Workplace facilities - Welfare at work - Healthy Working Lives

Welfare at work

Understand your legal duties to your employees at work

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You have a duty to ensure the welfare of your employees at work. Providing a safe and healthy environment will also help to motivate your workforce.

Use the links below to find information and resources on ways to ensure your employees' welfare at work as well as your legal duties relating to this.

  1. Workplace temperature
  2. Workspace
  3. Workplace facilities
  4. Work environment
  5. Vulnerable workers
  6. Legal duties for welfare at work

3. Workplace facilities

Eating and drinking facilities

You need to ensure that there is a supply of drinking water available for your employees. This could be achieved by

  • a tap connected directly to rising main
  • providing bottled water or water dispensing systems
  • a tap supplied by a storage cistern, as long as this is cleaned and disinfected regularly.

You need to provide suitable facilities to rest and eat. You also need to provide facilities to heat food where a canteen is not available or there are not facilities close by where hot food can be obtained. A kettle and a microwave are acceptable.

Toilets and washing facilities

You need to ensure your workplace has an appropriate number of sanitary facilities. These should be separated for males and females, unless they are in a separate room and their door can be locked. They should be adequately ventilated, lit and kept clean.

You also need to provide washing facilities with hot and cold running water, soap and hand-drying facilities. ​

You may need to provide showers if the work carried out by your employees is strenuous or dirty. You will also need to provide showers if the work results in contamination of the skin by a harmful substance, such as

  • body fluids
  • contaminated soil
  • hazardous chemicals.
You can find out more about this on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) site.

Visit the HSE site for guidance on appropriate sanitary facilities