Requirements for Portable Bathrooms in Construction Sites

A blue porta potty as construction site bathroom adhering to ANSI Z4.3

Needing to go to the bathroom is one of our most basic urgencies, but it, of course, is easily remedied by the prevalence of available restrooms connected to local water systems. And, according to OSHA’s 29 CFR 1926.51, “lavatories shall be made available in all places of employment.” While in most instances, this practically always goes without saying, in mobile and outdoor places of work, such as construction sites, having enough available toilets requires further guidance.

However, portable restrooms meet this need, and the OSHA 29 CFR 1926.51 standard further lists requirements for non-flushing toilets placed outside. Specifically, this regulation sets the minimum number of available lavatories depending on the amount of workers at the site. For example, when there are 20 or less workers, only one is required. When there are more than 20 workers, the manager is required to give his or her employees 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per every 40 workers, but, when there are more than 200 employees, 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per 50 workers is required.

Adherence to this OSHA standard is required in the United States, but voluntary consensus standards recommend more stringent guidelines. ANSI/PSAI Z4.3-2016 – Sanitation – Nonsewered Waste-Disposal Systems – Minimum Requirements calls for 1 toilet facility per every 10 employees. However, if the facilities are serviced more than once per week, the recommendations for necessary toilets change, and 1 toilet facility becomes suitable for 15 employees.

Many blue porta potties

These standard restroom amounts are also not inclusive to the total number of employees, as there needs to be different lavatory facilities for male and female employees. So, in accordance with ANSI Z4.3 guidelines, there should be 1 toilet for every 10 males and 1 for every 10 females.

In addition, ANSI/PSAI Z4.3-2016 doesn’t specify guidelines for the placement of portable toilet facilities, or even the particular type of facility that should be used. While many construction sites make use of the common plastic portable restrooms (“porta-potties”), the standard broadly allows for “mobile trailers or prefabricated, skid-mounted or otherwise portable structures”, as long as they provide adequate internal space, have self-closing doors, and are designed with a finish that can be easily cleaned. In fact, if it is impractical to locate a portable toilet room, toilet facilities can actually be installed without a structure, as long as suitable privacy is provided.

Users of the ANSI/PSAI Z4.3-2016 standard should further note that, while it was originally intended primarily for construction sites, portable restroom facilities have become very common throughout the American scene, such as in parks and playgrounds. Because of their increased use, the later versions of this standard cover more-comprehensive guidelines on the facilities. Adherence to this document is highly important for securing the success of their cleanliness, regardless of the site or location.

ANSI/PSAI Z4.3-2016 – Sanitation – Nonsewered Waste-Disposal Systems – Minimum Requirements is available on the ANSI Webstore

11 thoughts on “Requirements for Portable Bathrooms in Construction Sites
  1. Thank you for the post and requirements for portable bathrooms in construction sites. I did not know that there were requirements for how many portable toilets you needed on site for your workers. It’s good to know it’s required so people aren’t having to try and share one toilet amidst a hundred people.

  2. I agree that needing to go to the bathroom is one of our most basic urgencies, but it, of course, is easily remedied by the prevalence of available restrooms connected to local water systems. My dad wants to build a warehouse and it will require a lot of people to do it. My uncle suggested construction of portable toilets and shared this article with him.

  3. This is one informative article! I’m actually in charge of an upcoming construction of our new company building, so this post can really help me out. It’s great that you pointed out the required number of toilets that should be obtained depending on how many workers are on site. I didn’t know this information before. Now I know how many toilets I should rent for our construction site. Anyway, I found a company that offers portable toilet hire London services, but I’m not quite sure if they‘re reliable or not. Do you have any tips on how can I know if they’re the right provider to work with?

  4. Thanks for helping me understand that the portable toilets in a construction site should be 1 toilet per 10 males and 1 also for 10 females. I will share this information with a friend of mine because I heard that they will be having the construction of their commercial building within this year. This will help them rent the right number of restrooms so that they pass the standards.

  5. I had no idea that there has to be a certain amount of bathrooms for males and females. This is a great insight since it makes it easier for everyone to use the bathroom. A friend of mine would love knowing this as he looks into portable toilets.

  6. Recently a town constructed a small building on their easement on my property. The town did not provide the workers a portable toilet and the workers defecated all over my property. I notified the town twice during the construction with no results. To me this seemed to be a violation of standards. The water dept in charge of the project stated that the workers could always leave and go to a nearby Hardees. Clearly this was not the case as I continued to find evidence of them using my property. Any thoughts on this? Legal recourse?

  7. Thanks for mentioning how there should be at least 1 toilet seat and one urinal for every 40 construction workers in a site. I would think that aside from safety, construction firms should heavily consider their worker’s comfort. Having these potties in the site can definitely ensure increased productivity since they are always covered should mother nature call.

  8. I’ve always wondered why many construction sites tend to have portable toilets in their job site since I’ve been noticing that the construction sites I’ve seen have been looking to rent these. Thanks for informing me that one is usually required for every ten employees since they’re mandated by law. If I were in their shoes, I would probably try asking for recommendations so that I’ll be able to rent the appropriate amount for my workers.

  9. It makes sense that bathrooms need to be available at construction sites and that portable toilets meet this OSHA standard. My boyfriend is looking into getting a construction job in Aspen, CO and was wondering about details such as this. It’s good to know that construction companies can hire portable toilet services to help their employees.

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