Toilet Requirements in Commercial Buildings

Written by chris steel
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A few examples of commercial buildings are those used for office spaces, warehouses, retail operations and public and private organisations. If these commercial buildings house businesses with any number of employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards which must be upheld concerning the number and condition of rest room facilities. OSHA protects employees while at work, however, there are no similar laws addressing rest rooms in other commercial buildings.

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Minimum Number

Within a permanent workplace, such as a commercial building housing offices, OSHA requires toilet facilities to be available based upon the number of employees working there. In code 1910.141 paragraph (c)(1)(i), table J-1 lays out the requirements. A business with 15 or fewer employees must furnish at least one toilet facility. A business with between 16 and 35 employees must provide two, and a business employing between 36 and 55 employees must have three toilets. Business with 56 to 80 employees must have at least four toilets, and those with 81 to 110 must have five. A business with between 111 and 150 employees must provide six water closets. Beyond 150 employees, businesses must allot one more toilet for each additional 40 employees. If the rest rooms will be used only by men, urinals may be substituted for one-third of the total number of toilets required.

Rest room Sanitation

OSHA sets regulations pertaining to the cleanliness of rest rooms and toilet facilities. Workplaces, rest rooms included, must be kept free of rodents, insects and other verminous creatures. Should they be found, building operators must institute an extermination program. Clean, potable water must be available so employees may drink, wash themselves and clean food and eating utensils. Soap or another cleaning agent must be available, along with a sanitary drying method, such as individual paper towels or hot air blowers. These should be supplied in conjunction with a washbasin of suitable depth to wash the lower arms and wrists. Each toilet facility must be contained within a single room with a door or be separated with walls high enough to ensure the user's privacy. Rest rooms must be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Other Requirements

Rest room facilities must be available for employees of both sexes, unless the business is small enough to only require one rest room. If this is the case, the rest room must have a working lock, which locks from the inside of the rest room facilities. Outside of commercial buildings, such as constructions sites, employers must provide sanitary rest room facilities which are "readily accessible" and "nearby" which is defined as taking less than 10 minutes to reach.

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