The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is constantly updating and revising its standards, regulations and compliances for healthy working conditions, making it exceptionally difficult to ensure that your construction sites are up to code in terms of safety and sanitation. Furthermore, these regulations can differ significantly depending on which state you operate in, meaning that you may need to do even more digging to learn about the specific requirements in your area of the country. At On Site, we take pride in providing you with all of the information and resources you need to complete your construction jobs safely and in good time. So today, we’re going to bring you up to speed on construction job site sanitation requirements.
OSHA’s Basic Restroom and Sanitation Requirements
OSHA requires employers to provide all workers with sanitary and immediately available toilet facilities. This sanitation requirement exists to ensure that workers don’t suffer from adverse health effects that can occur if toilets aren’t available or are unsanitary. OSHA has also published several letters of interpretation that detail and describe how employers can provide prompt access to toilet facilities. These documents specify that employers must:
- Provide an adequate number of restrooms for the size of the workforce to prevent long lines
- Do not impose unreasonable restrictions on restroom use
- Ensure restrictions, such as locking doors or requiring workers to sign out a key, do not cause extended delays
- Allow workers to leave their work locations to use a restroom when needed
There are special rules for certain types of employees as well. For example, mobile workers must be provided with readily available transportation that allows prompt access (less than 10 minutes) to a restroom if the location they are working at doesn’t contain an available toilet. Additionally, OSHA recently published a Best Practices publication pertaining to transgender workers. You can visit OSHA’s Restrooms and Sanitation Requirements Overview page for additional resources and more specific details about its basic requirements.
How Many Restrooms Does Your Construction Site Need?
Unfortunately, OSHA doesn’t provide numbers or figures to specify the exact number of toilets your site will need. That’s because this figure will vary depending on the size and scope of the project and your workforce. However, we’ve created a construction site usage chart to help you pin down the number of toilets you’ll need to eliminate long lines and excessive waiting periods. As a general rule, you should pick up one restroom unit for every ten employees that are working at the site.
After you’ve tallied up the number of workers you have, always round up to the nearest multiple of ten. (For example, if you have 34 employees, then round that number up to 40.) This step will ensure that you have a sufficient number of units for your workers, which will boost team morale, increase productivity and cut down on costs. Furthermore, there are several factors that influence how often employees may need to use the bathroom, including certain medications, fluid intake and even the temperature of the air, so it’s always a good idea to provide more toilets than you think you need to account for them.
OSHA’s State Plans
State Plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs that are operated by individual states (as opposed to federal OSHA). These plans allow each state to develop and operate its own unique health, safety and sanitation programs and policies. As of now, 26 U.S. states or territories have incorporated OSHA-approved State Plans. It’s imperative to review the details of your state’s specific plan to learn about your area’s job site sanitation requirements. To do so, just head to this page, find the map at the bottom and click on your state of operation. Contact information for that state’s OSHA department and links to its specific State Plan will appear to the right of the map.
If you’re having trouble finding your State Plan or need additional info or advice, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to connect you with any resources you need.
Order High-Quality Portable Restrooms From On Site Today
On Site can provide your organization with an extensive selection of quality and affordable porta potties and portable hand wash sinks for any type of construction job. One of our most popular construction rentals is the Standard Construction Portable Restroom, a solid and hardy unit that’s specifically designed to withstand day-to-day use and resist harsh weather conditions. We also offer a mobile version of this unit that’s affixed to a small trailer, making it ideal for road construction and other projects that are constantly on the move. For more information on these units and more, be sure to take a look at our full selection of Construction Restroom Rentals.
Note: All On Site portable restrooms are delivered clean, sanitized and ready for immediate use.
Finally, if you have any questions about construction sanitation requirements in your state or can’t decide on which portable units to rent for your project, then call or message us today. We look forward to working with you soon.