Welfare, health, and safety are the major aspects of workplace regulations, which apply to most workstations excluding construction sites, underground mining sites, and in/on ship working environments. It is the duty of an employer to ensure safety, welfare, and health of the employees at work. Individuals who manage the non-domestic premises have an obligation towards those who do not work there but use the premises. The regulations are intended to look after the health and safety of the people in the workstation by ensuring adequate safety facilities are provided for the individuals at work.
The regulations also apply to any office, even if it is one person who works from it. This is because clients and other guests are likely to visit the office, and therefore the regulations ensure their safety, welfare, and health needs are met. The big part of the regulations requires a suitable workplace for all people including those with disabilities. Therefore, the welfare provisions in any office should include the following;
Appropriately designed ventilations
An office should be well ventilated so that fresh and clean air can circulate properly. The air should be drawn from an uncontaminated outdoor environment. It is a duty for the office owner to ensure that ventilation system is installed taking into considerations the situation of the outside environment. This means the freshening vents should face away from smoke chimneys and any other air pollutant outlets, as well as ensuring that humid air is driven away from the indoor space to create a sense of freshness.
Well-controlled indoor temperature
This is very important to ensure a comfortable working environment is maintained. The environmental elements such as humidity can influence your personal comfort in the office. Depending on the kind of task you are doing, a suitable thermal environment may differ from time to time. According to workplace regulations, if your office duties involve more sitting than walking around, the ideal temperature should be at least 16 degrees Celsius. When you are in active duties, regulating the indoor temperatures to at least 13 degrees Celsius is recommended.
The seating comfort
According to office health and welfare experts, people who work in offices are likely to suffer from neck-related pains and back pains due to prolonged sitting. That is why they recommend every office to have suitable seats that can provide adequate support for the lower back and neck. For a contemporary office setting, ergonomic office chairs are the best pick to ensure safety and health of your workers. These chairs come with backrest, footrest, and armrest to enhance the comfort of the user.
Sanitary and washing facilities
It is a requirement by workplace regulations to have sufficient and suitable sanitary and washing facilities located at easily accessible places. The rooms and the facilities themselves should be kept clean, lit, and well ventilated. If possible, the washing facilities should have adequate and functional cold and hot (warm) water, clean towels, and soap. Depending on the type of work that is done in your office, showers can also be provided. Apparently, it is a requirement to have separate facilities for ladies and gents if there are many people working from the same office. Otherwise, the facilities should be located in different rooms with lockable doors and for use by one individual at a time.
Safe drinking water
The workplace regulations require every office to have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, either with clean cups or upward drinking jets. There should be refillable enclosed jugs whereby no one can access water directly from the main supply. It is the duty of the office management to refill the jugs on a daily basis unless the office uses water dispenser containers. However, water dispensing system is required as an additional source of drinking water.
The office equipment, devices, and systems should be well-maintained to enhance safety, health, and welfare of the workers. For instance, regular inspections in the ventilation systems ensure proper air circulation into the rooms is maintained. Those devices that can risk the health of the workers should be assessed properly and faulty parts fixed immediately. If the office has installed safety equipment, they should be examined often to ensure they stay functional. Lastly, it is a requirement to monitor the condition of the building to ensure that it is stable and safe for use.