The Netherlands’ Act on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) obliges Dutch employers to organise their working conditions in such a way that workers are protected against hazardous working conditions. One part of this obligation is to prevent accidents at work. In order to evaluate the effects of this legislation and to present stakeholders (employers organisations, employee unions, branch organisations, occupational health and safety services, safety professionals) with suggestions on how to improve the safety level, information is needed on the number and characteristics of the injuries and the accidents that caused them.
Due to changes in the Dutch Social Security system there is no longer a need for employers to report all work injuries to the OSH-Inspectorate (Bloemhoff & Otten, 1999; Popma & Venema, 2006). In the Netherlands’ OSH-Act it is still compulsory to report serious injuries (leading to hospital admission and/or permanent injury) and deaths resulting from work injuries to the OSH-Inspectorate. As a result, the OSH-Inspectorate holds a data base on fatal and severe injuries, based on these reports and follow up investigation on the work site by inspectors of the Inspectorate.