You may be wondering: what does a portable toilet have in common with OSHA, right? All outdoor work, either agricultural or construction (including building or road crews) all falls under the auspices of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has been charged with establishing guidelines regarding the health and safety matters, including sanitation provisions for outdoor workers. And that's exactly where the porta potty comes into play.
What is OSHA?
OSHA is an agency within the United States Department of Labor. It was created by the Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health.
OSHA Guidelines Regarding Portable Toilets
The OSHA guidelines for portable restrooms are simple to follow, very sensible and are strictly enforced. Here are the ten highlights that are strictly enforced by the OSHA agency.
Here are the official rules that pertain to portable restrooms and hand washing under OSHA 1915.88:
The employer shall provide adequate and readily accessible sanitation facilities.
The employer shall establish and implement a schedule for servicing, cleaning, and supplying each facility to ensure it is maintained in a clean, sanitary, and serviceable condition.
The employer may use non-potable water for other purposes such as firefighting and cleaning outdoor premises so long as it does not contain chemicals, fecal matter, coliform, or other substances at levels that may create a hazard for employees.
The employer shall clearly mark non-potable water supplies and outlets as "not safe for health or personal use."
General requirements. The employer shall ensure that sewered and portable toilets:
Provide privacy at all times. When a toilet facility contains more than one toilet, each toilet shall occupy a separate compartment with a door and walls or partitions that are sufficiently high to ensure privacy; and
Are separate for each sex, except as provided in (d)(1)(ii)(B) of this section;
The number of toilets provided for each sex shall be based on the maximum number of employees of that sex present at the worksite at any one time during a workshift. A single-occupancy toilet room shall be counted as one toilet regardless of the number of toilets it contains; and
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.
The employer shall establish and implement a schedule to ensure that each sewered and portable toilet is maintained in a clean, sanitary, and serviceable condition.
Minimum number of toilets.
|Number of employees
of each sex
|Minimum number of toilets
|1 to 15
16 to 35
36 to 55
56 to 80
81 to 110
111 to 150
1 additional toilet for each additional 40 employees.
Note to Table F-2 of § 1915.88: When toilets will only be used by men, urinals may be provided instead of toilets, except that the number of toilets in such cases shall not be reduced to less than two-thirds of the minimum specified.
The employer shall provide portable toilets, pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(i) and Table to paragraph (d)(2) of this section, only when the employer demonstrates that it is not feasible to provide sewered toilets, or when there is a temporary increase in the number of employees for a short duration of time.
The employer shall ensure that each portable toilet is vented and equipped, as necessary, with lighting.
Exception for normally unattended worksites and mobile work crews. The requirement to provide toilets does not apply to normally unattended worksites and mobile work crews, provided that the employer ensures that employees have immediately available transportation to readily accessible sanitation facilities that are maintained in a clean, sanitary, and serviceable condition and meet the other requirements of this section.
(Learn more about Johnny on the Spot’s Handwashing Solutions, including running water sinks and hand sanitizer stands!)
The employer shall provide handwashing facilities at or adjacent to each toilet facility.
The employer shall ensure that each handwashing facility:
Is equipped with either hot and cold or lukewarm running water and soap, or with waterless skin-cleansing agents that are capable of disinfecting the skin or neutralizing the contaminants to which the employee may be exposed; and
If the facility uses soap and water, it is supplied with clean, single-use hand towels stored in a sanitary container and a sanitary means for disposing of them, clean individual sections of continuous cloth toweling, or a hand-drying air blower.
The employer shall inform each employee engaged in the application of paints or coatings or in other operations in which hazardous or toxic substances can be ingested or absorbed about the need for removing surface contaminants from their skins surface by thoroughly washing their hands and face at the end of the workshift and prior to eating, drinking, or smoking.
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When showers are required by an OSHA standard, the employer shall provide one shower for each 10, or fraction of 10, employees of each sex who are required to shower during the same workshift.
The employer shall ensure that each shower is equipped with soap, hot and cold water, and clean towels for each employee who uses the shower.
Which can be summarized as:
-Number of porta potties necessary is based on the number of workers and must be available to all workers.
-There must be an equal number of porta potties available for men and women.
-Every portajohn must have doors high enough to offer privacy.
-Water for waste disposal has to be kept separately from portable water for the work site.
-Portable restrooms (or other bathroom facilities) must be available at all times for workers at a work site.
-Washing facilities must be made available, and soap must be available at all times to prevent potential health problems (most, if not all porta potty companies offer this service as well).
-Porta potties must be kept clean and hygienic.
-Adequate supplies of toilet paper must always be available.
-The porta potty must have adequate ventilation and entry doors must lock from the inside in order to provide maximum privacy.
-If the porta potty cannot be easily positioned due to uneven ground or other reasonable obstacle, than a porta potty must be located within easy vehicular access.
Types of Work-Site Portable Restrooms
Johnny on the Spot’s portable restrooms all meet OSHA Guidelines, including restrooms that meet soap and water hand washing requirements and even A.D.A. Accessible options!
Additional Porta Potty Guidelines
Beyond OSHA specifications, some states and local governments have additional guidelines that must be followed. For businesses requiring porta potty services, it is always encouraged that a portable restroom business such as Johnny on the Spot be contracted. Johnny on the Spot is experienced in all requirements, and of course should be more than pleased to make sure that your business is following all applicable regulations when you utilized their services.