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Stable working conditions with decline in work disability

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The quality of work in the Netherlands remains quite stable, with a small increase in exposure to time pressure. Despite the stable working conditions, fewer workers feel that protective measures are needed. Changes in work disability regulations have led to far fewer workers dropping out of employment due to disability. However, it appears that some employees with health issues voluntarily choose to leave the workforce.

This survey data report discusses the following trends in working conditions and health:

  • exposure to psychosocial risk factors, such as a high work pace, emotionally demanding work, and workplace violence;
  • exposure to physical factors, such as noise, physically dangerous work and dangerous substances;
  • exposure to ergonomic work factors, such as heavy physical work, uncomforTable postures, repetitive movements and work with VDUs (Visual Display Units);
  • working hours, including the effects of flexible working hours, working during non-standard hours, and combining work and family life;
  • general health and health-related drop-out from employment (health, absenteeism, work disability)

The data described in this report predominantly originate from the Netherlands Working Conditions Surveys (NWCS; NEA), carried out yearly in the 2005–2010 period. In addition, data on (general) health perception from Statistics Netherlands ( was used, and information on disability volume was obtained from the disability register maintained by the Social Security Administration (UWV). Details about the methodology of the NWCS are available in the Appendix at the end of this report.

Trends in working conditions

Ergonomic risk factors

Working time

Impact of work-related health on absenteeism


Appendix: Statistical sources


Page last updated: 21 March, 2012
About this document
  • ID: NL1111019D
  • Author: Wendela Hooftman and Irene Houtman
  • Institution: TNO Work & Employment
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Language: EN
  • Publication date: 21-03-2012
  • Subject: Quality of work indicators