Limit values and health risks

Between 2,000 and 3,500 people die every year in the Netherlands from occupational diseases, including those resulting from exposure to carcinogenic substances. That number can and must be reduced. Prevention is crucial, as is focusing attention on behaviour on the shop floor and taking precautions. The TNO helps companies develop dust-free equipment and working conditions.

The governmental authorities have defined legal threshold values to safeguard employees’ health. These limits determine the maximum amount of a hazardous substance to which an employee may be exposed. The Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate (SZW) has the task of enforcing these limits, with the aim of bringing down the number of work-related cancer cases drastically.

The TNO is working on prevention using the latest available systems and technology. We develop tools and design production processes for intrinsically safe and healthy work. Many tools are a source of carcinogenic dust that poses a threat to employees and their working environments. Appropriate control measures can reduce the emissions of these substances drastically and protect the employee effectively.

Designing and producing dust-free tools and production processes is in the first instance a task for the manufacturers. They can call upon the TNO, which has wide-ranging expertise in this area. For instance, we develop innovations such as extraction of hazardous substances at the source and filter systems. This lets employers protect their staff effectively by introducing dust-free equipment and processes in the company.


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