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Posted by David Cant on February 2, 2012
Basic Workplace Facilities
You may think that all businesses will at least provide the bare essentials for their employees. Unfortunately there are employers who fail to consider the health and welfare of their workers, and this only leads to prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive and more than likely a very bad reputation too.
One of the very basic requirements is to provide adequate rest room facilities for employees. This is especially important when the duties of the day involve substances and materials which can cause dermatological problems if left on the skin for long periods of time. One industry where this is a concern is the construction industry. It is essential that workers on these sites has the ability to use a room to clean up where there is hot and cold running water, soap and hand drying facilities. In addition to this it is essential to provide working and clean toilets.
Know Your Legal Duties
One firm, CR Construction SW ltd, has been prosecuted by the HSE this week after their facilities were found to be well below the expected standard. The requirements are clearly set out in Regulation 22 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which state that it is the duty of the principal contractor to ensure that there are sufficient facilities which are provided throughout the construction phase. In addition to this there is also a Section, number 33(1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act which says that it is an offence to contravene any of the health and safety regulations.
At a hearing at the Bristol Magistrates Court the HSE prosecuted CR Construction Ltd for failing to provide adequate wash room and bathroom facilities. Their investigation showed that the firm had not provided good facilities for the duration of one year and there were up to sixteen workers at a time that had to use poor facilities over that period.
Fine for Construction Firm Who Provided Poor Facilities
Bristol Magistrates Court fined CR Construction Ltd £2,000 and an additional £2,014 in costs for not considering the welfare of the workers on site in Clifton. The HSE inspector, Sue Adsett, spoke to the press after the hearing and said that workers not only need adequate toilets and washing facilities there is also a legal requirement which states that a heated room must be available to workers on site where it is possible to make a hot drink, food, have a break and get changed.
Health and Safety Consultants Can Help You Know Your Legal Duties
If you are in any doubt about the facilities you provide your employees or any of the other legal requirements set out to protect the welfare of others a health and safety consultant can help. There are many health and safety services which can prove to be educational and informative and prevent problems with the HSE and accidents in the future.
Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more about the current health and safety services provided to all industries by the Health and Safety consultants, Veritas Consulting.