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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product CodeCTT3
  • Number of pagesn/a
  • Publication DateJul 2015
  • ISBN

CTT3 CIBSE Top Tips 3: Sanitary Conveniences, Washing Facilities & Drinking Wate

CTT3 CIBSE Top Tips 3: Sanitary Conveniences, Washing Facilities & Drinking Wate

Further CIBSE Top Tips

CIBSE Top Tips Information Sheet 3: Sanitary Conveniences, Washing Facilities and Drinking Water

This information sheet is intended to help property operators, facilities managers and designers to understand the provision of sanitary conveniences, washing facilities and drinking water and what they can do to ensure buildings provide a healthy, comfortable and productive working environment in an energy efficient manner. By following the information provided, building operators, facilities managers, designers and employers will be able to demonstrate compliance with Regulations 20, Sanitary Conveniences, and 22, Drinking Water, in The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Where there may be concern or areas of high risk then it is recommended that professional advice is sought.

Contents

Top Tips

Drinking water

  • An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water shall be provided for all persons at work in the workplace
  • A sufficient number of suitable cups will be provided
  • Drinking water to be conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign
  • Drinking water should normally be obtained from a public or private water supply by means of a tap on a pipe connected directly to the water main
  • Drinking water from a storage cistern to comply with the requirements of the UK Water Bye-laws
  • The law requires that you provide drinking water (not within the toilet area) and ensure that it is free from contamination, is preferably from the public water supply and is easily accessible by all employees.  Bottled water dispensers are acceptable as a secondary supply
  • Cold water for drinking and the preparation of food should be drawn from a tap fed directly from the mains supply
  • Private water supplies pose a risk to public health because they are quite often not designed, managed or tested in the same way as public water supplies. Local councils are responsible for ensuring the safety of all private water supplies
  • Clean and sanitise drinking water taps from time to time with a mild household disinfectant.

Sanitary conveniences

  • Toilet rooms must be adequately ventilated and lit
  • Toilets and toilet rooms must be kept in a clean and orderly condition
  • Facilities are required to have hot and cold running water
  • Enough soap or other washing agents are to be provided
  • A basin large enough to wash hands and forearms if necessary is to be provided
  • A means for drying hands is to be  provided, e.g. paper towels or a hot air dryer
  • Washing facilities must be provided in the immediate vicinity of toilets
  • Separate rooms must be provided for men and women except where a toilet is in a room intended for use by one person at a time which has a door that can be secured from the inside
  • An effective means of flushing a toilet should be provided, as should toilet paper and a coat hook. A suitable means for the disposal of sanitary dressings should be provided where toilets are used by women
  • Special provision should be made for any workers with disabilities (see Building Regulations Approved Document M)
  • Facilities should provide adequate protection from the weather
  • There should be a regular cleaning and inspection regime in place
  • Prompt reactive maintenance is essential for all toilets.

Introduction

An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water shall be provided for all persons in the workplace. Suitable and sufficient toilets must be provided at readily accessible places in the workplace. 

Employers have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. People in control of non-domestic premises have a duty (under the same Act) towards people who are not their employees but use their premises.

Sanitary conveniences and the provision of drinking water are a requirement and an expectation in any permanent or temporary workplace. Building Regulations state minimum obligations for their provision. In addition, sanitary conveniences need to be kept clean and functional, as well as stocked with appropriate materials.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations apply to a very wide range of workplaces, not only factories, shops and offices but, for example, schools, hospitals, hotels and places of entertainment.

How much provision do I need?

Requirements for sanitary conveniences are set out in the Building Regulations. As an indication, the minimum number of toilets depends on the number of people at work: one toilet for up to 5; two toilets for up to 25; three toilets for up to 50.

An effective means of flushing a toilet should be provided, as should toilet paper and a coat hook. A suitable means for the disposal of sanitary dressings should be provided where toilets are used by women. Special provision should be made for any workers with disabilities. Separate rooms must be provided for men and women except where a toilet is in a room intended for use by one person at a time and which has a door that can be secured from the inside.

Where arrangements exist to use facilities provided by someone else, such as a landlord, the employer must ensure the requirements, as regards facilities and numbers, are met.

Readily accessible, suitable and sufficient washing facilities must also be provided, including the provisions of showers, where necessary by the nature of the work or for health reasons.

Washing facilities will be considered "suitable" if they are:

  • in the immediate vicinity of sanitary conveniences;
  • in the vicinity of changing rooms;
  • provided with a clean supply of hot and cold (or warm) water (where practicable the water supply should be running), soap or other means of cleaning, towels or other means of drying;
  • sufficiently ventilated and lit; and
  • kept clean and orderly.

Separate washing facilities must be provided for male and female workers, except where the facilities are provided in a room, intended for use by one person at a time, which can be secured from the inside. This last provision does not apply to washing facilities intended for washing the hands, forearms and face only.

An adequate supply of drinking water must be provided. The water must be wholesome, situated at suitable, readily accessible places and be conspicuously marked. Sufficient cups must be provided, unless the water is supplied in an easily drinkable jet form.

How the building itself influences the need for sanitary conveniences

In addition to meeting Building Regulations requirements, other advice and guidance is available for different types of non-domestic buildings where use, and possibly abuse, may require particular types of equipment to be installed.

Facilities should provide adequate protection from the weather.

At remote or temporary work sites, chemical closets may be used with a suitable de-odourising agent.
 

