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Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in buildings for professional use Ir. Trees Klaver Occupational Health and Safety Department (Arbo- en Milieu Service Organisatie). OSH Legislation, Guidelines and Standards. EU-directives concern safety, health and welfare of employees

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OSH Legislation, Guidelines and Standards


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    1. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in buildings forprofessional useIr. Trees KlaverOccupational Health and Safety Department(Arbo- en Milieu Service Organisatie)

    2. OSH Legislation, Guidelines and Standards • EU-directives concern safety, health and welfare of employees • For the Netherlands they are included in: • Law on working conditions (“Arbo-wet”) • Implementation of the law on working conditions (“Arbo-besluit”) • Legislation concerning Working Conditions (“Arbo-regeling”) • Guidelines for Working Conditions Including Standards (“Arbo-beleidsregels”)

    3. Netherlands resources onOSH Legislation & Guidelines • Arbo-informatiebladen • Arbo-themacahiers (only available in Dutch)

    4. Resources on OSH in offices

    5. Resources on Indoor Conditions and Health in Professional Environments

    6. OSH in New, Renovated and Existing Buildings for Professional Use

    7. Noise Control

    8. A lot of information is available, so why do so many problems occur??

    9. Causes of problems (1) • Design phase • Building regulations  OSH regulations !! • Little attention for OSH • OSH is often considered a luxury and is consequently subject to budget cuts

    10. Causes of problems (2) • Design phase • Design influences safety during building phase and maintenance • Maintenance is often overlooked • Aesthetics is preferred over functionality

    11. Causes of problems (3) • During use • Rooms used in an different way than planned • Wrong use of building / installations • Not sufficient maintenance • Ageing of the building • Changing insights

    12. Building code (“Bouwbesluit”) • Refers to new and existing buildings • Implements minimal safety, health and usefulness requirements OSH code (“Arbobesluit”) • Refers to new and existing working environments • Optimal OSH (working conditions) for workers and others involved

    13. Building code (“Bouwbesluit”) • Commissioner / owner responsible • Performance requirements, seldom technical means OSH code (“Arbobesluit”) • Employer responsible • Optimization of OSH, seldom minimal standards

    14. Building code (“Bouwbesluit”) • Ministry: Housing (VROM) • Supervising organisation: Community administration (Fire department, Building inspectorate) OSH code (“Arbobesluit”) • Ministry: Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) • Supervising organisation: OSH inspectorate (“Arbeidsinspectie”)

    15. An example In the Netherlands approximately 50% of the office workers experience insufficient or bad indoor air quality Source: AI-blad 7 “Kantoren”, SDU, 2e druk, 2000

    16. Causes of indoor discomfort in offices • 50% organisation and behaviour • wrong use of building / building services • insufficient or wrong maintenance • 50% bad design • wrongly designed building services • wrongly chosen building and finishing materials Source: AI-blad 7 “Kantoren”, SDU, 2e druk, 2000

    17. DONT’S in problem solving • Immediately think about solutions • Aim at a quick fix • Make things worse • Perform one rebuilding after another

    18. DO’S in problem solving • Objectify complaints • Try to find the complaint behind the complaint • Registration of complaints • OSH is sometimes misused • Thorough systematic investigation • Enquire with the occupants • Consult experts

    19. OSH Risk Management Process • Thorough investigation of risks and possible solutions • Prioritization • Construction of an improvement program with timetable • Implementing the improvement program • If necessary repeat (1) to (4)

    20. OSH Prioritization • High: immediate danger • Medium: possible exposure or detriment after prolonged exposure • Low: possible but unlikely situations

    21. Prioritization by Housing Services* TU/e • Safety / health • Legislation / standards • Research / education • Resulting damage • Aesthetics / comfort * Dienst Huisvesting

    22. Subjects Lay-out of working places (*) Hazardous chemicals / biological agents / airborne dust Physical factors (*) Machinery and equipment / specific tasks Safety and health signs * See next slides

    23. Lay-out of working places (1) • General regulations: order and neatness, hygiene • Provisions for emergency situations • Effective working places

    24. Lay-out of working places (2) • Lay-out requirements • VDU work / sedentary work • Recreational facilities and other provisions

    25. Physical factors • Indoor climate including ventilation • Lighting and daylight • No view requirement anymore • Daylight is obligatory in most cases • Noise and sound

    26. Why bother? Good working conditions: conditions allowing for optimal output of workers and thus contributing to the economic aim of the organisation they are a member of

    27. OSH and productivity (non creative work)

    28. Improvements afterwards=Suboptimal results at a multiple of the costs

    29. Occupants sometimeshave to live 20 /30 /40 /… years with the choicesof the architect

    30. So…Prevention is better than cure!