Occupational health & safety

The Wellbeing Act in a nutshell.

Table of contents

What is the Wellbeing Act?

The Wellbeing Act is an all-encompassing basic law in effect throughout Belgium that focuses on the welfare of workers while performing their duties. Compared to previous legislation, this law is very comprehensive and covers many more areas. Instead of focusing exclusively on occupational safety and occupational health, the new law addresses the comprehensive welfare of workers in the broadest sense.

The Wellbeing Act includes the following seven domains:

Where did the Wellbeing Act come from?

The original Safety Act of 19 June 1952 was the basic law that created Belgium’s General Regulations for Labour Protection, known as ARAB. This law remained in force for decades. However, legislation sometimes lags behind reality, such as technological developments and societal changes. Therefore, on June 15, 1989, the EU introduced the Framework Directive 89/391 on safety and prevention, making the Safety Act and the ARAB considered inadequate.
This new directive led to a complete reform of the legal framework, resulting in the current Wellbeing Act, published on Sep 18, 1996, as the successor to the Safety Act. This change also affected the ARAB, which is being transformed into the “Codex.” Although the transfer of content from ARAB to the new Codex is largely complete, this transition is not yet complete. It is therefore essential that both guidelines be recognised and respected at all times.

Need help complying with the Wellbeing Act?

To whom does the Wellbeing Act apply?

Basically, the Wellbeing Act applies to every employer. Once an employer hires its first employee, the Wellbeing Act comes into effect.
In practice, however, it is more complex. For example, the size of the company and the nature of its operations are crucial factors in determining which guidelines apply and what organisational structure is expected. Special attention to subcontracting activities is also an integral part of the Wellbeing Act.

It is important to always consider the special conditions for different sectors !

Concrete implementation of the law

Although the basic law is overarching, it also has very specific details. Instead of the former technically detailed resource regulations, target regulations are now used.

So there is a slightly looser framework with mainly legal norms. Within the specified conditions, the employer has the freedom to interpret these target requirements himself. This includes such things as the global prevention plan, the annual action plan and risk analysis. There are clear form requirements, but plenty of room for the employer to fit the concept appropriately. This also provides an opportunity for experts such as Prevom to provide significant value to employers.

Looking for clarity?

Who must comply with the Wellbeing Act? Does ARAB still apply? What level of prevention advisor do I need? Petrochemical Wellbeing Act What is the mandatory organisational structure?

Prevom has customised solutions:
We will be happy to inform you about the possibilities!