Improvement check hazardous substances

Setting and problem

5 times better (in Dutch: 5xbeter) is a cooperation between five parties: Koninklijke Metaalunie, FME, FNV Metaal, CNV Vakmensen and De Unie. 5 times better has the main objective to create a healthy and safe work environment in metalworking and metal-electro industries. They do this by focusing on the following topics: physical load, welding fume, machine safety, harmful noise, (temporarily) working on heights and hazardous substances.

Hazardous substances in the metalworking industry are, among others, metalworking fluids. These metalworking fluids may be carcinogenic.


5 times better has launched an ‘Improvement check Hazardous substances’ which is a practical instrument that can be used when working with hazardous substances. Employers can easily register their hazardous substances, determine the exposure, take measures and maintain a healthy and safe work environment. The improvement check is an online application. The basis is a digital register in which the user registers the used hazardous substances specific for his or her workplace. A database which already contains the most common substances in the industry, is connected to the register. When a user adds a substances that is already present in the database, all the relevant information (e.g. exposure levels, safe ways to work with the substance) automatically comes up. All the user has to do is to take actions to reduce the exposure to the substances on the workplace and to maintain a healthy and safe work environment (e.g. by providing education for their employees).


Employers reduce the amount of work they have to do to meet the legal requirements by using the online application and they also create a healthier and safer work environment. It reduces the amount of work in the following way: according to Dutch legislation, companies that work with hazardous substances have to do an exposure assessment for each substance. With the improvement check, this becomes redundant because 5 times better already has done these assessments for the substances common in the metal industry. They also have made safe work procedures which have been evaluated positively by the inspection. All the employer has to do is to check if they working accordingly to this procedure. If so, they know they work safely.

The safe work procedures are continuously extended in 2018.

Further information

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5x beter
5x beter
the Netherlands
  • Welding fumes
  • Metal workers
  • Welders
  • Electra workers
Sector / branche
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities
Solution types
  • 3. O – Organizational measurements