If you manage a construction site, you are legally responsible for providing the appropriate site welfare facilities on site for all site staff and visitors. Although this tends to vary depending on a number of factors including the number of personnel operating on site and the work being carried out, there are some general rules that any construction site must adhere to in order to protect the wellbeing of its team.
Following the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), you are legally obliged to offer the following facilities on any construction site:
- toilets and hand basins, with soap and towels or a hand-dryer
- drinking water
- a place to store clothing (and somewhere to change if special clothing is worn for work)
- somewhere to rest and eat meals
If you do not currently offer these welfare facilities on site, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law and having to answer to the HSE as to why these essential facilities are not on offer.
However, if you do already offer these basic site amenities, but your workers don’t seem to be using them as much as you’d expect, then this could be a sign that something is putting them off.
Here’s a few common construction site amenities and reasons why they might not be fit for purpose.
Construction toilet hire
One of the most critical welfare facilities that should be present on any construction site is without doubt construction toilet hire.
Where no mains plumbed toilets are available, you must provide enough toilets and washbasins for those expected to use them, including disabled toilets even if you are not aware that any site workers have any form of disability.
It is also advised that you provide both male and female construction toilet hire facilities where possible, as this could be one of the reasons why your site welfare facilities aren’t getting used as much as they perhaps should be.
If you’ve noticed that female employees are leaving the site to use the facilities at other nearby coffee shops or cafes, then this could be a warning sign that they find sharing a portable toilet with their male colleagues uncomfortable and you should be looking to provide at least one unit for each sex.
Another reason why this particular type of welfare facility isn’t getting used is often caused by poor maintenance and hygiene concerns. Construction sites by their very nature can be dirty and filled with dust, so if your current construction toilet hire contractor isn’t visiting regularly enough to deep clean the units using steam, then this could be another reason why welfare facilities on site are being under utilised by employees.
Mobile shower unit hire
Where site staff are working with potentially harmful materials such as asbestos, mobile shower unit hire is essential to help them remove any dangerous microscopic particles that can cause damage to their health after finishing the task at hand.
Mobile shower unit hire can come as single units that offer a spacious interior layout and hot and cold water so that workers can quickly remove dirt, mud and other hazardous substances or just so that they can freshen up before returning home after a busy day on site.
Again, it is always preferable that you provide a mobile shower unit for male and female workers and it is essential that you keep these units clean to encourage staff to use them on a regular basis.
One reason that these units may not be getting used is concerns over privacy issues, so you should always check that your mobile shower unit hire company isn’t just keeping the units clean, but is also providing you with facilities that have a fully functioning lock. Staff won’t want to use a unit where anyone can just open the door when they are trying to shower.
Welfare unit hire
Another important welfare facility on site is the mobile welfare unit. These all in one units can help provide several essential facilities to site staff in one compact unit and usually include a bathroom with hot and cold washing facilities, a dining area, a shower and a fully functioning kitchen complete with a range of useful kitchen items such as a kettle, toaster and microwave.
Letloos welfare units hire include all this plus a bumper box of biscuits, toilet roll and soap, meaning that they are ready to use as soon as they are delivered to the site. They are designed to offer employees a welcoming space to enjoy their breaks and to freshen up when needed.
Complete with a weekly deep clean, these units from Letloos are available for long and short term hire with regular replenishment of essential items.
If you already have a welfare unit on site, but staff are choosing to take their breaks outside of the construction site or in the cabs of their vehicles or machinery, it’s time to ask yourself if your current welfare unit hire facilities are still offering a clean, hygienic and well-maintained space for your employees to use during the working day.
Located in often muddy or dusty environments, welfare units can become dirty very quickly if regular cleaning isn’t carried out and kitchen items can become damaged over time meaning that the once useful facility is nothing more than a dirty space where no one goes during breaktimes.
If this is the case, then speak to the team at Letloos about their welfare unit hire packages, and we’ll ensure that any welfare facilities we provide to you stay clean, fully functional and fit for purpose. We also provide a 24/7 emergency response service to our customers, so you can ensure that your welfare facilities are always in perfect working order.
For more information on welfare facilities on site and what you need to provide to your construction workers in order to stay on the right side of the Health and Safety Executive, get in touch with the friendly and knowledgeable team at Letloos today on 0800 368 8373.