FAQ how do I work healthily and safely?
You may not think about it yet, but by the time you are 50 you will still want to be able to carry on working in your profession. For that reason alone it is important to prevent physical or mental strain. How can you stay safe and healthy in your work?
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You are responsible for prevention
Each professional group has its specific professional complaints: dancers run different risks from artists, while repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a risk not only for film editors and architects, but also for musicians. Damage to hearing, stress and stage fright are common complaints. Of course, working or studying in a safe and healthy way depends on common sense. Someone else may fail to take adequate measures to protect your safety, but if something goes wrong, you are the one affected.
- Make a list of the risks
What is common in your profession, and what can you do to maintain a healthy physical and mental condition? Art education is paying increasing attention to top form and professional ailments. Keep up with that after graduation too.
- Discuss doubts about safety
Do this immediately with your tutor or employer if you suspect risks. If you are afraid that raising the matter may affect your assessment or functioning, talk it over with fellow students, colleagues, the student mentor or the prevention officer first.
- Keep up to date with organisations that target health and your profession
They know the latest developments in the field of prevention and how to optimise your healthy performance. Check links below for various organisations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act: obligations for employers
In principle the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Arbowet) is intended to protect employees. It also applies to you during your period as a student. Your employer or training institute has a number of obligations to ensure that everyone can work as safely and healthily as possible.
- The risks are charted in a Risk Inventory and Evaluation (RIE)
- The Plan of Approach lists the risk management measures (to be) taken
- There must be a prevention officer
- There must be a social safety policy to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment, aggression, bullying and violence
The Occupational Health and Safety Act: obligations for employees and students
The main obligations for employees are contained in Article 11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These obligations are elaborated in the Occupational Health and Safety Decree and sometimes in Occupational Health and Safety Catalogues. These catalogues only apply to a particular sector or a specific risk, such as dangerously amplified sound. They are 'made to measure' by organisations that know the branch well. Your employer or the person responsible for safety at work must provide information about how it applies to you in your function. As a student you must be given instructions about what safe study means in practice.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act and the self-employed
The Occupational Health and Safety Act is a typical act for employees, but it does contain a number of provisions that are also declared applicable to the self-employed. Employers (clients) are very often also obliged to apply the Act to self-employed people, either because they are considered equivalent to employees or because the risks are very high. Self-employed people can take out insurance. In the event of serious damage to health as in the case of an accident, if you are self-employed you should always seek legal advice. It is increasingly common for clients to be obliged to compensate the damage as though they were employers.