduced in the Netherlands. This gave companies more responsibilities and obligations to ensure safety in the workplace. The purpose of this law is to prevent accidents and illnesses caused by work, and to promote the overall health and safety of all employees.
The Arbowet is a framework law (Kaderwet). This means that no concrete rules are described in the Arbowet, but general provisions and guidelines on working conditions policy in companies. These general provisions are elaborated in the “Arbobesluit” and the “Arboregeling”. The rules in the “Arbobesluit” are mandatory for companies. The Working Conditions Regulation(Arboregeling) contains a further elaboration of the Working Conditions Decree (Arbobesluit). The Working Conditions Regulation (Arboregeling) contains specific regulations, such as how to deal with a report of an accident.
The Arbowet applies to all places where work is carried out. So also for employees with a 0-hour contract, associations, foundations, part-time employees, on-call employees and flex workers.
In July 2017, a new Arbowet came into effect. In this renewal, the involvement of employees in occupational health and safety services is increased and the prevention officer has become even more central. After all; prevention is better than cure.
It is compulsory to report any work-related accident, however small or large. It is the prevention officer’s task to do this. A workplace accident often occurs as a result of circumstances that have been known on the workfloor for years. It is therefore important that this is recorded in an RI&E and resolved.
The Arbowet provides guidance for the best possible health and safety policy. Work always involves risks. Good working conditions can help prevent sick leave and increase the well-being of staff.