Design and installation considerations

The designer’s objective must be to design the sanitary system to comply with current Building Regulations requirements, to be environmentally compliant, to meet the needs of the building occupants and to have a good life expectancy.
 
Access doors and covers should be easy to open and be constructed and installed to suit the particular type of building.
 
Toilet rooms must be adequately ventilated and lit.
Sanitary accommodation and washing facilities, including showers, should ensure the privacy of the user.

Maintenance, examination and testing

Any cistern, tank or vessel used as a drinking water supply should be well covered, kept clean and tested and disinfected as necessary.

Steps should be taken to ensure that repair and maintenance work is carried out properly.

There should be a preventive maintenance schedule, e.g. to ensure that in hard water areas (where water softeners are not fitted), taps and appliances be de-scaled regularly, lights are working effectively, and surfaces be cleaned to hygienic levels.

Drinking water taps should be cleaned and sanitised from time to time with a mild household disinfectant.

The frequency of regular maintenance, and precisely what it involves, will depend on the equipment or device concerned. The likelihood of defects developing, and the foreseeable consequences are highly relevant. The age and condition of equipment, how it is used and how often it is used should also be taken into account. Sources of advice include published HSE guidance, British and EC standards and other authoritative guidance, manufacturers' information and instructions, and trade literature.

Cleaning and housekeeping

There is a requirement for sanitary conveniences to be kept clean and in orderly condition, including the provision and ready availability of necessary materials.

Prompt reactive maintenance is essential for all toilets.

Toilets and toilet rooms must be kept in a clean and orderly condition. Washing facilities must be provided in the immediate vicinity.

Drinking water taps should be cleaned and sanitised from time to time with a mild household disinfectant.

The cost of not providing appropriate sanitary conveniences

The provision of suitable and appropriate sanitary conveniences and drinking water is a legal requirement and not providing them would be an infringement of law which could result in a prosecution leading to a fine or imprisonment, together with adverse publicity. It is an expectation of employees, building visitors and the general public that such facilities will be available in a clean and useable condition. Failure to provide them would suggest an employer with no interest in the care, welfare, health and safety of employees.

References

TSO (1974) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Ch 37) (London: TSO) See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/pdfs/ukpga_19740037_en.pdf
 
TSO (1992) Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 No. 3004 (London: TSO) See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/3004/contents/made
 

Further Reading

BSI (1996) BS 6465-2: 1996 Sanitary Installations Part 2: Code of Practice for Space Requirements for Sanitary Appliances (London: British Standards Institution)
 
BSI (2006) BS 6465-1: 2006 + A1:2009 Sanitary installations Part 1: Code of Practice for the Design of Sanitary Facilities and Scales of Provision of Sanitary and Associated Appliances (London: British Standards Institution)
 
BSI (2006) BS 6465-3: 2006 Sanitary Installations Part 3: Code of Practice for the Selection, Installation and Maintenance of Sanitary and Associated Appliances (London: British Standards Institution)
 
BSI (2010) BS 6465-4: 2010 Sanitary Installations Part 4: Code of Practice for the Provision of Public Toilets (London: British Standards Institution)
 
CIBSE (2014) Guide G: Public Health and Plumbing Engineering (London: CIBSE) (ISBN 978 1 906846 41 1)
 
DWI Keeping Your Private Water Safe (London: Drinking Water Inspectorate/Defra) See http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/consumers/advice-leaflets/pws.pdf
 
HSE (2007) INDG244 (rev 2) Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare: A Short Guide for Managers (London: HSE Books) (ISBN 978 0 7176 6277 7) See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg244.pdf
 
HSE (2007) INDG293 (rev 1) Welfare at Work: Guidance for Employers on Welfare Provisions (London: HSE Books) (ISBN 978 0 7176 6264 7) See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg293.pdf
 
HSE (2010) Construction Information Sheet CIS59 Provision of Welfare Facilities during Construction Work (London: HSE Books) See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis59.pdf

HSE (2013) INDG174 (rev 2) Personal Protective Equipment at Work: A Brief Guide (London: HSE Books) (ISBN 978 0 7176 6475 7) See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg174.pdf
 
HSE (2013) L24 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (London: HSE Books) (ISBN 978 0 7176 6583 9) See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l24.pdf
 
NBS (2010) Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document G: Sanitation, Hot Water Safety and Water Efficiency (2010, amended 2010) (London: HM Government) See http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_AD_G_2010_V2.pdf
 
NBS (2015) Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document M: Volume 1: Access to and use of Buildings: Dwellings (2015, coming into effect 1 October 2015) (London: HM Government) (ISBN 978 1 85946 608 7) See http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/partm/adm/admvol1#Download
 
NBS (2015) Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document M: Volume 2: Access to and use of Buildings: Buildings other than Dwellings (2015, coming into effect 1 October 2015) (London: HM Government) (ISBN 978 1 85946 609 4) See http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/partm/adm/admvol2#Download
 
TSO (1992) Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 No. 3004 (London: TSO) See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/3004/contents/made
 
TSO (2010) Equality Act 2010 (Ch15) (London: TSO) See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/pdfs/ukpga_20100015_en.pdf

United Utilities (2015) Caring for Water in Your Home (Warrington: United Utilities Water Ltd) See http://www.unitedutilities.com/documents/caringforwater_in_your_home.pdf
 
© CIBSE 2015

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