3 Guidelines for Restrooms at Job SitesJuly 27, 2021
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA requires that all employers provide their employees with access to restrooms as needed. Here are some of the three most commonly asked questions and answers that can serve as a guideline for employers looking to meet requirements.
1. Are Employers Required To Make Restrooms Accessible?
Yes, employers are required to make restrooms accessible for all of their employees. Employers are required to provide separate restrooms for men and women and allow them access as needed. Additionally, they are expected to be understanding because the restroom needs will vary for each worker and could be affected by medication, fluid intake, or other factors.
2. What Must Employers Do To Ensure Accessibility?
Overall, employers must allow employees to leave to find a restroom, provide adequate facilities for the number of workers, avoid unreasonable restrictions of restroom use, and ensure any restrictions do not cause excessive delay. This means employers may need to be flexible when developing their restroom policies. For example, if an employer chooses not to have mobile restrooms at a worksite, they need to provide transportation to a nearby bathroom.
Farms adhere to different standards, and these businesses only need to provide one bathroom per quarter-mile. Similarly, production lines and other services where workers are needed to remain at their post continuously can create a relief system to request relief when they need to use the restroom.
3. Are There Resources Available?
Whether you are looking at providing portable restrooms or already have a bathroom in your building, you can find resources on OSHA’s website that will help you ensure you are meeting any requirements. This site offers various resources that can help ensure you provide access for men, women, and transgender workers. It can also help you identify the needs of a specific industry, such as agriculture.
If you are trying to meet the requirements at a construction site, you may also want to consider visiting the National Association of Women in Construction Alliance’s website for more resources. This site will have resources specifically devoted to supplying women with restrooms. The resources here can also add clarification about some of the sanitation requirements on OSHA’s site.
At the end of the day, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure their employees have access to restroom facilities when necessary. Following the guidelines presented in these answers will help any business meet OSHA requirements.