Safe chemical innovations

Safe chemical innovations

In some occupations, employees need to deal with hazardous substances, such as chemicals, asbestos and welding fumes. It is up to employers to provide a safe working environment so that employees do not acquire occupational diseases Together with partners, TNO develops innovative solutions to keep people healthy at work.

Wouter Fransman, Senior Scientist of the healthy way to work with hazardous substances: “In the Netherlands, around 3,500 people die each year from occupational diseases. It is imperative that this number is reduced. Prevention is the key: literally better than a cure.

Controlling exposure to substances

Together with partners, we are working on ways to control exposure to hazardous substances. For example, working with innovation platform iTanks and manufacturer Translas, we have developed an extraction welding torch that extracts welding fumes during work. We are also, for example, working on innovative methods for the safe removal of asbestos, and on developing sensors that detect asbestos. Another important development is sensing in the workplace. In the future, it should be possible for employees to measure pollution using their smartphone.

Predictive modelling

Taking measurements in the workplace is costly. We have therefore developed models that predict chemical exposure based on past measurement data. Examples include our own Stoffenmanager® tool and Advanced Reach Tool developed with an international consortium. Companies can use this free of charge, bringing safe working with hazardous substances within the reach of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Effectiveness of control measures

Companies can also use our online platform Dust-free work. This is a platform that shows the effectiveness of control measures. Companies can see, for example, how they can reduce exposure to hazardous substances, and how they can work responsibly with a particular installation. They can assess their current situation and make informed decisions about investing in safety.


TNO works together with the government and industry. One of our great strengths is multidisciplinarity. Would you like to collaborate with us? Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Read more

Hazardous Substances Guide (pdf) (pdf) - Tool for taking action in a structured way to work healthily and safely with hazardous substances.

White paper 'Eliminating work-related cancer'

Would you like more information about eliminating exposure to carcinogenic substances? Then read our white paper.

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