Women in Construction: OSHA Restroom Requirements and Beyond

image of a women's bathroom sign on a construction siteDo you have female employees on your construction jobsite?  If so, there are OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Act) restroom rules and regulations that must be followed to protect the health and well being of women on your job site. 

In addition to this requirement, employers should go above and beyond what is required for an extra layer of comfort and protection for female employees. OSHA regulations require that portable toilets be kept sanitary, and that an equal numbers of facilities must be provided for both male and female workers.

What is Required vs. What is Right for Women on Job Sites
Many job sites use one unisex toilet for both men and women.  For many women in construction, sharing restrooms with men is not comfortable and can be hazardous to women’s health.  The fact is many women avoid using restrooms on-site at all costs and will skip drinking water.  This lack of hydration makes for an unsafe work environment and can lead to heat stress and other health problems. If you have women on your site it’s recommended that you request additional toilet facilities, sex designated facilities, and facilities with internal and external locking systems to protect the user.

For more information, OSHA has set-up a website to address the needs of women in construction.

Best Practice: In addition to compliance with OSHA regulations, and ANSI standards, employers should provide separate bathrooms for male and female workers as well as adequate hand washing solutions.


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