Portable Toilets and OSHA

Did you know that OSHA has a standard for portable toilets? Because OSHA is responsible for outdoor work, portable toilets fall under their auspices.

What does OSHA have to say about portable toilets? Surprisingly little actually.

I came across this discussion in an online group and went to find the standard. You can view it here.

What it basically outlines is the number of portable toilets per worker, it outlines that there needs to be separate facilities for men and women, it outlines issues of sanitation (soap, water supply, toilet paper, cleaning, etc…) but what it is completely silent on his the issue of where the portable toilets should be placed in order to ensure safety while in use.

We’ve all laughed at the movies that show someone in a portable toilet that gets knocked over but the reality is that it really wouldn’t be a laughing matter.

I was completely shocked to find that the standard says absolutely noting about not placing them in areas where vehicles might bump into them, tip them over or damage them. It says nothing either about not placing them in areas where construction equipment might impact them. It says nothing about the nature of the ground on which they are to be placed, nothing about water run off eroding the ground, nothing about anything that would impact the safety of the toilets while in use.

I’m assuming that most portable toilet rental companies have certain standards of their own but it does strike me as strange that OSHA completely fails to address the issue.


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