Coherence with OSH & Environmental legislation
Protection of human health and the environment is the aim of REACH & CLP. The Occupational Safety and Health legislation is designed to enable all employees to work safely and healthy on the work floor. The Environment legislation is designed to protect the environment. A good coherence between this legislation is important for a workable protection of people and the environment!
Essence Occupational Safety and Health legislation
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is responsible for the Dutch policy on safe working conditions.
In the Netherlands, the new Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet - Arbowet) has been applicable since 1 July 2018. The Working Conditions Act is a framework law. Employers and employees are jointly responsible for health and safety at work and for the implementation of this law in their own organization or sector. This is elaborated in a sector-specific Occupational Safety and Health Catalogue.
A detailed description of the new Working Conditions Act, the obligations of employers and employees and an overview of the approved Working Conditions Catalogues can be found at www.arboportaal.nl.
Essence Environment legislation
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is responsible for the Dutch environmental policy.
In the Netherlands, the Environmental Management Act (Wm) is the most important environmental law. This law determines which legal tools can be used to protect the environment. The most important instruments are environmental plans and environmental programmes, environmental quality requirements, permits, general rules and enforcement. Not all environmental laws have yet been incorporated into the Wm. The most important 'loose' laws are the Noise Abatement Act, the Water Act, the Soil Protection Act and the Fertilisers Act.
More details about the Environmental Management Act.
In 2017, the Netherlands established its own ZZS (Substances of Very High Concern, in Dutch “Zeer Zorgwekkende Stoffen”) policy in the Activities Decree (Ab) and the Activities Regulation (Ar). The aim of the Dutch ZZS policy is to prevent discharges and emissions of ZZS from companies to air and water as much as possible. If this cannot be achieved by means of measures at the source, emissions must be limited as much as possible (minimisation obligations). More details about the Dutch ZZS policy.
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is currently working on a compilation of laws for the living environment in the so-called Surroundings Act. This includes laws and regulations on construction, the environment (such as the above-mentioned Wm, Ab, Ar and environmental laws), water, spatial planning and nature. The Dutch Surroundings Act stands for a good balance between the use and protection of the living environment. More details about the Surroundings Act.
The Surroundings Act is still under development and is expected to enter into force in 2022.
Importance of coherence with REACH & CLP
It is our conviction that an efficient implementation of the REACH & CLP obligations in a sustainable chemical management approach of companies makes a crucial contribution to the safe use of chemical products for people and the environment in the supply chain and on the work floor.
It is very important that the implementation of REACH & CLP goes in a logical connection with the implementation of obligations from other European product-specific legislation such as biocides, cosmetics, etc., the Occupational Safety and Health and Environment legislation and related National legislation. More details can be found in our vision and mission statement.
We would like to think along with stakeholders and contribute to practical solutions where policy frameworks do not yet seem to be fully working together towards an unambiguous approach to achieve safe use of chemical products in Europe and in the Netherlands.