The Importance of Good Site Accommodation

Providing good site accommodation not only allows contractors, project managers and other management to satisfy legal health and safety requirements set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but also ensures that workers’ needs are met. After all, comfortable and happy employees are more likely to be motivated workers, writes Benjamin Rothwell, Business Development Manager at Bunkabin

This may mean providing accessible and drinkable water for your workers during the height of summer, or a warm cabin for them to escape to and dry off in when the weather gets bad in the colder months.

In the following guide, we will detail the accommodation options that are available to you, the problems you may encounter and their solutions.

What does HSE require of site facilities? HSE states that ‘a cold water tap and chemical toilet on their own’ is not enough to meet all the needs that workers operating on a site will have. Before any work can be started at your site, you must have the necessary welfare facilities in place. This is a legal requirement of the HSE. If you fail to meet these requirements your operations will be paused until you do or shut down. If you are found to have been operating without meeting your workers’ needs, you could incur legal action and fines.

The facilities that you will need to provide will depend on where your site is located, how many workers you have and how well connected the site is to urban areas. If there is nowhere for your workers to sleep, take shelter or wash, you will need to provide the means to these.

The following list details the minimum required accommodation and welfare facilities that your site and workers might need:

  • Toilets – must flush, have running water and be regularly cleaned and maintained. There must be enough to meet the number of workers on site and sanitary product disposal must be available to female workers.
  • Washing facilities – should be installed near toilet facilities. Washing facilities must have hot and cold running water with soap and towels that are replaced when used up. Sinks must be large enough for workers to be able to wash their faces and arms as well as hands.
  • Showers for hazardous substances – must be separate from other washing facilities.
  • Sleeping and rest facilities – must be secure and built to protect workers and their belongings from theft and the weather. In summer, cabins must have good ventilation and window access. In winter, cabins must be well insulated and have heaters. Cabins should also provide access to electrical ports for charging phones. Those with bathrooms must meet the same requirements as the toilets and washing facilities.
  • Changing rooms – must be secure, private and lockable from the inside. Changing facilities should also have space for workers to dry clothes and should be heated in winter.

You should consider your workers when providing any facilities for washing and changing; they may not always need to be separated by gender, but your workers may prefer this.

What health and welfare accommodation options do you have? While your first thought may be to arrange hotel stays for your workers, this method can be expensive and inconvenient, depending on how far away the hotel is located from your site and what the connections are like. Portable accommodation and welfare units are the solution to this as they are often more cost effective and can be installed directly onto or by your site, allowing for maximum convenience and efficiency.

There are portable solutions for every immediate need your workers could have, including somewhere sheltered to take a break. This, combined with the high customisability of portable units, means you will be best prepared for any issue or occasion by investing in portable units for your site.

Bunkabin manufactures portable accommodation to be shipped directly to the site. We install them easily and efficiently, and they can be removed in the same way. If you are looking for accommodation options for your workers, consider choosing portable solutions and you may save you and your workers time, money and travel.