The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces (except those involving construction work on construction sites, those in or on a ship, or those below ground at a mine).
Welfare facilities include toilets, wash basins, showers and changing facilities, and clean areas in which to rest, drink and eat. Check that all these areas are clean, and that they are regularly inspected for hygiene purposes. Ensure that all facilities are well lit and suitably ventilated.
- Verify that you have enough toilets and sinks for workers – there should be enough that no-one has to queue for long periods. If there are not separate facilities for men and women, ensure that rooms have lockable doors for privacy.
- Toilets should be well stocked with toilet paper, and there must be a means of disposing of female sanitary products.
- If your workers undertake dirty work, it may be appropriate to provide showers.
- Washbasins need to be large enough to fit hands in, and forearms if dirty work such as construction activities are undertaken. Make sure that both hot and cold water are provided, as well as soap and paper towels or a hand dryer.
- You need to provide drinking water for workers. This can be via drinking taps, water fountains or failing that, a bottled water supply. Ensure that non-drinking water taps are adequately labelled.
- Provide storage areas for wet or contaminated clothes. Use airers, for example, to dry out wet clothes during the course of the day.
Contact Walker Health and Safety services Limited should you require advice.