Previously, the Dutch Working conditions referred to the employers’ duty of care: the quality standards NEN 3140 and NEN 1010. The installations had to comply with these quality standards in order to meet the legal liability obligations. For gas installations exceeding 100 kW these are the inspections of the SCIOS Foundation (Certification Regulation for Inspection and Maintenance of Heating Installations). Recently, gas pipes were added to this, since they had been forgotten for a while. In order to be able to inspect these installations, one must be certified as a person and as a company.
Energy Performance Advice for Non-residential construction
For certain energy advice, an Energy Performance Advice for Non-residential construction (EPA-U) certificate is required. I just read that the inspection requirements will be expanded to include refrigeration systems. I think these trade associations have good leverage with the government.
No arrangements exist for electrical installations. Anyone can call themselves a fitter. Municipalities have to check whether an installation has been inspected before the operating permit is issued, but most authorities are not even aware of this obligation.
Even according to the Working conditions act the inspection has now been abolished. Fortunately, there was a large inspection conference recently where the lawyers present pledged to use the NEN 1010 and NEN 3140 standards as a starting point/substantiation in the event of a dispute. ‘Thank God for that,’ you may think. Well, as a certified installation technician at Alewijnse, I am not happy about it. In addition to an extensive knowledge of all regulations and installations, I now have to be even more careful. Both NEN 1010 and NEN 3140 are no longer prescriptive in detail, but provide the technician with relatively much freedom.
The usefulness of inspections
In other words, from a legal point of view, it is not getting any easier to convince customers - who are usually laymen - of the usefulness of inspections. You may want to give this some more thought when reading my previous blog about 'Fire by short circuit'.
Sjaak Boks is a Technical Advisor at Alewijnse Delft B.V.