This page provides information about welfare facilities and advice on the minimum standards prescribed in the Workplace Regulations 1992 regarding heating, lighting, toilet facilities and so on.
Since 1 January 1996 it has been a requirement that all workplaces comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 which prescribe minimum standards regarding heating, lighting, toilet facilities, and so on.
For information see Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare guidance for managers.
Below is a brief summary of the requirements:
Access to the workplace
The route used for people to get to and from any workplace must be safe and without hazard.
This includes passages, floors, walkways, stairs, ladders etc., all of which should be in accordance with current safety standards and without hazard.
Where any workplace is above ground level precautions must be taken to prevent persons falling.
Where there are vehicles and pedestrians arrangements should be made, wherever possible, to separate them.
All workplaces must be adequately lit, usually by a combination of natural and artificial lighting. In some instances emergency lighting may be required.
Suitable and sufficient ventilation must be provided either by natural or mechanical means.
There must be sufficient space for employees to work safely. As a guide, there should be at least 11 cubic metres per person in each work room.
A reasonable temperature, normally at least 16°C, must be maintained in all workplaces. The means of heating must be safe. A sufficient number of thermometers must be provided.
The workplace, furniture, fittings and furnishings, should be kept clean and waste material should not be allowed to accumulate.
Floors and stairs
All floors and stairs must be maintained in a sound condition, free from holes and so on. Slip resistant floor coverings may be needed. Stairs must be kept free from obstruction and be provided with handrails; it may be necessary to highlight nosings.
Other safety requirements
Precautions must be taken to ensure that people are not able to fall any distance and injure themselves. Similarly, it must be ensured that people cannot be hurt by objects falling on them.
Requirements for glass doors and partitions
These must be made of a safety material or adequately protected but only where specifically relevant for health and safety protection. They must be marked so that it is not possible to mistakenly walk into them.
If the work can be done sitting down then suitable seating and if necessary a foot rest must be provided otherwise suitable seats for staff to sit on when the opportunity arises must be provided.
A supply of drinking water and suitable cups must be provided.
In some instances it will be necessary to provide a rest room to allow employees to take breaks, eat food, etc. away from the work area. In such rest rooms adequate arrangements must be made to protect people from discomfort of tobacco smoke.
Facilities must also be provided for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Toilets and washing facilities
Every workplace must have an adequate number of toilets and wash hand basins. Toilets must have adequate lighting and be kept clean. Wash hand basins should be supplied with hot and cold water; soap; a means of drying hands and be kept clean.
Below is a checklist for businesses.
See the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to view the detailed wording of each regulation.
Checklist for businesses
1. Do you have sufficient ventilation as per Regulation 6?
2. Is the temperature reasonable (heating/cooling methods extremes) as per Regulation 7?
3. Do you have suitable and sufficient lighting: (unobscured; stairs; cleaning) as per Regulation 8?
4. Is the workplace kept sufficiently clean (cleanliness & waste materials) as per Regulation 9?
5. Is there sufficient work space as per Regulation 10?
6. Are floors in good condition & traffic routes free from obstruction as per Regulation 12?
7. Are people protected from falling on being struck by falling objects as per Regulation 13?
8. Windows/glazed doors - are they protected/made of safety materials? Are they apparent? Can windows be opened/cleaned safely? See Regulations 14, 15 and 16
9. Do you have separate/safe pedestrian/vehicle traffic routes? See Regulation 17
10. Do you have emergency stop controls on escalators and moving walkways? - See Regulation 19
11. Do you have suitable & sufficient sanitary/washing facilities? - See Regulations 20 & 21
12. Do you have adequate supply of wholesome drinking water? - Regulation 22
13. Do you have accommodation for clothing? - For Regulation 23
14. Do you have facilities for changing clothing when necessary?- Regulation 24
15. Do you have suitable & sufficient staff facilities: Sep. cooking/seating eating away from contamination/hand-washing, smokers/non-smokers sep.)? - Regulation 25
Last updated : 24/09/2010