Whether you are new to setting up a business or an experienced hand, you will understand that there are certain things you want to provide for your employees to keep them safe. These factors are legal requirements and are set out on the HSE website. Workplace hygiene is a main focus of requirements. But there are also other basic legal provisions that you must provide to employees. And these things are what confuses employers. There are many legal requirements for U.K workplaces. Here we will run through the facilities that you are required to provide for employees.

What workplace hygiene facilities do you need to provide?

First of all, you should note that these requirements are for all employees, regardless of time served at the company or type of employment. Employment rights in the U.K. are arguably more progressive than many places from across the globe, and while the demands for employers aren’t unrealistic, they may require you to incur a cost. Here are a few things you need to provide:

Washrooms and Workplace Hygiene Facilities

It is a legal requirement for workplace hygiene to provide somewhere for your employees to use the toilet and wash their hands. This should be provided by you on your business site. As stated by the HSE, “use of public toilets and washing facilities should be a last resort and not used just because they are the cheaper option.” This is important because depending on how you operate your business, this will likely be one of the highest costs, either as a one-off or more likely, as a recurring cost.

You may wonder what the cost may be. If you are in a rented office, the chances are your block has washroom facilities already. This is best case scenario. Here, you will need to think about:

  • Having a supply of soap and hand cleaner.
  • Providing toilet facilities and toilet paper.
  • Providing sinks for hand washing and potentially for forearms cleaning in particularly dirty jobs.
  • A means to dry hands – this would be either paper towels or hand dryers.
  • Special waste disposal units for women to dispose of sanitary waste (general waste can not be used).

When it comes to the number of toilets you need to provide, there is no hard and fast number. But there must be enough in your business so that people are not made to wait in long queues to use the washroom. Separate male/female toilets are advised, but failing that, toilets provided must contain locks for privacy.

Meals and Break Time

There are laws about the facilities you provide when it comes to break times. It isn’t all about workplace hygiene. The legislation with break space says that “there should be a suitable seating area for workers to use during breaks – it needs to be clean and located where food will not get contaminated.” Your business should have a clean place to sit and eat and somewhere to keep. Which essentially means there should be a fridge/cool store area within a place to sit and eat.

It isn’t just the facilities you need to provide. You also need to ensure these areas are clean and hygienic. Hiring a cleaner is the best way to do this, but you can also buy cleaning products and have this done in house. Our store is a one-stop shop for purchasing cleaning products that will help your workplace stay legal and pleasing to staff.

Somewhere to Change and Store Clothing

This will not apply to all businesses, but if your business involves safety wear or changing, you need to provide somewhere to change. For many workplaces this is in the form of a washroom/changing room but could also be a more temporary solution if that is all that’s required.

Drinking Water

The law requires all places of work to provide clean drinking water to all employees. This can come from the tap, but clean water coolers offer all employees ice cold water during their day. We offer great quality cooler and boilers services at a low cost. Contact our team today for more info.