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Welfare Van Information

What is a welfare van?

A Welfare Van, also known as a "Welfare Unit" or "Mess Van" is the term used to describe a mobile general amenities vehicle.

A Welfare Van will commonly be fitted out to provide:
Welfare Van Information - Hot Running Water Hot Running Water
Welfare Van Information - Canteen Canteen
Welfare Van Information - Seating Seating
Welfare Van Information - Toilet Toilet
Welfare Van Information - Seating Tool Storage
Welfare Van Information - Welfare Van with Signwriting
The simplest way to define the Welfarevan, is as a vehicle that provides the comforts you would expect to have in a work place. This in part is what lead to the development of Welfare/Mess Vans. Where in industries like construction, infrastructure, utilities etc company employees could be working in environments where basic amenities were difficult to or unable to be provided.
Welfare Van Information - Network Rail
One of the most recognisable Welfare Units are the fleet operated by Network Rail. These are often seen in areas where maintenance is carried out across the UKs rail network.

Do I need to provide a welfare van?

Welfare Van Information - All Doors Open
If you or your employees are working in an environment where no toilet, hot water or canteen facility is already provided. Then the answer is quite likely "yes".
HSE state ’If you employ anyone (however short the period) you must 'so far as is reasonably practicable', provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities for them while they are at work.‘

In the UK employers have a legal obligation under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to ensure that basic facilities such as, washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities as well as somewhere safe to eat and drink during break periods is provided.
Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) lists the welfare facilities that should be in place at any site.

What should I look out for in a Welfare Van?

As listed earlier the key elements to look for in your next Welfare Van are:
  • Hot Running Water
  • Toilet
  • Canteen
  • Seating
Welfare Van Information - What to Look For Welfare Van Information - Seats
That's not an exhaustive list, and here at Van World as a second stage manufacturer we can tailor your Mess or Welfare Van to your needs.
This can include:
  • Multi Toilet Facilities
  • Hot and Cold Running Water
  • Covid Screens
  • Tow Bars
  • Parking Sensors
  • Butterfly Steps
You may wonder why do I require more than one toilet choice. Where there is more than a single gender of employee on site, some employers elect to provide separate toilet facilities in a single Welfare Unit.
Welfare Vans can be put to diverse use, we've been asked previously to produce a mobile medical vehicle, with toilet facilities. If you think you may need a bespoke solution, we're happy to advise.
Our guidance would be, that when purchasing or hiring a new Welfare Van for your fleet to consider:
  1. Who will be using it?
  2. What will they need?

Who uses Welfare Vans?

Welfare Van Information - Industries using Welfare Vans
Welfare Vans are used across a number of industries, but are most commonly found in:
  • Construction
  • Highways
  • Rail
  • Emergency Response Services
It may seem like common sense that you'd find Welfare Vans in these sectors. They're industries whose hours of operation can be outside the 9 to 5 and regularly operate in hazardous conditions; not least the challenging UK Weather.
We also find that Welfare Vans are Hired by those who have short term 3 to 6 month projects where mobility is a requirement, like survey teams, filming crews and Abseil inspection teams.
In short, we come back to the point of:
Do I need a welfare van?
Welfare Van Information - Low Emission Zone Shield Icon Welfare Van Information - Welfarevan Facing Right
Throughout the UK as part of a move to decrease the pollutants in the air and improve air quality overall, areas have been identified where a levy has to be paid on vehicles which do not meet the emissions standards of:
Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicle
These are designated: Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ)
ULEZ Welfare Vans Welfare Van Information - Animated Arrow

How Easy to Operate is a Welfare Van?

With our clearly labelled operation instructions and control panels, we consider our Welfare units to be user friendly.
Easy to Operate Control Panel
Welfare Van Information - Easy to Operate Control Panel
However, you can make quite simple mistakes when operating your Welfare Van, here are a few things to consider:
Fresh Water Reservoir: Ensure that you fill the correct water reservoir in the Welfare Van with fresh water. We have carried out maintenance on used welfare vans where chemicals have been added to the Fresh Water Reservoir that were intended to supply the toilet cassette. You can imagine that was an unpleasant discovery for the operator.
Toilet Flush Reservoir: If your Welfare Van operates a flush system to the cassette toilet, it will have its own separate water or chemical reservoir.
We now have a great guide on how to empty your welfare van toilet entitled: How to empty your Welfare Van Toilet.
We're happy to receive questions about your Welfare Van and if you have any please contact us.

See what our clients say

What Our Clients Way - Welfare Van
" We approached Van World at the start of November in our search for a welfare van to add to our fleet. We were in urgent need of the vehicle and the staff were exceptionally helpful in ensuring we were able to take delivery of a vehicle that was in the final stages of preparation within a week.

The van was collected on Tuesday 10th November and we are extremely impressed with the build quality and specification of the vehicle.

We were delighted with the service we received and have already placed an order for 2 new Ford Transit Welfare Vans.

Mr C Robinson, CG Robinson Son Ltd.
What Our Clients Way - Ford Transit Welfare Van
" We were looking for Welfare Vans in a hurry to help support all the recent changes around COVID legislation.

Van World came up with exactly the specification we needed, when we needed them by.

Prompt and efficient service, with no compromise to quality.

David Aylesbury, Derbyshire
What Our Clients Say - Custom Build Van
" We needed a specific bespoke storage solution, that exactly fitted the parts we use.

Fed up of rattling around and rummaging, we turned to Van World. We were so glad we did.

The bespoke build quality was impressive and resulted in vastly improving our efficiency and professionalism.

Lyn Jackson, Manchester
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