By law, there are certain welfare facilities that businesses must provide for their workers and visitors to their premises. This is the minimum standard the employers must meet, however welfare in the workplace can be improved even more by further actions.
Read out top ten tips to find out what you should be implementing in your workplace to ensure your employees’ welfare and wellbeing.
1. Provide adequate toilet and washing facilities
As per the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, employers must provide:
- Enough toilets and washbasins in relation to the number of staff
- Separate facilities for men and women if possible
- Well-lit and ventilated facilities with both hot and cold running water
- A large enough basin and enough soap
- A means for drying hands
- A supply of toilet paper
- A means of disposing of sanitary products
- Facilities that are cleaned regularly
2. Provide access to clean drinking water
By law, you must provide drinking water that is easily accessible, free from contamination, and preferable from the public water supply.
You must make sure that there are adequate water supplies for all employees, factoring in the nature of their work and the temperature, and that you provide cups or a drinking fountain to use.
3. Provide a suitable break area
Employees must have access to a clean seating area to use on their breaks, with access to washing facilities and a means of heating food and water. The area must be in a location where food is not at risk of contamination.
4. Ensure there is proper ventilation in the workplace
Despite formal restrictions now being lifted, one of the most important control measures you can take in the workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is ventilation. To help you to check if your workplace is adequately ventilated you can use a Co2 monitor to track the levels of carbon dioxide in the air.
This will give you an idea of how much air is circulating, so you can see if you need to crack a window open!
5. Make sure the workplace is a reasonable temperature
Naturally if working outside you cannot control the temperature, however in offices or similar indoor environments you should ensure that the temperature is reasonable so that your employees can work comfortably. As standard, this is usually at least 16°C, or 13°C if the work undertaken is strenuous.
6. Maintain a clean working environment
By keeping your workplace clean and tidy, not only are you protecting your employees health by reducing the risk of ill health or injury, but also their mental health and wellbeing too. A clean, uncluttered environment can help to reduce stress and increase productivity.
7. Make sure your employees have an ergonomic desk set-up
Any workers who use display screen equipment during their working day should complete a DSE assessment. This will ensure that the equipment they have is suitable, set up correctly, ergonomic, and comfortable.
Incorrect DSE set-up can cause a number of health issues, including eye strain, musculoskeletal disorders, headaches and more, so it is important that your employees are provided with the correct equipment.
8. Ensure workers know how to access mental health resources
An important aspect of your employees’ wellbeing is their mental health, and it is important they know where to turn if they are struggling. If your workplace has a mental health first aider, you should make sure they are known to everyone in the business so they know who they can talk to if they need help.
You should also make sure that any mental health resources you offer as a company are properly explained so that workers know how they can access these.
Even if your company does not provide any specific resources, simple steps such as flyers in the breakrooms or company-wide emails advertising external support (such as the IAPT service or charities such as Mind), can help.
9. Provide rest facilities for pregnant women and nursing mothers
The HSE advises that, if reasonably practicable to do so, you should provide a space for pregnant women/nursing mothers to rest or lie down.
10. Finally, maintain and monitor the condition of your facilities
Even if all of your facilities are in place and up to scratch, your job isn’t done! You must ensure that everything is kept clean, in running order, and that supplies are regularly restocked. If your business is growing or changing, take the time to re-assess and make sure the facilities you have in place are still suitable.
We are currently running an offer on our Mental Health Awareness, Managing Health and Safety, and Stress Awareness courses for this month only! Get 10% off these online training courses with the code ‘welfare10’ at checkout.
Read more Top 10 Tips blogs here.
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