About Bouwspraak

Clear communication. A big difference.

We are still in the top 3 least safe sectors, so something has to change. What lies at the root of this problem? Many accidents can be prevented by better communication. Miscommunication is something that we are unfortunately all prone to. It pays to remember that in a worst-case scenario, a well-intended gesture or warning can have fatal consequences on a construction site.

Clear and unequivocal communication is a challenge when you consider that employees will often be wearing hearing protection. In addition, for quite some time now Dutch has hardly been the only language spoken on construction sites, while the construction process is also becoming increasingly complex, meaning that many specialists are at work in the same place.

Featuring Leo Alkemade
So how can we prevent miscommunication among ourselves? To address this issue, Bouwspraak – Dutch for ‘construction language’ – was developed. It began with a list of words that were translated into gestures. These are gestures that everyone on a construction site should know. But there’s more to it than that. People still need to learn these gestures, but how? This is where Leo Alkemade comes in. In the coming period, he will be featuring in Bouwspraak activities. With funny videos, catchy photos, simple toolboxes and other communication resources, in the coming years we will work to ensure that everyone on construction sites can use and understand Bouwspraak.

The parties initiating Bouwspraak
Bouwspraak was set up by the parties to the collective labour agreement for the construction and infrastructure industry (Bouw & Infra): Aannemersfederatie Nederland, Koninklijke Bouwend Nederland, CNV Vakmensen, FNV Bouwen & Wonen, Vereniging van Waterbouwers and WoningBouwersNL.