Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU’s headquarters as well as those of several other major international organizations such as NATO.
Population: 11.082.744 (2013)
Surface Area: 33.528 km2 Population Density: 342.2 inhabitants km2
Official languages: Dutch, French and German
Gross Domestic Product: 314 billions of EUR (2006)
Time zone: GMT +1 hour
In Belgium, occupational hygiene is one of the areas being included in the Act on well-being of workers in the performance of their work (04/08/1996) and the Royal Decree on the policy of well-being of workers at work (27/03/1998). The Internal and External services for prevention and protection at work must have experts who possess different skills, including occupational hygiene. Occupational hygienists collaborate multidisciplinary with other prevention workers.
Occupational hygienists work in different industrial branches. They also work in public services, hospitals, public facilities and academic institutions. Mostly they are linked to an Internal or External Service for the Prevention and Protection at Work or to specialized labs or research centers.
Occupational hygienists are keeping employees and workplaces healthy through research and advice to the company. They also advise on compliance with the workplace legislation and rules.
Occupational hygienists assess health risks at the workplace, take air samples of chemicals, measure sound levels and exposure to other physical agents, check for microbiological contamination, and give practical advice on how workers can be protected against health risks at work.
The practitioners have diverse backgrounds. They can be chemists, engineers, biologists, physicists, physicians or other professionals who all have chosen to apply their skills for protecting workers’ health. Education, continued training and experience are important aspects in the career of an occupational hygienist. Education is obtained by means of an industrial hygiene training and by attending specialized courses.
Belgian Society for Occupational Hygiene
Belgische Vereniging voor Arbeidshygiëne
Société Belge d’Hygiène du Travail
The Belgian Society for Occupational Hygiene stands for the Belgian community of occupational hygienists.
B.S.O.H. is a non-profit association and is dedicated to the discipline and the application of occupational hygiene.
The B.S.O.H. was founded in 1989 and has currently 260 members. 62% of the members are male and 38% female. 38% of the members are less than 40 years. 33% of the B.S.O.H. members work in the industry, 31% in health services, 14% for the government and 13% in academic institutions.
B.S.O.H. has the following objectives:
support the knowledge, competence and professional honor of occupational hygienists.
support and maintain a high standard of expertise and practice of occupational hygiene.
encourage the further development of occupational hygiene at a scientific and professional level.
circulation and exchange of occupational hygiene knowledge.
give publicity to the specialized field of occupational hygiene.
collaboration with other societies, national and international organizations involved in occupational hygiene.
B.S.O.H. is a member of the International Occupational Hygiene Association IOHA and keeps up contact with the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), the Dutch Society for Occupational Hygiene NVvA (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Arbeidshygiëne) and the French Society SOFHYT (SOciété Française des HYgiénistes du Travail).
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists out of a Daily Board, with no more than 4 members. They have the authority to represent BSOH officially. In addition, there is Board of Advice with 14 additional board members. Board members are elected every 4 years by all B.S.O.H. members. Once a year, a general assembly of members is held.
Within the B.S.O.H. each speaks its own language and it is assumed that the other languages (Dutch, French, English) are understood.
B.S.O.H. has no financial sponsors, only income is from the membership contributions. Everything is done on a voluntary basis. The members of the Board of Directors take on most of the tasks. For the period 2019-2023, the Board of Directors is composed of the following members:
President (Daily Board member): Vangeel Michel (J&J)
Vice President (Daily Board member): D’Haese Nathalie (CPFB)
Secretary (Daily Board member): Sterckx Johan (Mensura)
Treasurer (Daily Board member): Emonds Robert (Consultant)
Conferences: Devriendt An (Idewe)
Newsletter: De Coninck Dimitri (FOD WASO, TWW)
Statutes: Poels Katrien (KU Leuven)
Other board members:
Berckmans Steven (Idewe)
Boilan Emmanuelle (Cesi)
Janssen Anke (Liantis)
Lejeune Fabian (Défense)
Rooryck Valérie (Attentia)
Swinnen Christel (CLB)
Urbanus Jan (Shell)
Van Bouwel Jan (Idewe)
Van de Voorde Tom (Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services)
Vanoirbeek Jeroen (KU Leuven)
Verpaele Steven (Nickel Institute, BeCOH)
B.S.O.H. is a national association, offering its members following benefits:
Three seminars on current topics in occupational hygiene are organized annually. These seminars are held in Brussels and are free for members.
Exchange of information on industrial hygiene among the members. Yearly 10 electronic newsletters with new reports, studies, announcements or reports of seminars and conferences that are of interest to the occupational hygienist are sent to the members.
Support in the education in occupational hygiene in Belgium:
– KU Leuven / Odisee: training in Dutch
– UC Louvain / CPFB: training in French
Representation of the Belgian occupational hygienists in the High Council for Prevention and Protection at Work.
Liaisons with other organizations in Belgium engaged in the well-being at work.
Link with similar national and international bodies such as the International Occupational Hygiene Association IOHA, the British Occupational Hygiene Society BOHS, the Dutch Society for Occupational Hygiene NVvA (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Arbeidshygiëne) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association AIHA. Within IOHA, the B.S.O.H. is the representative of Belgium.
You can join B.S.O.H. by filling out the form on the website www.bsoh.be
A yearly membership contribution of €75,00 is requested from the members.