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Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water?: Occupational Hygienists Views on the Revised Dutch System for Occupational Exposure Limits
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3799-4814
2013 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 57, no 5, 581-592 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2007, the Dutch Working Conditions Act was revised with the goal to decrease the regulatory burden, and to open up for company-specific solutions of establishing a safe and healthy work environment. One tool geared towards company-specific solutions is the compilation of the Arbocatalogs, which are company or sector-level collections of safe working methods and guidelines developed both by employers and employees. The revision also introduced a new occupational exposure limit (OEL) system in the Netherlands. This system encompasses two kinds of OELs: private and public. Private OELs are to be derived by the industry, while public OELs are issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. With this change, the majority of the previously set Dutch OELs were removed, as the substances in question now are falling under the private realm. The motivations, expectations, and practical impacts of these revisions have been investigated through interviews with stakeholder organizations and a questionnaire study targeted at occupational hygienists. The questionnaire results show that although the Arbocatalogs seem to be relatively well received, a majority of the Dutch occupational hygienists are still relatively negative to the changes. There is a fear that private OELs will be less scientifically robust than public OELs and that the lack of robustness will have a negative impact on the field of occupational hygiene as a whole.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 57, no 5, 581-592 p.
Keyword [en]
chemical regulations, deregulation, occupational exposure limits, occupational hygiene, risk management
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-125580DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/mes095ISI: 000321066100005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84879547153OAI: diva2:639785

QC 20130809

Available from: 2013-08-09 Created: 2013-08-09 Last updated: 2013-08-09Bibliographically approved

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