What are IBC Totes Used for and Why Hire One?

IBC Water Tank

From equipping welfare units with running water to installing flushing toilets at your private event, IBC totes are an easy and cost-effective way to secure a reliable supply of H2O. Short for Intermediate Bulk Containers, IBC totes are a mainstay on construction sites across the UK. They’re also a popular solution for events where running water is required but access to the mains supply isn’t possible.

Want to know more bout IBC water tanks? Read on for a complete guide to Intermediate Bulk Containers and their various uses.

Welfare units

When it comes to employee rights in the workplace, the Health and Safety Executive enforces strict rules. Under HSE regulations, all employers must provide workers with adequate welfare facilities, including toilets and handbasins with running water, a place to change and store clothing, and somewhere to rest and eat meals. These are basic employee rights and must be adhered to at all times, no matter the cost or inconvenience to the employer.

“Welfare is a fundamental and basic necessity for workers,” states the HSE website. “It is also required by law. Providing the right welfare sets the tone for a project and demonstrates a commitment to meeting workers’ needs.”

On construction sites, a dedicated area to rest and eat is one of the key requirements. The HSE lists the following requirements for these dedicated zones:

  • An adequate number of tables and chairs (with back supports) for the number of workers on site.
  • Clean and hygienic facilities to prepare and eat food
  • Access to boiling water
  • Good ventilation in the summer and heating in the winter
  • A clean and clutter-free environment

Not familiar with welfare units? No problem. Here’s a quick guide to these clever units designed to keep your worksite HSE compliant…

What are welfare units?

Compact and portable, welfare units are designed with HSE regulations in mind. Basically, they provide all the facilities needed to keep your team safe and comfortable at work. Running water is an essential element of HSE welfare regulations, which is where IBC totes come in. Here’s some more information on the welfare units we supply at LetLoos and the role of IBC water tanks:

Crafted from ultra-durable steel, our welfare units are compact and mobile. This makes them ideal for construction sites with restricted access and limited space. All units are equipped with hotwash facilities, with water supplied via IBC totes. The cleverly designed kitchenette ticks all HSE food preparation boxes, with booth-style seating for six team members.

At LetLoos we pride ourselves on attention to detail, which is why all our welfare units come fully stocked with a kettle, microwave, soap, toilet roll and even a box of biscuits. A chemical toilet is also included, with IBC totes used to supply water for handwashing facilities.

Flushing toilets for worksites

Toilets are a must in any workplace, with the HSE recommending one toilet and washbasin for every five employees. If you’re operating a male-only workplace, this can be stretched to one toilet and one urinal for up to 15 employees.

“You must provide flushing toilets and running water, for example with a portable toilet. If this is not possible, use alternatives such as chemical toilets and water containers,” states the HSE.

Ideally, flushing toilets should be provided where possible. Plumbing them into the mains water and sewage systems is the easiest and most hygienic way to install a flushing toilet, though due to logistical and geographical issues this isn’t always possible. This is where IBC totes step up.

With the capacity to hold up to 1000 litres, IBC tanks can be used to service portable flushing toilets without the need to connect to the mains water supply. When coupled with a built-in drainage tank, you can recreate the comforts of a mains-connected toilet, without the need to tap into the mains waterboard. With flushing toilets on your worksite, you can enjoy the total peace of mind you’re complying with HSE regulations.

Are public facilities suitable?

Unfortunately, public toilets and washrooms aren’t a suitable alternative to onsite facilities. The HSE states they should be used as a “last resort” only, despite being a cheaper option. As well as imposing on members of the general public, relying on public toilets and washrooms is inconvenient for workers.

What about chemical toilets?

In many cases, it’s not possible to install a mains-connected toilet or a facility with an attached IBC tote and drainage tank. In these scenarios, chemical toilets are a great solution. The HSE states they’re “acceptable where you cannot provide flushing toilets” and are often used on small or temporary worksites.

On-site showers

From working with hazardous substances to excessive exposure to dust and dirt, showers are an HSE requirement in many workplaces. Ideally, portable showers are connected to the mains water supply for a constant and uninterrupted stream of H2O. Of course, connecting to the mains waterboard isn’t always possible and you may need to consider alternatives like an IBC tote.

Ideal for lightly used single shower units, IBC tanks can hold up to 1,000 litres of water. With the average 10-minute shower using around 50 litres of water, a 1,000-litre tank offers around 20 showers. Need extra water? The best IBC tanks can be stacked and interlocked, meaning you can easily double or triple your water supply and keep your single shower unit running for longer.

Drinking water

Providing employees with clean drinking water is required under UK law. It must be free from contamination and ideally sourced from the public water supply, though if this isn’t possible an IBC tote is an ideal solution. Designed to offer workers easy access to fresh drinking water, hydration stations are perfect for worksites without access to the mains waterboard.

