30 Apr Stay Compliant With Our Rail Welfare Facilities
Workers have the legal right to some form of welfare facility — even during railway construction work. Welfare compliance is a problem for many companies, as they need to manage their costs while satisfying the law. But there are ways to stay compliant, keep the workers happy and keep the costs down.
Rail-Side Welfare Facilities
Depending on the tasks and the size of the team, welfare facilities range from canteens and toilets to accommodation and showers. The amount of time the workers will be at the project site will also be a factor in choosing a compliant facility.
There are several factors to consider when deciding on the best rail welfare facility for your team:
The Difficulties — One challenge of rail construction projects, other than a lack of shelter, is where to station the welfare units. And if there is space, the nearby fast-moving trains will make a standard welfare unit too dangerous to use.
Compliance — Regardless of the difficulties of setting up a welfare unit, it is a legal obligation, and the contractor must find a solution. HSE states that projects expected to last for extensive periods must factor welfare units into their planning phase.
Basic Welfare Facilities
As a site leader, you will need to consider the tasks and conditions your team will encounter. During breaks, workers will expect a warm place to rest and hot food during a harsh Winter. In the summer, workers will need to escape the heat of the day and hydrate.
The HSE sets out clear guidelines on the least number of toilets that a worksite should have for its workers. The guideline also specifies that the toilets should be clean, with lighting and ventilation. There must also be fresh running water, basins and cleaning products for the workers to wash their hands.
A must-have is clean hot and cold running water, with cleaning products and clean towels for drying off. In some cases, showers may also be a part of the welfare unit. Showers must provide privacy, with a lockable door and space for the occupant to change into clean clothes.
Every worker must have access to clean drinking water. This water must be independent of the local water supply, and the water must come from a legitimate drinking-water supplier. Tap water is not adequate, and if flowing drinking-water is not possible, individual bottles will suffice.
Changing Rooms & Lockers
Workers should have a place where they can change in to and out of work clothes. These facilities should have space for a worker to change in privacy with a lockable door. The changing room should also have lockers where workers can store their belongings throughout their shift.
Workers should also have access to rest areas during their breaks, away from the worksite, in a clean area. The worker would be able to remove their protective gear and relax. A rest facility provides shelter from the elements and the dangers of the worksite.
Rest facilities must include:
Seating — The seating should be enough to cope with a shift of workers to sit, with a reasonable amount of space. This seating must have backrests, and the area must also make space for the disabled on the crew.
Tables — A worker must have clean tables, large enough for those seated around it to eat.
Hot Drinks — The facility must give its users access to clean hot water, where workers can make drinks or soups.
Hot Food — If a full canteen is not on offer and no cafeterias are close by, there must be a way to heat food, such as a microwave oven. Contractors cannot force workers to buy food if they want to eat.
EasyCabin has come up with two bespoke solutions to providing compliant welfare units to rail workers. A small system for short work that is on the move and a larger system that solves the problem of being far from the base of operations.
EasyRail SafeTea Trolley
This is a small rail-mobile unit with wheelsets for gliding the trolley along the track with the workers, as they progress along the rail. The trolley can provide hot drinks for 13 hours on a 20-litre emersion tank, and a 2, 3, or 5-gallon freshwater tank.
EasyRail Ecosmart 12
With road-going wheels and rolldown wheelsets, the Ecosmart 12 has most of the comforts of home. Ecosmart’s kitchenette is complete with space for six to sit and eat in comfort, with lights and ventilation. And towards the back of the unit, female and male toilets with hot and cold running water and washbasins.
On the Right Track
Projects that have the right welfare units will keep their workers happier and more productive.
To find out more information about our range of rail welfare facilities, please get in touch today.