Welfare requirements for construction site facilities

Welfare requirements for construction site facilities are important not only important for the welfare of workers but also for the efficiency of work sites.nnThose responsible for construction projects must ensure that all of their workers have access to the appropriate onsite welfare facilities. This is a legal responsibility shared by the contractors and clients behind the work as defined in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations of 2007. With larger projects that involve more workers and more space, the provision of sufficient welfare facilities will be checked by authorities before work can begin.nnThe kind of facilities required differs from project to project. Best practice indicates that construction sites should have toilet blocks, drinking water, washing facilities, rest rooms and changing rooms. Here we outline these facilities and their importance for the efficiency of a worksite and the welfare of its workers.n


nEvery place of work requires toilets for its workers, and the construction site is no exception. The number of toilet facilities necessary for a given worksite is determined by amount of workers on site. One toilet to seven people is the general rule of thumb. These onsite toilet facilities will preferably be connected to the mains plumbing, but if this isn’t possible an in-built water supply should be used instead. If there is no possibility of internal or external plumbing, portable chemical toilets are also acceptable. Facilities should always be sufficiently maintained, ventilated, and well-lit, regardless of the type of facility being used. Read more on how to install toilets on your worksite. n

Drinking water

nTo keep workers healthy and hydrated, an adequate supply of clean drinking water should ideally be provided throughout the site. This could be in the form of drinking fountains or communal taps (with the latter, cups should be provided by the site). Again, the water supply will preferably be connected to the mains. If not then measures should be taken to protect the water from stagnation and contamination.n

Washing facilities

nConstruction work can get messy at times, so workers ought to have access to suitable washing facilities so that they can keep clean throughout the working day. Such facilities should be placed next to toilet facilities and changing facilities, as well as run with hot and cold water. Provisions can include soap, towels, sufficient lighting/ventilation, and sinks large enough for a worker to wash their hands, arms, and face. Certain construction sites, such as those which deal in hazardous or toxic substances, should include a separate shower unit for workers.n

Rest rooms

nOnsite rest rooms are required for ensuring workers have somewhere to take breaks in a sufficiently warm and equipped space. These should ideally include an appropriate amount of tables and chairs for relaxation, adequate means of heating food and drinks (such as microwaves and catering urns), and heating facilities to give workers refuge from colder weather. These heaters must be properly maintained and stored at all times to ensure the overall safety of the worksite.n

Changing rooms and lockers

nWorkers usually need to wear protective or specialist clothing during construction work. They should therefore have the necessary facilities in which to change and store their clothes before and after each shift. These facilities should include:n


  • Secure changing cubicles, separated between male and female workers
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  • Secure means of storage, including lockers for personal belongings
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  • Adequate means of drying wet clothes – either racks or safe electrical heaters
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  • Ample supply of seating to make changing easier
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nWorksites with a risk of contamination should have separate facilities for changing and storing protective clothing.nnFeel free to get in touch with the friendly Unit Hire team for a quote.

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