26 Jan Common Health and Safety Mistakes On Construction Sites
To reduce costs during the construction planning stage, it is common to omit some of the most basic of worker facilities. The HSC/E has set out guidelines for the minimum welfare facilities on construction sites.
The HSE promotes and enforces employers’ efforts to provide adequate facilities at the workplace. The HSE aims to improve the health and safety of construction workers.
Facilities can include:
- safety equipment;
- areas to rest and eat;
- toilets and showers.
The HSE summarises the Workplace Regulation of 1992 into guidelines. These guidelines help employers avoid common construction mistakes at the planning stage. Minimum welfare facilities on construction sites include providing:
- toilets and washbasins;
- facilities for both men and women, with lockable doors if possible and toilet paper;
- facilities that are water sealed and easy to clean with regular cleaning schedules;
- lighting and good ventilation;
- hot and cold running water and hygienic method of drying;
- washing agents, such as soap;
- showers, in some cases, depending on the work;
- a way to dispose of sanitary towels for women;
- drinking water;
- a place to prepare and eat meals in relative comfort;
- Storage areas for clothing and a place to change to and from work clothes.
There need to be enough toilets to prevent queuing.
- For example — one toilet and one washbasin are fine for a mixed workforce of up to five people.
- But, for over 75 workers, a site needs five toilets and five washbasins.
- Some of these numbers can change for non-mixed worksites.
What Happens When the Rules Are Broken?
The HSE carries out regular and unannounced inspections of worksites. HSE inspectors enforce workers’ rights to the minimum welfare facilities on construction sites. Inspectors will target the designated Competent Person.
The Competent Person is aware of the site’s Healthy and Safety planning. The Competent Person will record construction mistakes, and of any concerns raised by the workers.
Violations of the health and safety of construction workers at a site can lead to warnings, penalties, and even court judgements. The construction company will also need to pay for the time of the inspection and the time the inspector spends on fixing the problem.
And at £157 per hour, the cost of paying an HSE inspector, and the downtime of the site can add up fast. On top of the hourly rate, inspectors can also apply fines. These fines can range from written warnings — to costly and time-consuming court appearances.
What Facilities Are Mandatory On-Site?
EasyCabin has an excellent sales and service team. EasyCabin can aid in construction planning and help site managers. Welfare planning will help you avoid the type of construction mistakes that costs real money. The minimum welfare facilities on construction sites are:
Toilets: Easy to clean. Basins need hot and cold running water for handwashing. Cubicles need lockable doors, low-energy lights, and good ventilation.
Showers: Independent and lockable cubicles with shower basins and spaces to change into clean clothing. Hot and cold running water. These are for specific working conditions or where workers sleep on-site.
Bathrooms: A combination of a shower and a toilet in a single cubicle. Again, not all working conditions need a shower.
Canteens: A place for a worker to rest in warmth while having access to clean drinking water and a place to eat or make food. Social distancing adds a challenge to providing facilities to all workers. Basic units are dual-purpose — acting as both meeting rooms and dining areas. Clean drinking water is a must, and workers must have access to food and shelter during breaks.
EasyCabin also helps small construction companies to economise on welfare facilities. The EcoSmart range encompasses all the above facilities into one vehicle. These vehicles are easy to move to a location and quick to clean.
And EasyCabin also has a range of temporary accommodations for workers stationed far from their homes. Alternative sleeping arrangements are essential in giving workers the rest they need ¬— away from the main site.
Cutting Corners and Saving Money
The use of public toilets to meet these requirements would need plenty of justification by the site coordinator. Using public toilets are going to be the cheaper option, but this is not a valid argument for not providing private facilities to workers.
Providing minimum welfare facilities on construction sites does not need to be expensive, but to some, they come over as a luxury. And in some instances, management may try to reduce cost by underfunding the number of welfare facilities.
The HSE is serious about the health and safety of construction workers, and so should too be a site’s management. Unhygienic and overflowing chemical toilets are a serious violation. Violations can cost your construction project far more than a few extra toilets.
EasyCabin can help with your construction planning needs. If your EasyCabin welfare unit needs maintenance, it is possible to arrange with us a short-term loan of another unit. EasyCabin offers affordable welfare units, technical support, and a better way forward.
Please contact our service team at EasyCabin for further information by calling 01582 486663.