Health and safety (H&S) in the construction or demolition process


The safety and health of workers on the construction site must always be guaranteed during the construction or demolition process. Risk management is one of the most important components to achieve good working conditions. And the responsibility for this lies with all the construction parties involved. So, not only with the employer, but also, for example, with the client, the designing and the executing party.

The Safety Board has concluded that all parties mentioned must work together during the construction process to identify and manage the risks. The reason for this was the incident in Alphen aan de Rijn, in which two cranes with bridge sections overturned and destroyed adjacent houses and shop buildings on 3 August 2015. By identifying the risks together, we hope that in future we will prevent the risk management in such incidents from failing.


From the building initiative to the maintenance phase, there are all kinds of rules that clients, initiators, designers and performers must adhere to, to prevent dangerous and unhealthy situations from arising with those who have to carry out the work. These obligations are all laid down in the European directives on the construction process. To be precise, in Chapter 2, Section 5 of the Working Conditions Decree.


In general, the Working Conditions Decree ensures that clients already take the employees' working conditions during the implementation phase into account during the design phase. They must draw up a so-called Health and Safety Plan (H&S plan). And if several parties are active in the actual implementation phase, the work must be well coordinated.


The Working Conditions Decree applies throughout the Netherlands to all temporary or mobile workplaces where civil engineering works or construction works are built, or where they are being demolished. So, on construction and demolition sites. All construction parties involved must comply with these rules. From employees to consultants and clients. And because the legislation is based on European directives, it is similar to that in all other Member States of the European Union.


The safety and health process of a construction or demolition process starts with discussing the division of roles and tasks. Subsequently, agreements must be made about the transfer of information in the form of, for example, an existing H&S file or relevant reports such as an Asbestos Inventory Report. If this information is missing, it will have to be examined first. All this is necessary to set up a risk assessment and evaluation, to draw up a concrete H&S plan, to actually implement it and to build or expand the H&S dossier.

In short: in order to comply with the Working Conditions Decree, there are a lot of measures that need to be taken. Bureau Veritas can support this, whether you are a building owner, client, designing party or executive contractor. For example, we offer guidance during the H&S process, we manage contractors in the field of safety and health if required, or we assess the extent to which the parties involved comply with the rules. In addition, we supervise the work, help with the risk inventory, or draw up the total H&S plan for you. And finally, we can also instruct and train the parties involved.


For additional information about our services and the possibilities, please call us on +31 88 450 55 00.