A step-by-step guide for business owners who want to avoid risks
Do I need an RI&E (Risk Assessment & Evaluation)?
Running a business is risky business
A business owner runs risks, as well you must know. You are not sure if the public will buy the product you have invested in, if your customers will pay, or if someone tries to break into your business premises. It’s all so risky. But that’s all part of running a business. Just so long as nothing happens, you and your staff will earn a good living.
Are you aware of all the risks? And what about your staff and your equipment?
But what if an accident with a machine suddenly occurred? What if an employee swallows a dangerous substance? Or if someone drops out because his or her workload is too strenuous, or too much? The production will come to a standstill, or you will have to make do with one less person. The costs of sick leave and repairs could mount up, too. Moreover, it could threaten your reputation. In short, the risks are not to be sniffed at!
The RI&E will help you make an inventory of those risks. Then you can tackle them efficiently!
You have probably heard of a Risk Assessment & Evaluation, also known in Dutch as RI&E. An RI&E is actually two things: a LIST of all health and safety risks involved in your business and a PLAN for their solution. These two things will help you reduce the risks to your staff and your business. Which means that you will reduce your financial risks too.
The RI&E is not complicated. BUT IS MANDATORY for every business owner who employs any staff.
Complicated? Not really. You just need to take your time for it. But it is important that you have an RI&E. In fact, it is so important that the government has made the RI&E mandatory for all business owners with any employees under the Dutch Working Conditions Act and the Inspectorate SZW checks that this Act is observed.
The RI&E is the foundation for your working conditions policy
The RI&E is the very cornerstone, as it were, for your working conditions policy. You can only implement the right measures if you are aware of where the risks are in your company and what their potential impact could be. The RI&E will help you become thoroughly aware of what you need to do and how you should do it. The Action Plan will guide you step-by-step.
Everything you should know about the RI&E!
It is easy to compile an RI&E for your company yourself. You will find all the information you need to compile an RI&E below. If you use this information as a guide and carry out all the steps, you can get your company in order. Not just because the government wants you to, but because you, the employer, don’t want anything to happen to your staff.
Must I carry out an RI&E?
A Risk Assessment & Evaluation (RI&E) has been mandatory for all employers with any staff since 1 January 1994. A mandatory part of the RI&E is the Action Plan. Both obligations are prescribed in Section 5 of the Dutch Working Conditions Act (Arbowet).
The flow chart “Must I carry out an RI&E” in the info flyer “What you everybody should know about the RI&E” will help you decide whether you are obliged to carry out an RI&E in accordance with the Dutch Working Conditions Act.
The RI&E: whose job is it?
It is easy to compile an RI&E for your company yourself. The prevention worker is charged with this task. A prevention worker is someone in the company who is (also) in charge of the health and safety on the shop floor. In large companies (> 25 staff), someone must be appointed as a prevention worker. In small businesses, the director is often the person who performs the tasks of the prevention worker. One of the prevention worker’s statutory tasks is to compile and execute the RI&E. That task may only be contracted out to an external party in exceptional cases – and remember, they are likely to want money for it, too. So if you’re smart, you’ll do your own RI&E.
Get your employees involved
The employer or prevention worker can also call in the help of other employees in the company. Employees can help with the compilation of the RI&E; after all, they could be facing risks every day and know what’s happening on the shop floor. By involving employees, you can also encourage them to see the importance of new measures. Accordingly, you can look for solutions that fit in with the daily realities of the shop floor together. After all, that’s usually where they need to be applied.