NETHERLANDS: employers must learn from their accidents

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From 1 January 2023, employers must carry out their own investigations into the history of an accident at work resulting in permanent injury, hospitalisation or fatality and what they need to improve.

The Labour Inspectorate will continue to investigate in the case of a fatal accident, if the victim is under the age of 18, if a member of the employer’s family is involved, if the history of the company justifies it or if the accident has a high social impact. It will also intervene if the report and improvement plan of a company authorised to investigate itself is not satisfactory or if it has not taken the measures announced.

The new method is the result of pilot projects and the desire of the House of Representatives for companies to learn from accidents and thus prevent their recurrence. The aim is also for employers to structurally improve their safety culture by focusing on the underlying causes of accidents instead of facing legal proceedings and paying fines to the Dutch labour inspectorate.

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