Health and Safety Regulations in the Workplace

Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces.

Under these regulations, an employer must comply with the following –

Maintenance – the workplace and equipment must be maintained in good condition. Where appropriate, there must be a planned system of regular maintenance

Ventilation – enclosed workplaces must be provided with fresh or purified air

Temperature – a reasonable temperature must be maintained inside the building during working hours. The recommended working temperature is between 16 – 20 degrees.

Lighting – suitable and sufficient lighting must be provided. Natural light should be used where possible. Emergency lighting must also be provided where necessary

Cleanliness – the workplace and equipment must be kept clean. Waste should not be allowed to accumulate (except in suitable receptacles)

Space – room dimensions should provide sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for the health safety and welfare of the staff

Workstations – workstations must be suitable for the workers who use them and the work which is done

Seating – where work can be done sitting, suitable seating must be provided for each person doing that work

Floors – floors should be suitable and not uneven, holed or slippery. They should be kept free from obstruction or contamination likely to cause slipping. Staircases should normally have a hand-rail

Falls – precautions should be taken to prevent people from falling or being struck by falling objects.

Windows – transparent or translucent doors or walls must be made of a safety material or protected against breakage and must be clearly marked. Opening windows must be safe to use. All windows and skylights must be designed to allow safe cleaning

Traffic routes – design must allow safe circulation of pedestrians and vehicles and traffic routes should be clearly indicated

Doors and gates – doors and gates must be suitably constructed. Devices should be fitted to keep sliding doors on their tracks, to prevent upward opening doors from falling back, and to ensure safe operation of powered doors. Doors which can be pushed from either side should have panes to provide a clear view of the space around the door

Escalators – escalators and moving walkways shall be safe in use, and fitted with necessary safety devices, including emergency stop controls

Sanitary conveniences – suitable and sufficient toilets shall be provided at readily accessible places. They must be well ventilated and lit and kept clean. A schedule to the Regulations specifies how many are needed, depending on the number of workers

Washing facilities – washing facilities, including showers if needed, with hot and cold water, soap and hygienic means of drying must be provided

Drinking water – a supply of drinking water must be provided for all workers at readily accessible places

Clothing – accommodation must be provided for storage of a person’s own clothing not worn at work, work clothing kept at the workplace, and for changing facilities

Rest and meals – suitable rest facilities must be provided at conveniently accessible places. Arrangements must be made to protect non-smokers from discomfort from tobacco smoke in rest rooms and rest areas. Pregnant women and nursing mothers must be given suitable facilities. Facilities for eating meals must be provided where meals are normally taken at work