OSHA Requirements for Portable Toilets

Do you insure clients that use portable toilets at their worksites and therefore require portable sanitation insurance? Contrary to what may seem intuitive, simply providing a portable toilet is not enough to ensure full compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, requirements. Ensuring your clients have thorough insurance for portable toilets is only the first step – OSHA compliance requires toilets to provide several essential functions, mandates that companies provide a certain number of facilities per worker, and more. You can help your clients ensure compliance by reviewing these requirements with them.

Cover Essential Bathroom Functions First and Foremost

OSHA requires that all portable toilets cover several essential bathroom functions first and foremost. Although your client can go above and beyond in terms of services provided, there is a minimum bar that their facilities must meet. Your client should:

  •     Ensure the toilets are surrounded with adequate lighting, particularly and are lit on the inside as well
  •     Separate toilets from each other with a wall and door to ensure adequate privacy
  •     Make sure the toilet is fully equipped and well ventilated
  •     Consider providing a separate bathroom for female workers (this step is optional)

Meet the Minimum Number of Usable, Accessible Facilities for the Job Site Size

Once all essential functions are fulfilled, the next item your client needs to check on is what’s referred to as usability and accessibility. In short, these requirements mean that toilets should not just be equipped with the basics, but must be reasonably accessible to workers on a job site. The toilets should:

  •     Not take an excessive amount of time for workers to reach
  •     Not be overburdened with unreasonable wait times
  •     Be sanitized and accessible for use

In addition to the usability and accessibility requirement, OSHA also has rules on the number of facilities mandated per number of employees present at a given worksite. These rules are as follows.

  •     1 facility for sites with 20 or fewer employees
  •     1 urinal and 1 toilet per each 40 employees for sites with 20 to 200 employees
  •     1 urinal and 1 toilet per 50 workers for sites with over 200 employees

Ensure Your Client Services Toilets Frequently and Provides a Hand-Washing Area

Proper sanitation is another important part of meeting OSHA requirements for portable toilets. Specifically, providing a hand-washing zone for workers and keeping toilets cleaned and fully serviced is essential. The following items should always be present in your clients’ portable toilets.

  •     An adequate supply of soap or hand sanitizer
  •     Posted instructions for employees to wash their hands
  •     Running water with adjustable temperatures
  •     A paper towel dispenser or an air dryer

Although you may already provide your clients with thorough portable sanitation insurance, complying with all OSHA requirements involves meeting a number of important standards. At your next client meeting, go through this list with them to help ensure they meet all relevant portable toilet requirements.

About Watercolor Management

Watercolor Management has insured the water industry for over 30 years. Our policies include unlimited defense cost coverage in the event of a lawsuit against you. Call us at (855) 929-0824 or email info@watercolormanagement.com for a quick quote for your Water Business Professional, Products/Completed operations, Pollution and General Liability Insurance