Ensuring your construction site has the correct welfare facilities is vital. Not only does it affect the well being of employees and contractors on the site, but there is a legal duty too. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) that were enforced in 2015 meant that there is an even greater focus on providing the appropriate welfare facilities on Construction Sites.
We recommend planning the welfare facilities that you require at the beginning of your project. This will allow you to locate the facilities effectively, based on the layout of the site. For projects longer than 30 days that involve at least 20 workers, construction should not begin until both parties are happy that the welfare facilities are adequate for the staff on site.
From loos to drinking water,ensuring you have the correct facilities will help you adhere to legislation,It will also provide a positive working environment, as, lets face it, nobody wants to queue for the toilet at work.
So, what do you need to make sure you provide on your construction site?
Ensuring you have an acceptable number of toilets, such as portaloos,for the number of people working on site is critical. But its not just how many you have that’s important. The toilets need to be regularly maintained,ensuring a clean and tidy environment. Having dark, dingey, smelly toilets is not acceptable under the regulations, and won’t do anything for site morale.High quality portaloos or toilet blocks that are light, airy and have lockable doors are what’s required at a minimum
If, whilst on-site, workers are required to wear protective or specialist clothing, site managers must provide changing facilities for both males and females. As changing between clothes is required, it is also important to provide an area where workers can safely dry their wet clothing.
For storing personal belongings, construction sites should have secure storage facilities, such as lockers, for each worker. Nobody wants to be working to come back and find their personal belongings have gone missing.
What do workers need to do when they’ve been to the loo? That’s right, wash their hands! Again, the washing facilities need to be light, well ventilated and above all, clean and tidy. The facilities should include everything you’d expect to find in your own bathroom. That is, hot and cold running water, soap or hand wash and towels or hand-dryers. If the work is especially grimy, then showers may also be required. As with the loos, aim to provide separate facilities for both males and females, but at the very least showers should have lockable doors to maintain privacy.
Hydration is key, especially on construction sites. Therefore,its essential that drinking facilities are provided on-site, whether that’s through a drinking fountain or cups for taking from containers. Again, like the portaloos, its important to have the water easily accessible, in a clean environment that allows all workers to hydrate throughout the day.
Providing rest facilities will not only help maintain levels of work, but it’s the final necessity for adhering to CDM regulations. Workers must have ample space to sit and eat their lunch at tables. For those who bring leftovers, there should be a microwave or other method to reheat their food. On the subject of heat, working in the construction industry during winter is tough. The rest area therefore should be a refuge from the cold conditions, meaning it should be well heated.
Aside from the damaging effects not providing adequate welfare facilities could have on construction workers, there are also legal ramifications for not providing such facilities.
Expect visits from inspectors, who will consider the available welfare facilities across the site and take action when the standards are not met.
In the case where toilets, washing facilities or rest areas haven’t been properly provided, there are a couple of actions that may be taken against you:
Providing welfare facilities may seem a mundane planning task, but its vitally important to the safe operation of a busy construction site. Workers requirements are of paramount importance, and by providing the welfare facilities stated in this blog, you’ll not only adhere to legislation,but also provide a positive working environment for all who attend the site.