In the Netherlands, we intensively work with water. But, as we all know, water can also be dangerous. Every year, around 300 people drown in our country. In inland waterways, drowning is the main cause of death. 

When you end up in the water unintentionally, there is a significant risk of drowning or hypothermia. So, there are three risks that you need to protect yourself against: falling into the water, drowning and hypothermia. 

Personal protection 

In addition to primary steps in the Occupational Hygiene Strategy, PPE often remains necessary. Relevant products we can provide are: 

  • Positioning line: prevents that the employee gets too close to the edge or a different hazardous area. This measure is closest to the side of prevention, because it prevents falling into the water.  
  • Life vest: the chambers of this vest automatically fill up with air, when it comes in contact with water. It corrects your posture, causing you to keep your face above the water surface. Depending on your location (e.g. at sea or in a port) there are regulations for the buoyancy. 
  • Dry suitthe suit has the function to keep your body temperature stable in cold water. It is loosely around you, but has tight seals at the neck, wrists and ankles. This will prevent you from becoming wet. You can also wear insulating clothing underneath it, whereby the layers keep you warm. 

Have the risks assessed in advance, by a safety specialist. You could, for instance, be secured to a cherry picker but, depending on the type it could pull you under water in case of an incident, thus increasing the risk of drowning again. A safety specialist will always base himself on the risk of an incident taking place, depending on the work equipment. 

Ordering lifejackets

Education & support 

In order to stimulate safe conduct at work, three matters are important: 

  • Awareness: what can I do personally, to prevent that I fall into the water, how and why? 
  • Wearing comfort: do I find this pleasant during my work or is it an impediment?? 
  • Conduct: how do I turn this into a habit and how do I stimulate my colleagues? 

The first two matters are crucial for convincing the employees. By raising awareness, employees will sooner be prepared to take the appropriate measures. 

Think about the safest solution, but also choose a functional and comfortable solution. The person to give the best advice is our employee himself, because he/she has to work with it. By assembling a small work group with one of our PPE-consultants, you can reach the best solution together. 

Which role can a PPE-consultant fulfil here? 

Sometimes, laws and regulations and practice are in each other’s way. For instance, life vests and fall protection are hard to combine. Together with customers, we have combined this PPE into a useful and smart solution. We also offer solutions for working with flotation devices in incendiary environments. Our PPE-consultants will help you select the most effective PPE.

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More information

Our advisors are happy to help you or make an appointment if you wish.

Phone: +31 184 434 455


This is where we inventory the risks at function level. By means of an advisory report and a PPE-matrix, you will get an overview of the required protection measures. More info about the PPE-scan.

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