Wouter Fransman, Senior Scientist for Healthy Working with Hazardous Substances: “In the Netherlands occupational illnesses cause the death of around 3500 people each year, a figure that must be reduced. Prevention is the key, and is literally better than cure.”
We are working with partners on ways of managing exposure to hazardous substances, as in the innovation platform iTanks and with developer Translas on an extractor welding torch that removes the welding fumes during the work. We are also working on innovative methods to safely remove asbestos and developing sensors that detect asbestos. Another key development concerns sensoring in the workplace. In the future employees should be able to use a smartphone to measure contamination themselves.
Performing measurements in the workplace is expensive, so we have used measurements from the past to develop models that predict exposure to chemical substances. Examples include our own Stoffenmanager and Advanced Reach Tool, developed together with an international consortium. Companies can use this free of charge, which brings safe working with hazardous substances also within the reach of SMEs.
Companies can also consult our online platform Stofvrijwerken (substance-free working), which examines the effectiveness of control measures. For instance, companies can see how to reduce exposure to hazardous substances and how to work safely with a specific installation. They can take stock of their current situation and make well founded decisions on safety investments.
TNO works with government and industry. One of our main strengths is multidisciplinarity. If you would like to cooperate with us, please contact us.