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Dag van de BHV

Day of the FAFS

Monday 07 November 2022

On 7 November, it is the day of FAFS. On this day, in-house emergency response workers are put in the spotlight and attention is drawn to the fantastic efforts of all in-house emergency response workers in the Netherlands. As many as 500,000 people in the Netherlands are active as FAFS officers. They ensure that people can work safely, because thanks to the presence of in-house emergency response workers, there is always someone present who knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Working safely as a professional

Did you take a FAFS course or not? Every craftsman or woman should pay attention to a safe working environment. During a FAFS course or training you learn a lot about assessing risks and acting in case of emergencies. Yet everyone can already contribute to a safe working environment. Here are a few tips:

Take note of the protocols and safety requirements at your workplace and stick to them. They are not drawn up for nothing. For example, wear the mandatory work clothes, such as a helmet and work shoes.
Make sure your workplace is clean and tidy. Clear away your materials and tools as agreed in your workplace.
Work safely together. Politely address colleagues if they do not follow the safety rules. This keeps the workplace safe for everyone. Thank colleagues who call you to account for an unsafe situation. It is not always nice to be addressed on your behaviour, but be aware of the good intentions.

FAFS Day is a great opportunity to take an extra look at safety on the shop floor. After all, it cannot be taken for granted. Putting your in-house emergency response workers in the spotlight immediately makes everyone aware of the importance of safety.

Safe workplace

The national government stipulates by law that all public places and companies must have a sufficient number of emergency services available. The Working Conditions Act makes it compulsory to have an in-house emergency response worker in companies and organisations where one or more employees are present at least 40 hours a week. In addition, employers must make a Risk Inventory and Evaluation, with an appropriate safety plan. This provides a guarantee that there is a safe workplace for everyone.

FAFS officers do not only act during emergencies. During training, they are also made aware of possible risks and unsafe situations on the work floor. This allows them to properly anticipate these kinds of situations, preventing things from becoming really unsafe. For instance, they speak to colleagues in case of unsafe behaviour. They also ensure that enough is done in terms of fire prevention. This reduces risks and creates a safe working environment for everyone.

Tasks of a FAFS officer

Many people have heard of FAFS. Everyone who works as a FAFS officer has followed a special course and must keep this knowledge and skill up to date through refresher courses. During these courses, you learn, for example, how to perform CPR and how to extinguish a fire. The goal is to be able to act adequately in the event of an emergency on the work floor. If the fire alarm goes off or the building has to be evacuated, FAFS officers know how to manage this. They are also familiar with the protocols and agreements that apply in your workplace.

A FAFS officer jumps to the rescue when an emergency occurs, when someone becomes unwell or even when a life-threatening situation arises. The most important thing is that the emergency response worker remains calm, assesses the situation and takes action from there. This usually involves calling in the right help. The emergency response worker ensures that the right professional can be called in and that emergency services can do their job properly. This is a big responsibility. FAFS officers play an active role in monitoring a safe workplace. That is why they deserve to be put in the limelight.