Let’s face it, not many people want to spend more time than they have to in their workplace toilets and who can blame them? Top of the complaints are bad smells, running out of toilet paper, dripping taps, empty or leaking soap dispensers and, to top it all, the lack of a hook in the toilet cubicle. These might seem like trivial things, but surveys have shown that that some workers will try to avoid workplace toilets if at all possible. But these complaints aren’t just about keeping your staff happy – there’s a serious health implication, too. The Health and Safety Executive clearly states that all employers should provide adequate toilet and washing facilities for your employees. Anyone found in breach of providing clean and hygiene facilities risks heavy fines. In 2010, a Bristol businessman was fined £30,000 for failing to comply with the regulations.
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The welfare provision outlined by the HSE includes:
- Enough toilets and washbasins for staff so that they don’t have to queue for long periods. Ideally, men and women should have separate facilities. If that isn’t possible, the doors need to be lockable.
- A supply of toilet paper and, for female staff, a suitable method to dispose of sanitary products, such as a Sanitary Hygiene Unit
- Well-lit and well-ventilated facilities
- Hygienic facilities that are easy to maintain and clean, such as tiled floors and walls or covered with another type of waterproof material.
- Access to hot and cold running water, with sinks big enough to wash hands and forearms if necessary. For especially dirty work, showers should also be provided.
- A supply of soap or other washing agent, such as hand sanitiser
- Access to a hand dryer or paper towels