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Water Coolers in the Workplace – It’s the Law!

Water Coolers in the Workplace – It’s the Law!
Here is the ‘Law-uh’! (to be said with an old-school-spaghetti-Western-type-small-town-sheriff pronunciation).

In the U.K. the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations of 1992, Regulation 22 places requirements on the employer with respect to the provision of drinking water.

It states:

1. An adequate supply of wholesome drinking water shall be provided for all persons at work in the workplace.

2. Every supply of drinking water required by paragraph (1) shall –
  (a) be readily accessible at suitable places; and
  (b) be conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign where necessary for reasons of health or safety.

3. Where a supply of drinking water is required by paragraph (1), there shall also be provided a sufficient number of suitable cups or other drinking vessels unless the supply of drinking water is in a jet from which persons can drink easily.

With this rather stern fact out of the way, I then proceeded to cross fjords, wade through rivers, scuba in ponds and was sadly, unable to find any unusual water laws per country.

What I did come across, however, were a plethora of unusual water tidbits and factoids.

  • If the entire world’s water were fit into a 4 litre jug, the fresh water available for us would equal only about one tablespoon.
  • Each Briton uses about 150 litres of tap water a day, but if you include the amount of water embedded within products, our water consumption increases to about 3400 litres a day.
  • One cotton t-shirt has about 25 baths full of water embedded in it. (Frightening that, but the thought of seeing Colleague X nekkid at the water cooler, the t-shirt needs to stay)
  • To produce just one pint of beer for example, takes 170 litres of water.
  • It takes 200,000,000 litres per second to grow food for the planet.

Overall, that’s a lot of water used and some of that isn’t even for drinking!

So, employer, be kind to your employees and install a water cooler that will allow them to keep hydrated and therefore, be happier, healthier and more productive during working hours.

And remember, it’s the law-uh! *cue sunset and whistle Ennio Morricone theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and exit stage left*



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