Your Employee’s Health and Safety
Corporate liability and image, work site health and safety risks, job site down time and the risk of having your employees caught on film are all issues that need to be addressed when determining the personal sanitation needs of your employees. Is “holding it” part of your corporation’s safety policy?
The need of workers in the field to use restroom facilities can not be avoided. Openly relieving themselves and/or working while distracted creates legal liabilities and hazards in terms of health and safety.
Historically, workers have used four methods to meet their personal sanitation needs:
- Seek out a public restroom in a gas station, restaurant or convenience store.
- Utilize an unapproved container, such as cups, bottles or cans.
- Openly relieve themselves behind some obstruction such as truck doors, a bush or a tree.
- Using work areas such as manholes, trucks, buckets, etc.
Each of these methods presents serious risks to the worker, the public and the company. Here is a summary of just some of the risks involved in this type of behavior.
- Lack of adequate lavatory facilities, open containers of excreta, and public elimination create health threats to the worker and to others who may come into contact with the excreta by increasing the spread of diseases.
- No wash-up facility creates a health threat to the worker him or herself by increasing the spread of disease through self-infection.
- Public restrooms are often unsanitary and/or difficult to locate.
- Lack of adequate facilities, etc. also provides a fertile environment for further bacterial growth.
The risks associated with “delayed voiding” or “holding it” are not worth the reward. Just take a look at some of the many diseases associated with unsanitary lavatory facilities and poor sanitation practices.
Take a look at this list of diseases that can be transmitted by unsafe and unsanitary practices (Pdf 76.3Kb)
- Increased probability of vehicular accidents.
- Increased time engaging in behaviors with a high likelihood of injury such as lifting, lowering, and bending.
- Accelerated deterioration of equipment leading to equipment failure.
- The presence of urine and feces creates a fertile medium for bacterial growth.
- The presence of urine and feces degrades overall environmental aesthetic quality.
- Inform workers of the risks related to personal sanitation.
- Through safety seminars, train employees in effective personal sanitation.
- Supply facilities or equipment for workers in the field to accommodate their personal sanitation needs.
- Train workers in the proper use of personal sanitation equipment through demonstrations and training.