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Ensuring health and safety in welfare spaces

Walk around any construction site and you’ll see welfare spaces or site rooms for workers. This is because the law states that contractors must provide employees with welfare facilities on all construction projects.

There are certain requirements of what facilities welfare spaces should contain.

These include:

  • Clean drinking water
  • Adequate washing and drying facilities (including either hot and cold, or warm, running water and soap)
  • Full working toilets
  • Rest/break area (including tables and chairs)
  • Facilities for preparing and eating food
  • Changing rooms and lockers

Additionally, there are various health and safety regulations relating to dust and noise on construction sites. Here we look at the two problems and highlight how Hoardfast can be used to as a solution.

Dust prevention

Just last October, HSE conducted inspections in construction firms across the country in a campaign designed to tackle the dangers of site dust.

At the time, HSE’s Peter Baker, chief inspector of construction said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are killed in construction accidents.

“Annually, work-related cancers, mainly linked to asbestos and silica, are estimated to kill 3,500 people from the industry. Thousands of others suffer life-changing illnesses from their work.

“Not all lung diseases take years to develop. Some, like acute silicosis or occupational asthma, can occur more quickly.

“As a result, we’ve launched this inspection initiative to find out what exactly businesses in the construction industry are doing today to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs.”

The main dust-related diseases affecting construction workers are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Silicosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma

This is why it’s essential that workers are given adequate respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and welfare rooms that offer respite from dust filled working conditions.

As Hoardfast, Westgate’s temporary modular hoarding system can be supplied in various heights it can be fixed floor to ceiling creating a dust tight seal, shielding the environment from the works that are taking place – perfect for creating a dust-free welfare space. This can be seen in a recent Jerram Falkus project.

Jerram Falkus site room

Noise prevention

Noise can be highly disruptive and if it reaches a certain volume can actually breach health and safety regulations. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) was implemented industry-wide in the UK in April 2006, and currently the regulations state that if employees are exposed to an average of 85 decibels, either daily or weekly, employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones.

By using Hoardfast Soundscreen to create a noise reduction welfare space, it allows employees to have a space to get away from the noise of fit out construction, and means contractors are complying with relevant regulations.

Hoardfast Soundscreen is an internal modular steel faced system made up of panels and support components, capable of reducing noise by a certified minimum 34dB (depending on the frequency of noise).

Soundscreen

With new construction and renovation projects cropping up in cities across the UK, the demand for welfare spaces for inner-city, office fit out projects has never been higher. Contact us at Westgate to find out more about our Hoardfast internal site rooms and how we can help you on your next project.

Hoardfast Site Rooms
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