Rivermate | Aruba flag


Health and Safety Standards

Explore workplace health and safety laws in Aruba

Health and safety laws

Aruba's health and safety laws are comprehensive, covering a wide range of issues to ensure the well-being of both residents and visitors. The key legislation includes the Aruban Civil Code and the Safety Ordinance, which form the basis for employer-employee relationships and contain specific health and safety regulations for employers.

Key Legislation

The Aruban Civil Code forms the basis for employer-employee relationships, including general provisions about the employer's responsibility to provide safe working conditions. The Safety Ordinance contains specific health and safety regulations for employers, addressing matters like workplace hazards, use of machinery and equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and accident prevention and reporting.

The Aruba Health & Happiness Code

The Aruba Health & Happiness Code is a certification program establishing strict protocols for businesses to protect the health and safety of both visitors and residents. To maintain certification, businesses must conduct self-assessments, implement mandatory protocols, and undergo inspections.

Responsibilities of Employers

Under Aruban law, employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace, conduct risk assessments, inform and train workers, provide PPE, and report accidents and illnesses.

Rights of Employees

Aruban employees are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace, the right to receive information and training about workplace risks and safety measures, the right to refuse work they deem unsafe without facing negative consequences, and the right to be involved in health and safety matters at their workplace.

Regulatory Bodies

The Directorate of Labor and Research (DAO) is responsible for labor law enforcement, including health and safety. The Department of Public Health plays a role in health and safety regulations, particularly in health-related aspects of occupational safety.

Industry-Specific Regulations

Certain industries, like construction or healthcare, may have additional health and safety regulations specific to their sector's risks.

Occupational health and safety

Occupational health and safety (OHS) standards in Aruba are designed to create safe working conditions and prevent accidents and illnesses. These standards emphasize hazard identification and control, where employers are required to identify potential risks through assessments and implement measures to eliminate or minimize these risks. This can be achieved through engineering controls, administrative controls, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Machinery and equipment used in workplaces must be safe, well-maintained, and have appropriate safeguards. Emergency preparedness is another key aspect of these standards, with workplaces required to have emergency plans and procedures for fire, natural disasters, and medical emergencies. Adequate first-aid supplies and trained personnel should also be readily available.

Employers are obligated to report serious accidents and work-related illnesses.

The Aruba Health & Happiness Code

The Aruba Health & Happiness Code contributes significantly to the high OHS standards on the island. It sets specific mandatory protocols for various industries. These protocols include strict cleaning, sanitization, and disinfecting procedures, measures to maintain social distance and avoid crowding, potential symptom checks for employees, use of masks and other PPE as required, and staff training on health and safety protocols. Businesses that attain the Aruba Health & Happiness Code certification demonstrate a strong commitment to OHS, enhancing the safety of workers and visitors.

Industry-Specific OHS Practices

Certain industries may have additional OHS practices due to their unique hazards. For instance, the construction industry requires fall protection, safe scaffolding, electrical safety, and precautions when working with heavy machinery. The healthcare industry emphasizes infection control procedures, handling hazardous materials, and preventing needlestick injuries. The hospitality industry focuses on safe food handling, slip/trip/fall prevention, and ergonomic practices for manual handling tasks.

Continuous Improvement

Aruba demonstrates a commitment to ongoing improvement in OHS practices. This includes regular revisions of the Aruba Health & Happiness Code based on the latest public health and safety guidance. Government agencies, employers, and worker representatives collaborate to enhance OHS standards and practices across various sectors in Aruba.

Workplace inspection

Workplace inspections play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees. They are instrumental in verifying compliance with safety regulations, identifying potential hazards, preventing accidents and illnesses, and serving as a deterrent to non-compliance.

Regulatory Body

The Directorate of Labor and Research (Directie Arbeid en Onderzoek - DAO) is the primary agency in Aruba responsible for enforcing safety regulations and conducting workplace inspections.

Inspection Criteria

During inspections, DAO inspectors focus on various aspects such as general workplace conditions, machinery and equipment, chemical hazards, fire prevention, electrical installations, first aid, personal protective equipment (PPE), and compliance with the Aruba Health & Happiness Code.

Inspection Frequency

The frequency of inspections can depend on the risk level of the workplace, the compliance history of the business, and any complaints received by the DAO about potential safety hazards.

Inspection Procedures

Inspection procedures typically involve a notice, an opening conference, a walk-through of the workplace, a review of relevant documents, a closing conference, and a detailed inspection report.

Follow-up Actions

After an inspection, employers are required to address any identified violations within specified timeframes. The DAO may conduct re-inspections to verify compliance and can issue fines or penalties for non-compliance. In severe cases of immediate danger, the DAO has the authority to order temporary workplace closures.


Despite its crucial role, the DAO, like many regulatory bodies, can face resource constraints that might influence the overall number of inspections conducted and the speed of follow-up enforcement actions.

Workplace accidents

Workplace accidents are serious incidents that require immediate reporting and thorough investigation. Employers are legally obligated to report such incidents to the Directorate of Labor and Research (DAO) without delay. A detailed report outlining the circumstances of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the immediate response measures taken must also be submitted within a specified timeframe.

Investigation Processes

Employers are required to conduct an internal investigation to determine the root cause of the accident and implement measures to prevent future occurrences. The DAO also investigates workplace accidents, especially those involving serious injuries or fatalities. The goal of their investigation is to establish the facts surrounding the incident, identify any violations of regulations, establish responsibility, and recommend preventive actions.

Compensation Claims

Employees who suffer workplace injuries or occupational illnesses are entitled to compensation under Aruban law. The compensation can cover medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and survivor benefits for the dependents of a worker who dies due to a workplace injury or illness.

Claim Procedures

The procedures for compensation claims can vary based on the circumstances and the severity of the injury or illness. Generally, the process involves seeking prompt medical care, notifying the employer about the incident, and filing claims with the Social Insurance Bank of Aruba (SVb) or the employer's insurance company. This process may require the submission of medical records, accident reports, and other supporting documentation.


Workers may face challenges when seeking compensation, such as understanding their rights, limited protection and access to formal compensation mechanisms for workers in the informal economy, and complex administrative hurdles in the compensation claim process.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.