Information in English

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.

Do I need an RI&E (Risk Assessment & Evaluation)

The RI&E will help you make an inventory of your risks. Then you can tackle them efficiently!

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 Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA) checks that this Act is observed.

The RI&E is the foundation 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 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.

A step-by-step guide for business owners who want to avoid risks

RI&E steps

Quick check

What are the risks involved in your organisation?
The first step in the implementation of an RI&E is to make a list of the risks involved in your business. This is called an inventory. One way to do it is to classify work-related risks into different types of risk. But you should also check whether all your health and safety management, e.g. an emergency response team, an occupational health and safety service and a prevention worker, is arranged properly.

Where to start?
You can draw up your own RI&E at, but you can also use the RI&E instrumenten as they are called. An RI&E instrument is an aid for compiling the RI&E. These instruments have been designed by the sector associations. The risks discussed in them match the most common risks in the sector in question. It is easy to find the RI&E instrument for your business under the tab “RI&E instrumenten”. Look up your sector and read the relevant information to learn more about the RI&E instrument.

No instrument available at
If you can’t find an RI&E instrument for your sector, check whether an instrument is available in a sector in which the working conditions are comparable to those of your company or sector. If that’s not the case, you can use the general SME RI&E instrument, which is an instrument for general use; it has not been specifically designed for your type of business. Accordingly, we recommend checking whether you have included all the risks in your business yourself as well as running through that list.

The Health Risks Checklist
A special instrument exists for companies whose staff are not employed for more than 40 hours a week (i.e. the hours of all the employees added up together). Those companies may also use the Health Risks Checklist (Checklist Gezondheidsrisico’s). This is a shorter version of the RI&E and is also available under the tab sheet “RI&E-instruments”. You could also ask your sector association whether they have an RI&E instrument, as not all RI&E instruments in the Netherlands are included on the website of the support centre for the use of RI&E instruments (Steunpunt RI&E-instrumenten). Moreover, sector associations can read how they can design an RI&E instrument on You could call your sector association’s attention to it.

Does your RI&E comply with the guidelines according to the law?
Once you have made an inventory, assessed the risks to your company and have drawn up an Action Plan, it is important to have your RI&E reviewed. The law makes it mandatory, in most cases, for you to have your RI&E reviewed by a certified occupational health and safety service/specialist. The review is carried out by means of a visit to the workplace. During the visit, the specialist will check whether all the risks are included in your inventory, whether the situation of the company is described properly and whether the latest standards and guidelines have been followed. The specialist will also give recommendations on your Action Plan.

What about approval, inspection and informing employees?
The RI&E and the Action Plan should be sent to the Works Council (OR) or the Employee Representative Body (PVT). They must approve the RI&E and the Action Plan. Of course, if there isn’t any works council or employee representative body, you are not obliged to follow that procedure. Nonetheless, the Dutch Working Conditions Act prescribes that employees must be allowed to see the RI&E if they want (the right of inspection). It is therefore a good idea to distribute the RI&E and the Action Plan to your staff, so that everyone is aware of the risks and how those risks are being dealt with.


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