The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set sanitation standards for providing sanitary portable toilets for workers at your job site. These recommendations can be grouped in the following categories:
Portable toilets must also be easily and readily accessible at the job site. OSHA has stated that “toilets that take too long to get to” are deemed not available for use. Another consideration is that workers should not have to “wait in long lines” to use the facility.
If the facility is not easily accessible and if the facility is not readily accessible, then the facility is considered to be “not available for service or action.”
The requirement for an “adequate and readily accessible” facility feeds into the minimum requirement for the number of portable toilets at a job site. You are required to provide the following at the job site:
If a facility is deemed inadequate or not readily accessible, then it does not count toward the minimum requirement.
You are required to provide the following essential functions:
An additional consideration is whether to provide a separate women’s restroom. OSHA does not explicitly state that you are required to provide this amenity for female workers:
“The employer does not have to provide separate toilet facilities for each sex when they will not be occupied by more than one employee at a time, can be locked from the inside, and contain at least one toilet.”
For health purposes, OSHA requires that you provide a handwashing facility or station “at or adjacent to each toilet facility.” You must ensure the following is provided at the station:
OSHA requires that portable toilets be serviced regularly to ensure a sanitary condition. Remember, an unsanitary toilet does not meet the requirements for an “adequate and readily accessible” toilet to help you meet the minimum requirement.
Your company is required to “establish and implement a schedule” to ensure that portable toilets are “maintained in a clean, sanitary, and serviceable condition.”
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