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Are You Violating OSHA’s Portable Toilet Guidelines?

March 4, 2021

Not only do all workers deserve to be treated well by their employers, but sometimes it’s even written into the law. Toilet access is one such example that might be easily overlooked, but toilets are one of the most important amenities employers of all types must make an effort to provide—especially where restroom facilities are not available in permanent structures. Read on to learn more about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) portable toilet guidelines in Toledo, OH.

OSHA requirements

Under OSHA Standard 1926.51, employers must provide one toilet for 20 or fewer employees. For between 20 to 200 employees, employers must provide one toilet seat and one urinal for every 40 workers. For over 200 employees, employers must provide one toilet seat and one urinal for every 50 workers.

In all cases, these toilets must be “readily available,” which means that they should be sanitary and accessible within 10 minutes. These toilets themselves should be well lit and ventilated. Workers have the right to expect privacy and safety, so the toilets should have a locking system and be located in a secure area, separated by gender. Employers must also provide either soap and water or antibacterial hand sanitizer, a method for drying hands and receptacles for disposal of hand towels and menstruation products.

Employers must not impose unreasonable restrictions on restroom use. If access to toilet facilities is restricted by protocol such as signing out a key, these methods must not cause extended delays. If there are no available toilets onsite, employers must also allow workers to leave their work locations to use a restroom that can be accessed within 10 minutes, even providing readily available transportation if necessary.

Consequences of OSHA violations

As with any violation of OSHA standards, failure to follow the aforementioned requirements are subject to monetary fines. A first offense can incur as much as $12,675 per violation. Subsequent violations for the same offense could result in fines of the same amount for each day that the issue has not been rectified, while repeat violations could be penalized up to $126,749. Not only is it hygienic to follow OSHA’s guidelines, but it’s also financially responsible to do so.

Considerations for job sites

While the OSHA standard does not stipulate how often portable toilets must be cleaned, it references the ANSI standard stating that one toilet used by 20 people should be serviced at least twice per week. By renting enough portable toilets, you can ensure that they’ll be cleaned on a regular basis and fully stocked with toilet paper and cleansing agents such as hand soap.

Want to make sure you’re adhering to OSHA’s portable toilet guidelines at your Toledo, OH worksite? When you work with the experts at Ace Diversified Services, you can have full confidence that all applicable rules and regulations will be followed. Contact us today to learn more about our sanitation and septic services for customers throughout Northeast Ohio and Southeast Michigan. We look forward to working with you!

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