Welfare Facilities on Construction Site for Labourers
Monalisa Patel is a Structural Engineer who has earned her Master’s degree (ME) from the L.J College of Engineering and Technology Ahmadabad in 2018. She is an Engineer (Civil) at SDCPL – Gharpedia. Helping people to solve their queries about construction is her passion. Apart from being blogger, she also participates in structural design at SDCPL. She is reachable on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
Arranging safe and healthy environment for labourers while they work at a construction site is of prime importance for the site-owner as well as for the workers. It is the client’s (site-owner/promoter) sole duty to make sure that contractor has made necessary arrangements to provide adequate welfare facilities to labourers. On bigger projects i.e. longer than 30 days, client must ensure that the construction work does not start unless site welfare units are methodically arranged for the labourers.
The construction site must have following welfare facilities for labourers working hands:
- Constant supply and accessibility of safe drinking water
- Availability of changing rooms and lockers
- Living Accommodations/Shelter
- Sanitary and toilet facilities
- Washing facilities
- Facilities for Rest
- Arrangement of first aid in case of any emergency medical situation.
Welfare facilities on construction site should be provided at a central location accessible within a reasonable distance or time. Following temporary amenities should be made or provided.
Welfare Facilities on Construction Site for Labourers
Good Quality Drinking Water for Labourers on Construction Site
Drinking water jugs should be placed at various accessible places with clean cups for drinking water.
Clean and quality drinking water is essential for workers at the construction site regardless of what type of work they do. Workers should always be given easy access to a source of clean water to prevent the risk of dehydration. Therefore, special attention is absolutely essential to water quality and quantity.
There should be a readily available source of wholesome drinking water ideally from the mains. If that is not available for the time being, bottles or tanks of quality water should be provided to maintain the water supply.
If you are using plastic tank then you must be aware of its safety
Mark clearly on the drinking water supply to differentiate between drinkable and non-drinkable water. Drinking water source at the outlet requires cups/ glasses or other drinking containers to drink water safely and hygienically.
Drinking-water should not be placed near unsafe point. For example, drinking water should be kept at a safe distance from the area/spot where it can be contaminated by chemicals, dust, or other hazardous substances. Whatever may be the source of drinking water at any place on the site, it must be clearly marked as drinking-water with a suitable sign or in words or by both in local language.
Facility of Changing Room and Lockers for Construction Workers on Site
Provisions should be made on site to secure storage facilities for personal clothing to be not worn on site as well as for protective clothing i.e. safety boot, high visibility jackets needed for site work. There should be privacy and convenience for both men and women to make their changes separately. Where there is a chance of protective site clothing contamination, separate facility should be provided for storing every day and site clothing. Also, adequate number of secure hooks should be provided for hanging clothes or cupboard if possible. Lockers also should be provided to place their valuables.
Living Accommodations/Shelter for Workers on Construction Site
The provision of labour’s accommodation or shelter is usually related with the immigration of an external workforce. There are various reasons for this, i.e. either the local labour supply or skilled labour is inadequate, or the workers are not available due to the remote area of the site or maybe because the work needs certain special skills from the labours hence availability of workforce may seem compromised.
The shelter should be provided either of building type or in a conventional container for the resting and sleeping purpose. This can also be a temporary but safe construction for accommodation of the on-site labours.
The accommodation allotted should be suitable by its location, and it must be safe, clean and at the minimum should meet the basic needs of workers. It is important that there is enough protection against exposure to fire, wind, flood and other natural hazards. Living accommodations for workers must be located within a reasonable distance from the worksite.
Sanitary and Toilets Facilities for Construction Labourers
These facilities should include water closets, portable urinals, and toilet. Toilet facilities also need running water and flushing toilet, which should be well connected to drainage. The other way is to provide it with a built-in water supply and drainage tank.
The construction workers should have the facility of accessing an adequate number of toilets. Adequate services mean that enough bathrooms or toilets should be constructed so that people do not have to wait for long time. Toilet arrangements are important to avoid all types of contamination and to prevent the risk of spreading infectious disease if any.
