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About the Dutch Safety Board

Safe living, safe working, safety. It sounds obvious, but safety cannot be guaranteed.

In the Netherlands, high-quality knowledge and technology, and sophisticated procedures are used to keep society safe. Yet, serious accidents or even disasters can still happen. The Dutch Safety Board investigates occurrences and draws lessons from them. In this way, the Board contributes to safer procedures and organization. And thus a safer Netherlands.

The Dutch Safety Board

  • is an independent administrative body
  • operates independently of the Dutch government and other parties
  • decides which occurrences and topics to investigate
  • mainly focuses on situations where citizens depend on parties such as the government, businesses or institutions for their safety
  • aims to learn from occurrences and make recommendations to improve safety
  • does not conduct investigations on culpability or liability.

Investigations in all areas

The Dutch Safety Board is authorized to conduct investigations in virtually all areas and sectors. There are mandatory and voluntary investigations. The Safety Board is required to conduct investigations in these four areas:

  • aviation
  • shipping
  • railway traffic
  • chemical and petrochemical industry

The aim of these investigations is not only to identify direct causes, but also to examine administrative processes that can influence safety.

The Dutch Safety Board can also decide to investigate its own broad topic or social development. The Dutch Safety Board will then investigate

  • specific occurrences
  • broader safety issues or
  • unsafe situations that arise gradually.

In a strategic agenda, the Board expressed its ambition to initiate voluntary investigations, starting in 2024, on the following themes:

  • digital security
  • ecological safety
  • social safety

Internationally, the Dutch Safety Board plays a role in conducting safety investigations based on international treaties and European legislation. Where necessary, the Dutch Safety Board works in close cooperation with foreign safety investigation agencies. The Board can also investigate how parties in the Netherlands deal with occurrences abroad, the consequences of which extend to the Netherlands.

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