A welfare unit is a convenient, effective solution for providing important facilities for staff on a construction site. Some are static and some are mobile, but they are all self-contained units designed to meet the welfare needs of site workers. They are also a strong option for meeting your legal requirements laid out by the HSE.
Anyone who’s spent time on a construction site will be aware that they can get cold, muddy and dusty. In other words, the environment can be difficult to work in. Welfare units provide a space away from that environment, where workers can be comfortable to eat, relax, complete paperwork and a variety of other things. In fact, HSE guidelines state it is mandatory to provide welfare facilities on any project longer than 30 days, and you must make arrangements before the project starts.
Here are the top 5 uses for a welfare unit to give you an idea of how important they are on-site.
1. Catering Facilities
Everyone on your site needs to eat, and they need a comfortable space away from the mud and dust of where they are working. Welfare units can provide drinking water, electricity to power kettles and microwaves, and tables and chairs where staff can sit comfortably and enjoy their lunch. Hot water can also be made available so that workers can wash their hands and clean their mugs and plates after eating.
2. Rest Area For Staff
The tables and seating are an important part of welfare facilities, and there must be sufficient provisions to accommodate the number of staff on site. Space should also be heated in the winter to ensure staff is comfortable as they rest from what is a physically demanding line of work.
3. Office Space
Every construction project requires administration work to be done. A site manager will need space to contact stakeholders, contractors, and suppliers, as well as dealing with the various other tasks beyond the physical construction process. Welfare units can provide an excellent office space with electricity and heating, where all the less tangible work of a construction project can be done.
4. Changing Rooms
On many construction sites, workers are required to wear special clothing whilst working. In this case, they must be provided with changing rooms that include seating, secure storage for personal items and a means of drying. Welfare units can easily tick all these boxes, ensuring you are providing your workers with essential facilities whilst they are on the job.
5. Washing Facilities
When the work being done is particularly messy, site staff are likely to be getting dirty throughout the day. In this case, they should be provided with facilities for washing. Welfare units for this purpose must be kept clean and orderly, and they should include sinks and basins that are sufficient for staff to wash their faces, hands, and forearms (at least).
If the site is particularly dirty or requires decontamination, a welfare unit with showers should be provided. You will also need to supply hot and cold running water, soap, and towels.
The Bottom Line
Providing adequate welfare facilities for your construction staff is important. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it is also the best way to ensure your staff is as happy and productive as possible. Welfare units serve as a firm base for site management and can deliver a wide range of much-needed welfare facilities for challenging working environments.
They are a cost-effective, convenient way to meet legal requirements and accommodate the needs of your staff. You should always ensure you hire from a company that complies with all the relevant health and safety legislation.