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Managing construction health risks: Welfare

Everyone who works on a construction site must have access to toilets and facilities for washing, changing, eating and rest. This page gives an overview of what you must do. Answers to other common questions can be found in the FAQs.

Who

Contractors are required to provide welfare facilities and clients must ensure this happens. Decisions and action on this need to be taken at an early stage of project planning.

Clients should co-operate with contractors and help them in situations where providing welfare facilities are difficult.

What

Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) lists the welfare facilities that should be in place at any site. This includes:

The type and number of facilities you need depends on the size and type of work. You may need additional facilities (such as showers) to control the risks from hazardous substances like cement, lead or micro-organisms. Also, remember that separate facilities may be needed for men and women.

Where

Consider the positioning of your facilities before starting on site. This will depend on the work you are doing. For fixed sites think about:

Temporary sites, like highway utility or repair work, and workers in remote areas, such as fields, require good welfare too.  Where you put your welfare for this type of work depends on a number of factors such as how long the work will take, the distance from other available facilities and whether there will be any hazardous substances present. Options include:

Why

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

Welfare facilities form an important control measure in their own right as well. They help protect workers against the risks from hazardous substances such as cement, lead or micro-organisms.

Updated 2015-11-10