OSHA Portable Restroom Compliance
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strictly monitors compliance with regulations regarding measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the workers. In ongoing construction projects for roads and interstate highways, exposure to a broad range of elements and tasks endanger the lives of the workers, particularly the laborers. Building manholes, laying ground pipes for sewers, water lines and storm drains, as well as removing hazardous wastes are only some of the menial tasks that construction laborers undertake as part of their road construction work. The more skilled workers handle heavy equipment and even handle explosives to prepare a job site for building tunnels and roads. The most common threats to the safety of both skilled and unskilled workers are road or highway accidents caused by drunk drivers, wayward and speeding vehicles and inattentive road users.
In view of unfortunate accidents arising from such hazardous working conditions, OSHA inspectors frequently visit constructions sites particularly those that involve building of infrastructures. Not a few project managers for construction projects tend to cut down on costs, by complying with the OSHA requirements just for show, until the local building code inspector has conducted the routine pre-approval site inspection. Thereafter, the number of Porta johns, for one, will not increase even when the construction company recruits more workers once full blast construction activities are underway.
Some construction workers are knowledgeable about their basic rights, and could likely complain to the OSHA about the insufficiency of sanitation facilities. OSHA inspectors therefore, will again visit the site to verify the genuineness of the complaint before serving the construction company with a notification of their violation. In some cases, the OSHA inspector will uncover more violations during the next rounds of inspection, in addition the complaint regarding insufficiency of toilet provisions.
Road and highway constructions, albeit situated in outdoor areas, still have to comply with the regulations for sanitation facilities. Such facilities should include a hand-washing station if the portable toilets installed do not include a sink. Some Porta johns have foot operated flushing system but this is only to prevent the workers from touching unclean surfaces inside the restroom. Hand washing stations or even shower stalls allow workers to clean themselves up, after performing tasks that involve handling of hazardous or germ-carrying substances and materials.
Toilets provide the appropriate receptacles for human wastes to ensure proper disposal. Otherwise, the OSHA will in turn inform the local Environmental Protection Department, as this government unit looks after the protection of natural resources. Improper and/or excessive disposal of human waste poses harm not only to the workers but can also degrade the quality of the soil. Water runoffs can likewise carry the waste matters to canals, streams and rivers and therefore cause water pollution.
By not observing a basic regulation, construction companies could encounter problems not only with the OSHA but also with other governmental agencies. This is view of the statistical records of past accidents and incidences, which led to conclusions that construction sites are one of the most dangerous workplaces.