The Dutch Occupational Hygiene Society (NVvA) was founded in 1983 and now has almost 500 members.
"Occupational hygiene is the applied science which focusses on those factors at work which could contribute to ill-health of workers and their descendants. The science is based on identifying mainly physical, chemical and biological factors, on assessing the risks associated with them and on taking steps to reduce those risks. In three words: recognition, evaluation and control".
The aim of the society is:
To promote and to stimulate the quality of the profession of the occupational hygienist.
To promote the science of occupational hygiene.
To raise awareness of the speciality of occupational hygiene.
The NVvA is a member of the International Occupational Hygiene Assocation IOHA www.bohs.org/ioha/ which aims to promote and develop occupational hygiene throughout the world.
Where do occupational hygienists work?
Occupational hygienists work as consultants, engineers or scientists at occupational health services, government, universities, research institutes, consultancy agencies or laboratories.
Education and code of ethics
A qualification process is a guarantee that Certified Occupational Hygienists (RAHs) have a well-known expertise and through a continuing education programme keep up with latest issues in the field of occupational hygiene. A code of ethical professional conduct guides occupational hygienists as they practice their profession.
The NVvA undertakes a number of activities. Some examples are:
The NVvA has its own scientific peer reviewed journal (in Dutch) called "Tijdschrift voor toegepaste Arbowetenschap" .
Latest findings in the field, results of recent research, announcements of meetings and conferences are published in the newsletter.
Committees and Working Groups
While committees have a general objective concerning the functioning of the society, working groups focus on special occupational hygiene subjects, eg. metal industry, construction sites.
Each year a conference is organized which focusses on a special theme. This year attention was paid to occupational hygiene and occupational care system in small and medium sized enterprises.
Most results of working groups, meetings and conferences are published. For example, a working group did research on occupational hygiene limits and measurement methods. Results were put into a database. This computerprogramme was so successful that further exploitation and development was transfered to an other organisation (www.dohsbase.nl).