It's important when carrying out an office fit out that the esential requirements for staff welfare are considered. Trevor Blake makes health and safety it's priority at all times both during the planning phase and during the fit out and build.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a helpful guide which gives simple, practical advice on how you can meet these requirements as well as summarising the requirements of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

If you employ anyone (however short the period) you must ?so far as is reasonably practicable?, provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities for them while they are at work.

This means you must provide such facilities unless it is clearly unreasonable in terms of time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty.

?Welfare facilities? are those that are necessary for the well-being of your employees, such as washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks.

Example of what's included in the leaflet:

What toilet and washing facilities do I need to provide?

You have to provide adequate toilet and washing facilities for your employees.

?Adequate? means you have to provide:

  • Enough toilets and washbasins for those expected to use them. People should not have to queue for long periods to go to the toilet.
  • Where possible, separate facilities for men and women, failing that, rooms with lockable doors.
  • Clean facilities. To help achieve this walls and floors should preferably be tiled (or covered in suitable waterproof material) to make them easier to clean.
  • A supply of toilet paper and, for female employees, a means of disposing of sanitary dressings.
  • Facilities that are well lit and ventilated.
  • Facilities with hot and cold running water.
  • Enough soap or other washing agents.
  • A basin large enough to wash hands and forearms if necessary.
  • A means for drying hands, eg paper towels or a hot air dryer.
  • Showers where necessary, eg for particularly dirty work.
  • You must always consider the needs of those with disabilities.

Further information:The HSE Leaflet'Welfare at Work: Guidance for employers on welfare provisions'.