Understanding The Workplace Health, Safety And Welfare Regulations 1992

The UK has a long history of ensuring health and safety in the workplace, 220 years of it, to be exact. Under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees.  

As an employer, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the Workplace Health Safety And Welfare Regulations 1992 to help you maintain a safe working environment for your employees.  

We’ve put together a brief guide to the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and some advice for maintaining health and safety in the workplace.  

What are the Workplace Health, Safety And Welfare Regulations 1992? 

The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 cover a range of health and safety issues that apply to the majority of workplaces (with the exception of construction sites, ships and below-ground mines) 

The regulations cover the following areas: 

  • Health 

  • Safety  

  • Welfare 

And outline the different conditions that should be implemented to maintain them. 


  • Ventilation 

Workplaces should be properly ventilated and have sources of clean, fresh air. Open windows can help achieve this, but places where there is a lot of dust or fumes, may need additional ventilation. 

  • Temperature 

Indoor working temperatures should be comfortable, and should be a minimum of 16 °C, although if physical work is taking place, there should be a minimum temperature of 13 °C. 

  • Work in hot or cold environments 

Consideration needs to be made for those who may be working in cold or hot environments. A risk assessment can help identify personal and environmental factors, and may indicate the need for protective workwear to help mitigate the risks. 

  • Lighting 

Lighting needs to allow workers to work safely. Individual workstations should be lit adequately and lighting shouldn’t propose a hazard. 

  • Cleanliness and waste materials 

Workplaces should be kept clean and waste should be dealt with effectively, and stored in appropriate receptacles. 

  • Room dimensions and space 

Workers should be given enough space to move about easily, with 11 cubic metres per person being the minimum – although considerations need to be made for the layout and contents of the rooms.  

  • Workstation and seating 

Workstations should be suitable for those who use them and in accordance with the work they do. Workers should be given appropriate seating that is supportive or can be adjusted according to the user’s needs. 


  • Maintenance 

All equipment should be within the workplace should be maintained to ensure it is in working order, including devices that are there to improve health, safety and welfare or prevent hazards.  

  • Floors and traffic routes 

‘Traffic’ in this instance means pedestrian traffic and includes various guidelines for ensuring people can move around the workplace with ease.  

  • Falls into dangerous substances 

Steps need to be taken to prevent people from falling into dangerous substances. Fencing and covers are some of the measures that can be taken to provide protection to workers.  

  • Transparent or translucent doors, gates or walls and windows 

Windows and transparent doors, gates, etc. should be made from safe materials to protect against breakage. They should also feature markings to help make people aware of their presence if there is a risk of someone coming into contact with them. 

  • Windows 

Open windows should not pose any safety risks and should be able to be opened or closed as neededThey should also be able to be cleaned safely. 

  • Doors and gates 

Doors should be made from suitable materials and equipped with safety devices where necessary.  

  • Escalators and moving walkways 

Escalators and moving walkways should be constructed safely and equipped with safety features such as emergency stop buttons. 


  • Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities 

Workers should have access to suitable and sufficient sanitary and washroom facilities. They should be accessible, and kept well-lit, ventilated and clean. Hot/warm and cold water should also be provided as well as soap and means of drying such as hand dryers or towels. Showers should also be provided for workplaces that may need them. 

  • Drinking water 

Workers should have access to adequate supplies of drinking water, with alternatives such as bottles or water dispensers being available if it can’t be supplied via a main source.  

  • Accommodation for clothing and facilities for changing 

There should be secure and suitable spaces for workers to store their own clothing, and changing facilities for those who need to change into special workwear. These facilities should ensure privacy and should include seating too.  

  • Facilities for rest and to eat meals 

Employees should have access to suitable rest facilities, including seating and should be in places which are large enough to accommodate the number of employees using them. There should be facilities for eating if workers eat meals at work, and these should include facilities for either preparing or obtaining hot drinks. If hot food isn’t available, workers should be given facilities to heat their food.  

This is just an overview of the regulations, with more detail available on the Health and Safety Executive’s website. 

How to ensure workplace safety  

The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare regulations are in place to help employees protect their employees while at work. It’s important that you adhere to the regulations and take steps to maintain health, safety and welfare at work.  

Regular reviews can help you ensure that you’re adhering to the regulations and can form a part of your health and safety strategy. 

Protecting your employees with phs Besafe 

Providing protective workwear is one of the ways you can help adhere to the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations – ensuring your workers are protected from hazards, as well as keeping them warm, dry and comfortable at work. At phs Besafe, we provide a range of protective clothing, including flame gear, glow gear, bright gear and foul gear. We also provide a workwear laundry and maintenance service to help you maintain your garments.  

Browse our products or contact us directly to discuss your individual requirements. 

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