An employer has responsibility for the
Health, Safety and Welfare of employees, and anyone else who might
use the premises. They must 'so far as is reasonably
practicable' provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities
for all staff whilst they are at work. This means that
employers must provide facilities unless it is clearly
unreasonable in terms of time, trouble, cost and physical
'Welfare facilities' are those that are
necessary for the well being of employees, such as washing,
toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere clean to eat
and drink during breaks.
There shall be suitable and sufficient
conveniences in readily accessible places. These should
- Separate male and female conveniences
- Adequately ventilated and lit
- Kept in a clean and orderly condition
Suitable and sufficient washing facilities in
readily accessible locations:
- They shall provide a supply of hot and cold clean water, which
shall be running water so far as is practicable
- They shall include soap or suitable means of cleaning
- They shall include towel or suitable means of drying
- The rooms shall be sufficiently ventilated and lit
- The rooms shall be kept in a clean and orderly condition
- An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water shall be
provided for all persons at work in the workplace.
- Drinking water should normally be obtained from a tap directly
from a rising main, but can be provided from a tap supplied by a
storage cistern, provided it is cleaned regularly. There
there could be confusion with non-drinking water the source should
be clearly identified.
- Suitable cups to be provided where required.
- If not possible to provide piped supply of water, bottled or
water dispensing systems may be provided as an alternative.
Facilities for Changing Clothes
- Suitable and sufficient changing facilities are required in
areas where special clothing is required.
Facilities for Rest and to Eat Meals
Suitable and sufficient rest facilities shall
be provided for people to eat meals, especially where food eaten in
the work place could become contaminated.
- Where there is no canteen, or facilities close by where hot
food can be obtained, the employer should provide facilities for
- Where necessary the rest facilities must be suitable for
pregnant or nursing mothers.
The Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations
also cover the working environment.
If you are starting a new food business, more information and guidance
is available on our Food Safety webpage.
Last Updated - 02/08/2011