Ever a high priority, maintaining health and safety standards has become front and centre since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Never before have we all paid more continuous attention to the cleanliness and hygiene of the equipment we use. And never before have we all put such emphasis on the safety of ourselves and others in public spaces. But it’s easy to forget that health and safety involve more than sanitising to prevent the spread of diseases. When it comes to drinking water dispensers, make sure that it is WRAS approved
The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) was created specifically to protect consumers against injury. It also protects businesses against wasted expense. And the organisation’s job is to conduct tests to ensure that water-bearing products are safe to use and compliant with UK health and safety regulations.
Before any water cooler, drinking fountain or water bottle filler can gain WRAS approval, it is rigorously tested for public safety. This includes materials, components, and the entire manufactured unit. This is to minimise the risk of water contamination and that no parts are likely to come away into the water stream – either at the drinking end or the into the mains water supply.
While these factors provide benefit enough, WRAS approval carries further advantages for purchasers.
As WRAS approval is not mandatory, it’s is still possible – and legal – to sell water dispensers in the UK that do not comply with British Health and Safety standards. It comes down to a tricky little caveat within UK legislation. The implication of which is that the burden of installing water regulations compliant equipment lies with the person responsible for buying it.
So, while suppliers can happily sell you a non-compliant water cooler, it’s you that can be prosecuted if you install it and the Drinking Water Inspectorate finds that it’s not up to scratch. In the best-case scenario, they’d simply ask you to remove it. In the worst, you could find yourself facing a hefty fine or legal action.
WRAS approval is one of those things that it’s easy to miss when you’re looking at water dispensers for your organisation. If you don’t know what it means, it can seem like so much additional jargon. But in the long term, purchasing a WRAS approved water cooler will save you time, money and worry. And it’s the best way to ensure the safe and healthy supply of water for your team and your customers.