Made from tough plastic and compliant with all UK water regulations, LetLoos IBC tank drinking water tanks keep your team hydrated no matter how tough the working conditions. Filling points are secure and reinforced, meaning you won’t lose water to leaks. Our tanks also feature locks and tags to ensure your water supply remains clean around the clock.

Running water for private events

As well as construction sites, IBC tanks are an easy and affordable way to secure running water for private events like weddings and small festivals. While not suitable for high-traffic events where facilities will be used by thousands of people, IBC tanks can be a great way to increase comfort and hygiene at a remote country wedding or an intimate music festival.

With a handful of portable flushing toilets and a single shower unit or two, you can treat guests to the creature comforts they crave. IBC tank drinking water stations are also a great way to keep guests and attendees hydrated at events where permanent taps aren’t available.

When luxury is a priority, high-end toilet trailers raise the bar. Suitable for weddings, parties and any other event where comfort is key, these portable trailers feature high-spec interiors that replicate the experience of a traditional fitted bathroom. IBC tanks supply these luxury bathroom trailers with running water and ensure your guests can flush and wash with ease.

How many IBC totes do I need?

The number of IBC totes required on a worksite will always depend on how they tanks are being used, as well as the type of work being carried out and the number of employees on site. Similarly, if you’re renting IBC water tanks for a private event you should consider how many people will be using the facilities and for how long.

It’s important to crunch the numbers as running out of water on your construction site or at a private event is never ideal. With the right amount of planning, you can ensure water continues to flow for the duration of your project or event.

Other uses for IBC totes

As well as storing water, IBC totes are often used to store industrial liquids, chemicals and other hazardous substances. While these are common uses for IBC tanks, at LetLoos, all our IBC totes are used exclusively for H2O. This means you’ll never have to worry about your water supply being contaminated with a hazardous substance.

About LetLoos IBC water tanks

As the UK’s leading supplier of IBC water tanks, we pride ourselves on quality. Here’s what to expect when you rent IBC water tanks with us:

  • Large capacity. Our goal is to make your water supply as easy and efficient as possible, which is why we offer huge tanks with capacities of up to 1,000 litres. This minimises the need to top up your tank on a regular basis and ensures you continue to enjoy access to clean, free-flowing water on demand.
  • Stackable designs. Need multiple IBC water storage tanks? No problem. Our IBC totes feature sturdy designs that can be stacked or interlocked. This means you can install multiple tanks and keep your water supply going for longer.
  • Translucent. All our tanks are constructed from tough and translucent plastic, making it easy to keep tabs on how much water you have left. This means you’ll have plenty of notice when your supply starts to dwindle and won’t have to deal with the headache of your tank running dry.
  • Tough and durable. From dirt and debris to wild weather, we understand that outdoor workplaces can be harsh environments. That’s why we supply IBC water tanks that are built to withstand tough construction conditions.
  • 24-hour emergency helpline. While we hope your IBC tanks experience runs as smoothly as possible, we’re realistic when it comes to troubleshooting. To make things easier, we back our service with a 24-hour emergency helpline you can call anytime of the day or night.
  • Dedicated service and installation team. From installing tanks and topping up water supplies to dismantling facilities when your project has wrapped up, our IBC tank hire service is truly comprehensive. We take care of the entire process from start to finish, leaving you free to focus on your project.

Why hire an IBC tank?

Safety and comfort are both key drivers of IBC tank hire. In workplaces without access to the mains water supply, IBC totes play an important role in keeping employees safe and comfortable. Access to running water not only ensures you meet your legal requirements as an employer, but also improves employee satisfaction and boosts productivity. The benefits are similar for private events, with IBC tanks not only improving safety and hygiene but also enhancing the guest experience.

Meeting HSE requirements

Meeting HSE requirements is another reason IBC tank rentals are so popular in the construction industry. The government body is incredibly proactive when it comes to enforcing regulations and has a zero-tolerance policy for workplaces that fail to provide employees with basic welfare facilities like running water. While flushing toilets aren’t a legal requirement, you do need to provide your employees with running water to wash their hands, showers if necessary and of course, drinking water. Failing to comply with these requirements can result in fines and penalties.

Rent IBC water totes today

Want to know more about IBC water storage tanks and how they can be used to meet HSE workplace requirements or elevate your private event to the next level? Get in touch with us today to get the ball rolling on your IBC tank hire? Our friendly team of consultants are always available to tell you more about IBC tanks and help you calculate how many you’ll need. We can also advise on important issues like placement and maintenance, helping to keep your experience as straightforward and stress-free as possible.