Construction workers spend long days out on the job site, and they need access to toilets and adequate sanitation just as much as office workers. The fact that most construction projects occur either outdoors or inside unfinished buildings that are not plumbed in makes providing these seemingly simple amenities a bit of a challenge.
Some site managers opt to cut corners and avoid providing sufficient facilities for all their workers, but that’s a huge mistake. Having portable toilets and sanitation services delivered to the job site can be both easy and inexpensive, making it possible for contractors to meet OSHA’s often rigorous standards. Read on to find out what site managers need to know before renting equipment.
Where to Rent Toilets and Sanitation Stations
The first thing contractors will have to decide is who to trust with providing portable toilet rentals and sanitation services. It’s important to work with experts like those at Satellite Industries instead of relying on companies that don’t have the experience required to meet local workers’ needs. Industry-leading sanitation service providers will also provide ongoing cleaning services and pumping to keep each unit in usable condition, which can be a hassle when working with smaller companies.
Meeting OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for making sure that employers take appropriate steps to protect their workers while they’re on the job. Providing adequate sanitation facilities is necessary to protect workers’ health, so OSHA has specific standards regarding restroom and sanitation requirements.
First, employers must provide workers with sanitary and readily-available restroom facilities. In this case, readily-available means within a 10-minute walk and clean enough to be considered sanitary. There aren’t any specific standards for how often the toilets must be cleaned, but the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) states that a toilet being used by 10 people should be serviced at least once a week, so that’s a good benchmark.
It’s also worth noting here that employers can only restrict access to restroom facilities on a temporary basis and with good cause. They must provide a minimum of:
• One portable toilet for sites with 20 workers or less
One portable toilet and one urinal for every 40 employees for sites with more than 20 workers
One portable toilet and one urinal for every 50 employees for sites with more than 50 workers
The purpose of all these standards is to ensure that workers have access to clean and sanitary restroom facilities whenever they need them. There should be no long lines or unreasonable restrictions placed on restroom use.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
Failing to comply with OSHA regulations can result in fines. When it comes to violating standards regarding employee access to restrooms, the fines can be surprisingly steep. A first-time offense will cost the employer up to $12,675 per violation and failing to fix the problem can result in fines as high as $126,749. Needless to say, it’s much less expensive to rent portable toilets and sanitation stations than it is to risk paying expensive fines.
Schedule a Portable Toilet Rental
Employers and the site managers or contractors responsible for supervising their crews can get all the help they need with meeting OSHA’s restroom access and sanitation standards from third-party rental companies. Whether an employer needs just two plastic port-a-potties or multiple high-end restroom trailers, it’s best to schedule the rental in advance to ensure that the equipment will be available.