Revised CDM regulations put site welfare in the spotlight

In April this year revised CDM (Construction (Design and Management)) regulations came into force which placed much greater emphasis on the provision of welfare facilities on construction sites.

Now, all sites, regardless of size, must make sure there are not only enough facilities for the number of workers on site but that they are appropriate for the type of work taking place. Both the client and contractor share this legal responsibility.

Pre-construction information prepared by the client needs to include details of the welfare arrangements and the client must also ensure construction work does not start unless they are satisfied that the correct welfare facilities are in place.

Careful consideration should be given to positioning, particularly if mobile teams are working across a number of locations for example repairing highways or laying cables. Welfare facilities will need to be provided at a central location that is accessible within a reasonable distance.

From the first day on site workers must have easily access to clean drinking water, washing facilities, hot water and toilets. There also needs to be suitable facilities for taking breaks, having meals and for storing and changing clothes. These all need to be properly maintained to ensure they are kept in a clean and hygienic condition.

The regulations say that toilets are to have effective ventilation and there needs to be separate male and female facilities but if this is not possible, lockable toilets must be provided.

Washing facilities should be equipped with hot and cold running water, soap or other cleaning agents, towels or another method of drying hands, showers depending on the nature of the work and again ideally these should be separate male and female facilities.

If workers are required to change into protective clothing, then separate male and female changing rooms with seating and storage is required. Drying facilities for wet clothes should also be provided as should heated rest areas with seats, tables and a method for warming drinks and food.

Source: SHP Online