Making sure that site welfare is in order
According to a survey of 3,500 members of the Unite trades union, the standard of welfare facilities on construction sites often fails to meet the legal requirements. The survey found that at one in six sites women and men have to share toilet facilities. The standard of cleanliness of welfare facilities was also found to be patchy with 4% of those surveyed saying that facilities were never cleaned.
The results of the survey have been passed on to the HSE, who have shown a keen interest in checking welfare facilities on construction sites in recent years. If they find that facilities are in a poor condition HSE inspectors have the power to shut down a project until the issues are resolved.
Under the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015 both the client and the contractor share responsibility for the provision of welfare facilities. The contractor is responsible for providing the welfare facilities whilst the client must ensure that this happens, which includes allocating sufficient resources in any budget.