December 1, 2022

You’re opening or remodeling your business and have everything planned out perfectly, or do you? What about your bathrooms? Do they meet OSHA requirements?

Around 60% of Americans use public bathrooms about 1-5 times per week. That’s a lot of people who can potentially file a complaint if your facilities aren’t up to par.

OSHA regulates restroom requirements for commercial buildings. This includes the condition of the facilities and their accessibility. The goal is to make sure employee health is not adversely affected by bathroom facilities that are unsanitary or inaccessible.

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Read on to make sure your commercial restroom and public restroom facilities meet all legal requirements.

Availability

Your commercial building must have bathroom facilities providing workers with prompt access. If you have any employees with medical conditions or physical disabilities, you must make sure any restrictions on use or access meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. 

Quantity

The number of toilets you need depends on how many employees work at each location. If you have 15 or fewer employees you only need to provide one unisex bathroom with a locking door.

The number increases with the number of employees:

  • 16-35 employees—2 toilets
  • 36-55 employees—3 toilets
  • 56-80 employees—4 toilets
  • 81-110 employees—5 toilets
  • 111-150 employees—6 toilets

You must add one additional toilet for every 40 employees beyond 150. Urinals do not count toward the toilet requirements.

Every toilet must have its own separate stall with a door. Partitions must be of significant size to ensure privacy.

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If you have more than 15 employees you must provide gender-specific facilities. The only exception is if the public bathroom is single-person only and can be locked by the occupant.

Hand Washing Facilities

Every public washroom must have running water, soap, and air dryers or hand towels.

OSHA standards also state that workers are not allowed to consume beverages or food in bathroom facilities. Businesses may not store beverages or food in the bathroom.

ADA Requirements

The ADA Standards set forth restroom requirements for commercial buildings. If building or remodeling, you must comply with this law.

If you are found in violation, you will face federal penalties. These can cost your business $55,000 to $75,000 on a first violation. Subsequent violations will cost you $100,000 to $150,000. 

To meet the ADA requirements, you must provide:

  • A toilet that is at least 16”-18” from its center to the wall with a 17”-19” seat height
  • Grab bars at least 36” long on the rear wall and 42” on the sidewall mounted 33”-36” above the floor
  • A clear circle at least 56” from the rear wall and 60” around the sidewall to allow a wheelchair to turn
  • A sink with 30”x48” access in a space the door does not swing with a knee clearance height of 27”

When designing a handicap stall, the door cannot swing into the minimum stall area space.

Quality Bathroom Fixtures

Commercial bathroom fixtures take a beating. When shopping for toilets, sinks, mirrors, grab rails, waste bins, soap dispensers, and more, make sure you shop from a quality commercial supplier like QBIC Washrooms.  Watch for bulk discounts and price matching to get the best deals available.

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Complying With Restroom Requirements for Commercial Buildings

Complying with restroom requirements for commercial buildings is easy if following the OSHA and ADA guidelines. Make sure your building and bathroom rules follow the law to avoid costly penalties and litigation.

We invite you to check out our other blogs to learn about other topics of value to business owners and managers.