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The Netherlands is one of the few European countries that abolished (in 1966) the specific system of insurance against occupational accidents and diseases that had been introduced in 1901. However, in September the Dutch government set up a new centre of expertise (LEC-SB) which could be a game changer. Indeed, the latter is notably responsible to introduce a compensation scheme for workers who suffer a serious occupational disease as a result of occupational exposure to hazardous substances.
Panels will be formed to assess compensation claims. Like the existing scheme for asbestos victims, the compensation scheme will be implemented by the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) and the Institute for Asbestos Victims (IAS). The NCvB, as the knowledge centre for occupational diseases and the secretariat of the organisations involved in the project, has been commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to draw up an initial list of serious substance-related occupational diseases. It will work in three steps:
- Inventory of the lists of ODs caused by harmful substances, based on the list of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the lists of the EU’s neighbouring countries and the European Commission’s list.
- Inventory of substance-related PMs.
Selection and prioritisation of the most relevant substance-related PMs according to their occurrence, the possibility of establishing a causal link and the severity at individual and societal level.
- An inventory is also made of the available guidelines for the assessment of substance-related PM.
A compensation scheme for serious diseases caused by hazardous substances only would be an original approach in Europe.
Find out more (in Dutch)