Workplace washrooms, aside from office areas, are one of the most used parts of any institution. Whether you’re a small or large-scale business, keeping the washrooms clean, safe and well-furnished is crucial for general health and safety but also additional aspects such as employee wellbeing and satisfaction. As well as keeping the space clean, businesses must also ensure they are keeping on top of workplace regulations, potential hazards and signage to ensure employees and visitors are using the facilities safely.
Whether it’s a cooperate office, warehouse or salon, maintaining your workplace washroom should be a priority for any business. There are also a number of legal requirements that must be met in agreement with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations of 1992. Here are some essential features to include in terms of safety and regulations.
Placing signage around your workplace provides easy access and understanding for any employees, clients or visitors. Ranging from exit signs to hand washing stations, here are some common safety signs surrounding a workplace washroom and why they’re important for your business and users.
Cubicle signs: One of the most obvious signs included in a washroom would be the entrance sign to each facility, ensuring all users know where they are going but also enter the right one. In large offices, there might be more than one of these signs for those who need to walk a further distance. These signs will also offer guidance to facilities such as baby changing areas, shower rooms, restrooms, prayer rooms or disabled toilets.
Exit signs: For many reasons, employees or visitors can become distressed or isolated when using a washroom, leaving them confused or overwhelmed, especially when mental or physical health is involved. Clear exit signs can be valuable for visual aid and prevention of panic but also for those who have never been to the workplace before and aren’t sure of their surroundings.
Hygiene signs: Many businesses place hygiene signs such as hand wash guidance, drying instructions and sanitary care to ensure each user is meeting hygiene standards and keeping both themselves and others safe. Since the pandemic, this has become even more prominent as well as supplying additional care such as hand sanitiser, sensor equipment and distance markings.
Temperature guides: For institutions such as schools or community centres, investing in water temperature guides can help to avoid burning hazards and help users to understand how the taps function.
Cleaning and wet floor signs: Most people have come across a wet floor sign or cleaning sign when at work or in public. These signs make sure users are aware that the facility is either out of use or they might come across wet surfaces and potential slip hazards.
Disabled and accessible toilets: When installing a disabled toilet cubicle, it’s important to also remember these facilities may require additional instructions or signs such as alarm/support instructions. The Equality Act 2010 states that signposting disabled signs is essential. Easily-seen labels and signs are a baseline requirement.
One of the most important elements of having and maintaining a workplace washroom is ensuring you are meeting all the requirements and regulations set by the government. As these facilities are so prominent in terms of hygiene, health and safety, it’s necessary for every business to meet these guidelines to create a space which is safe and easy for everyone to use throughout the day.
These regulations cover different aspects of a workplace and washroom including dimensions and space, lighting, temperatures, fumes, ventilation, maintenance, inclusivity and cleanliness. As part of these regulations, businesses might also operate specific training programmes, risk assessments and regular checks throughout the facilities to ensure health and safety are consistently maintained and each staff know the key points.
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Author details: Chris Kightly, Managing Director, Inspired Washrooms