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The quantification of occupational risk. The development of a risk assessment model and software.

Kwantificering van arbeidsveiligheidsrisicos. De ontwikkeling van een risicomodel en software


The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment commissioned the RIVM to develop a model for calculating occupational risk in the Netherlands. This model is to provide employers with a choice of measures or combination of measures aimed at reducing the risk of employees suffering injury or death as a consequence of job-related incidents. The model can also be used to calculate the cost of these measures and the extent to which the risk has been reduced. As such, the model can be used to work out an optimal balance between the cost and the benefits of implementing risk-reducing measures. The model is based on extensive research that involved the analysis of a large number of job-related incidents documented in incident reports of the Labour Inspectorate. The results of the analysis were stored in a database, and the job-related incidents were subsequently classified into 36 different incident scenarios, such as falling from heights. The incident scenarios were used to construct so-called bow ties, which describe the causes of an incident (which event led to its occurrence?) and its consequences (injury or fatality?). Possible measures that may help prevent an incident or mitigate its consequences are also mentioned in the bow ties. The bow ties also set a value that indicates the failure rate of these measures. Job-related activities and workplace conditions of the average Dutch employee were then analysed in terms of the extent to which employees are exposed to potentially risky situations/activities. The quality of the risk-reducing measures implemented at the workplace was also assessed. Given the large amount of data used to develop the model, it can be applied to calculate the risk of incidents on an activity, job, company or whole industry basis.

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