2. What you must provide for a safe and healthy workplace

Welfare facilities

Workers must have access to:

  • toilets and hand basins, with soap and towels or a hand-dryer
  • drinking water
  • a place to store clothing (and somewhere to change if special clothing is worn for work)
  • somewhere to rest and eat meals

A healthy working environment

To have a healthy working environment, make sure there is:

  • good ventilation – a supply of fresh, clean air drawn from outside or a ventilation system
  • a reasonable working temperature so it's comfortable to work (usually at least 16°C, or 13°C for strenuous work, unless other laws require lower temperatures)
  • lighting suitable for the work being carried out
  • enough room space and suitable workstations and seating
  • a clean workplace with appropriate waste containers

A safe workplace

To keep your workplace safe, you must:

  • maintain your premises and work equipment
  • keep floors and traffic routes free of obstructions
  • have windows that can be opened and cleaned safely
  • make sure that any transparent (eg glass) doors or walls are protected or made of safety material

There are specific laws relating to some higher-risk workplaces, such as construction sites. For more information, select your workplace from HSE's industries page.

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Updated: 2024-03-28