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Welfare in Construction – What you need to know

The law says that clients and contractors have responsibilities regarding welfare facilities on construction projects.

Contractors provide welfare facilities and clients must ensure this happens.

The pre-construction information prepared by the client should include the arrangements for welfare provision. On notifiable projects (longer than 30 days or 500 person days), the client must ensure the construction phase does not start unless they are satisfied that there are arrangements for welfare facilities to be provided.

 

Contractors must maintain the facilities throughout the life of the project. The nature and scale of facilities required will depend on the size, location and type of project. Facilities include:

 

 

Everyone who works on any site must have:

 

  • access to adequate toilet and washing facilities;
  • a place for preparing and consuming refreshments; and
  • somewhere for storing and drying clothing and personal protective equipment.

 

If mobile teams work at a number of locations over a few days (e.g. road repair and cable-laying gangs), these facilities can be provided at a central location accessible within a reasonable distance or time. Decisions and action on welfare facilities need to be taken at an early stage of project planning.

 

Toilets

Toilets should be suitable and sufficient, ventilated, lit and kept in a clean and orderly condition.

Washing facilities must be provided so that workers can use them immediately after using the toilet or urinal, even if they are provided elsewhere.

Washing facilities

General washing facilities must be suitable and sufficient, kept clean and orderly and with basins or sinks large enough for people to wash their face, hands and forearms.

The facilities should include:

  • clean      hot and cold, or warm, running water;
  • soap      or other suitable means of cleaning;
  • towels      or other suitable means of drying; and
  • showers      where the nature of work is particularly dirty or there is a need to      decontaminate.

 

 

Drinking water

Drinking water must be provided or made available at readily accessible and suitable places.

Cups are required unless the supply is in a jet from which people can drink easily.

 

Changing rooms and lockers

Changing rooms are needed where workers have to wear special clothing for the purposes of their work and cannot be expected to change elsewhere.

The rooms must be provided with seating, means of drying and keeping clothing and personal effects secure.

 

Facilities for rest

Rest rooms or rest areas are required equipped with tables and seating (with backs) sufficient for the number of persons likely to use them at any one time.

There should be arrangements for meals to be prepared and eaten, plus means for boiling water. In cold weather, heating should be provided.

Source HSE

Lighthouse Comment: Al lot of employers do not realise that the requirements for welfare do actually exist under the CDM 2007 regs for all construction project be it either commercial or domestic or notifiable or not.  Welfare on construction is something the HSE have been focusing on recently and they do not take lightly to poor standards

 

July 10, 2012 | Categories: Lighthouse Blog |
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For further information call Lighthouse: 01634 260 631 or email: info@lighthousesafety.co.uk

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