When it comes to your workforce, it pays to look after them. Without their skills, productivity and commitment, your business would be a much poorer place. Moral responsibilities aside, there are also many legal obligations around hiring and retaining your workforce. From ensuring they work in a safe environment to having an empathetic and caring attitude, there are many obligations placed on an employer when it comes to their employees.
Provision of fresh, safe drinking waterThe Workplace (health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a raft of provisions and obligations that the employer must ensure happens on a daily basis in and around their work premises. From efficient ventilation to making sure rubbish does not accumulate, to ensuring that lighting, as far as is possible, is natural light rather than electric. There is an overarching measure in the regulations too, the ‘suitable and sufficient supply’ of
- Washing facilities, including showers if they are deemed necessary
- Facilities for rest and to eat meals
- An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water
Isn’t all water ‘wholesome’?Water is the giver of life but, it can also cause illness too, especially samples of water that have been inadvertently infected with bacteria. And then there are the arguments about tap water being good enough. In the UK, we are fortunate to enjoy safe drinking water straight from the tap. But, there can be issues. The addition of chemicals to make the water safe can, some people say, leave it tasting and smelling of a bleach-type aroma. There is chlorine added to the vast majority of water supplies in the UK. In some older properties, the piping through which the water runs from the mains to the glass is lead or old and decaying. If you knew the state of the plumbing in a building, would you drink the water? It also is not chilled. You can, of course, let the water run for a minute or two to try and get the water as cold as possible but this is a waste of several gallons of water.
Renting water coolers are the answerYou understand the importance of providing fresh drinking water for your employees. You also know need to ensure that they have access to it. The benefits of water coolers are numerous:
- Place where water is needed – bottle-fed water coolers need to be by an electrical socket so that the refrigeration unit chills the filtered water. This is the only requirement of where you have to place your unit.
- Accessible – the primary aim of renting water coolers is for them to be in high footfall and available places. Close to the canteen or in the staff room is common places for them, along with meeting rooms, or on the intersections of busy corridors.
- Use the recyclable cups provided – the water cooler units are all self-contained. In other words, everything an employee needs to access fresh drinking water is provided, including coated cardboard cups that can be placed in the correct recycling container.