Health and SafetyUnder the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 [1]  an employer has a duty to provide a workplace that is safe and healthy and, so far as is reasonably practicable, to provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities for employees while they are at work. Welfare facilities are those that are necessary for the well-being of employees, such as washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere to eat and drink during breaks.  Based on Health and Safety Executive guidance [2,3] you are required to:

Ensure there is adequate ventilation (sufficient fresh or purified air). An open window will provide sufficient ventilation in most cases but may be supplemented where necessary by mechanical ventilation. Ensure that the means of ventilation does not create uncomfortable draughts.

Keep floors in good repair and ensure they are non-slip where required.

Maintain a temperature of at least 16oC for sedentary staff.

Provide lighting that is adequate and appropriate for the task being undertaken.

Ensure there are adequate toilet facilities: for 1–5 employees, 1 toilet and 1 washbasin; for 6–25 employees, 2 toilets and 2 washbasins.

Keep the premises clean and dispose of waste adequately and promptly (see Waste Management).

Provide drinking water for staff.

Maintain premises in good working order.

Conduct a risk assessment of the premises as outlined in Health and Safety Risk Management.

Explain to employees their responsibility for their own safety and explain that they should report any faults or concerns about their working environment promptly.

Sources of Information

  1. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (
  2. Welfare at Work: Guidance for Employers on Welfare Provisions. Health and Safety Executive (2007 [1st rev 2011]) ( (PDF)
  3. Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare: a Short Guide for Managers. Health and Safety Executive (2007 [2nd rev 2011]) ( (PDF)