Legislation concerning Emergency Response Organisation.

The Dutch Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet - ARBOWET) specifies what an employer must adhere to concerning employee's health and safety. It follows that it is mandatory to put together an emergency response organisation which, in case of an emergency, can provide the first necessary aid awaiting the arrival of professional emergency assistance. This is also known as the first response unit of a company.

Part of the relevant legislative text is shown below. For the complete text (in Dutch only) go to Arbeidsomstandighedenwet.


Chapter 2, article 3

e. appropriate measures will be taken in the field of first aid, firefighting and evacuation of employees as well as other persons that are present, and appropriate communications will be astablished with respective external emergency services;

Chapter 3, article 15

1 With respect to complying with his obligations stated in article 3, first member, under e, of this law the employer is assisted by one or more employees appointed by him as emergency response officers.
2 Providing assistance includes in any case:
a. performing first aid in case of accidents;
b. limiting and fighting fire and limiting the consequences of accidents;
c. in case of an emergency alerting and evacuating all employees and other people present on the premises.
3 The first responders possess adequate training and are equipped with appropriate gear, exist in appropriate numbers and are organised in such a way that they can carry out the tasks stated in sub 2 in an appropriate manner.

In practice

From the above text it follows, that there is no set of rules on HOW the emergency response organisation is put together in practice. This of course differs per company or branch and depends on the specific risks occurring in a company. This is why the Risk Assessment and Evaluation forms the basis of the ERO. Employees will be trained to adequately address the (consequences of) emergencies which may occur. Also there is no precribed number of ERO's per number of employees because this also depends on the situation at hand. Think of the type of risks, number of less or disabled people, size and layout of the building et cetera.

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To 2. General guidelines