The toilet facilities should also be located conveniently and should be easily accessible. Shorter distance from the worksite to the toilet means reducing excessive and unproductive time. Toilets should be well ventilated, well lit and clean with standard washing facilities adjacent to it for washing purpose after every use.
Sanitary and toilet facilities should never be shared between male and female labours. If you do so, then provide doors with secure lock. Specific additional sanitary facilities must be provided for women.
Workers not only need to understand the utility to maintain high level of personal hygiene but also they should be aware enough to avoid infection and disease transmission risk, which often becomes prevalent due to insufficient sanitary facilities.
Washing Facilities for Workers at the Construction Site
In the construction field, work is mostly a bit messy type which includes dusty and dirty ambiance. It also includes the handling of chemicals and other hazardous substances. Thus, washing facilities is a prerequisite here for health safety like ensuring prevention from chemical contamination while eating, and skin damage due to the side effect of chemicals. Besides that, workers should be able to clear grime and dirt accumulated on body in daily course which may cause different types of diseases and sickness.
Washing facilities may include provision of clean and orderly placed basins or sink, which should be large enough for people to wash their face, hands arms, and legs. It should have the supply of cold and hot, or lukewarm water. The facility of availability of running water with washing agents or soap for the cleaning purpose should be adequate for the all the workers.
Canteen for Construction Labourers on the Working Site
The food-canteen should be adequately protected from the outside climate where one can comfortably eat food brought from home or supplied by the appointed vendors. Canteen may also be used as rest point provided there is no obligation to purchase food. If canteen service is provided, it saves the time for the construction workers.
Facilities like tables, benches, individual drinking cups and plates should also be provided in a canteen. Canteen must be located little away from workstation to minimize the random contact with dust, dirt or other dangerous substances.
Good hygiene standards are imperative in a canteen. Facilities must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, as well as in compliance with the standard hygiene and safety requirements.
Facilities for Rest on Construction Site
Restrooms or rest areas should be well equipped with tables and seating for sufficient number of persons. They should also have arrangements for meals to be prepared. It should also safeguard labourers from harsh weather conditions.
Construction labours start their work early depending upon weather. They start their day with alertness and with productive work schedules but their activity level may get reduced as the day starts rolling. Therefore, frequently taken short breaks are much better than infrequent long breaks. Hence comfortable rest facilities should be provided for them.
Rest areas should not to be used to store any materials or equipment as their purpose is to provide shelter away from wind, dust and rain. The rest facilities should also have adequate number of chairs and tables, facility for getting boiled water and an arrangement of warming food i.e. gas or electrical heating ring.
These days Mobile Welfare Units are widely available and used to serve the labourers with basic facilities for their welfare. These are portable temporary units/cabins which can be easily moved from one place to another. Mobile welfare units consist of following arrangements:
- Table and benched seating arrangement
- Drinking water supply
- Recirculating toilet and recirculating sink
- Clean Food consumption area
- Proper commercial heating facility
- Adequate ventilation
According to ‘S. Shirur and S. Torgal’ (Published in: Enhancing safety and health management techniques in Indian construction industry), the Indian construction labour force is 7.5% of the total world labour force but the professionals suffer from 16.4% of fateful global occupational accidents. Presently, the Indian construction industry is quite large and complex. At par with the development of construction industry, drawbacks in terms of health and safety aspects are also witnessed quite frequently. In the Construction Industry, most of the labourers migrate from one place to another, so most of them often don’t get basic facilities on construction site. That may result in health hazards for them as well as it affects their families negatively. By providing the above-mentioned welfare facilities on construction site, the promoters/developers can help in improving the productivity of labourers and contribute to keep the site clean and hygienic. Worker’s efficiency can be increased significantly with sufficient welfare facilities on a construction site. Contractors must maintain the facilities throughout the project till the project gets officially concluded.