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SIMPLE THINGS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE: MAINTAINING A HAPPY WORKFORCE

May 17th, 2013

Happy Workforce

It goes without saying that a happy worker, is a hard worker. Putting in the necessary steps to ensure that your construction site meets the needs of your workforce will undoubtedly increase productivity and efficiency levels. Nic Marks of the New Economic Foundation argues that “people who are happier at work are more productive – they are more engaged, more creative, have better concentration”. Taking the simplest of steps to keep your workforce satisfied and happy will contribute to the productivity of all construction sites, and simultaneously ensure that you will be complying with the relevant legislation and health and safety regulations.

In England and Wales, 2007 saw the ban on smoking in public spaces enforced, which naturally encompasses the workplace and construction sites. Smoking in the workplace can quite literally divide a workforce and it is vital that the needs of both smoking and non-smoking workers are adequately met. It also important that your site is compliant with the legislation and guidelines surrounding smoking in the workplace, for which further details can be found here.

While it is important that the needs of all workers are taken into consideration, with regards to smoking, the focus needs to remain firmly with non-smokers. Employees and site managers must take the adequate steps to ensure that an appropriate space is allocated for the use of smokers, whilst ensuring that second-hand smoke is not going to cause a nuisance or a health hazard to other members of the workforce. Hiring a smoking shelter for the duration of a building project, such as those provided by Bespoke Shelters (who specialise in construction site smoking shelters) will satisfy the needs of all workers, whilst ensuring that your site is complying with the relevant legislation.

Toilets. Every worker needs to be able to access one and although a building site throws up the obvious problem that there may not even be a toilet, again employers and site managers must take the necessary steps to ensure the appropriate facilities are made available. Specific legislation is also relevant with regards to toilet facilities. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines the specific requirements for toilets in the workplace, based on the number of workers and whether the workforce is all male or of mixed gender. Further details of these requirements outlined by the HSE can be found here.

Depending on whether you’re working in England and Wales or in Scotland, the guidelines can vary. HSE requires that Scottish construction sites are legally obliged to provide hot wash portable toilets, which companies like Nixon Toilet Hire offer as part of their portable toilet hire range. The firm also stock chemical toilets, which can be used when mains access is not available and are the natural solution to the problems that are thrown up by working on a construction site and will adequately comply with regulations outside of Scotland. Providing access to a clean and functioning toilet is a basic necessity, but one that is vitally necessary to the wellbeing of your workforce.

Taking into consideration the most basic of individual needs takes little time and little action. Nevertheless, such simple measures will dramatically increase the satisfaction and wellbeing of a workforce, leading to better results and success.

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