Toilet facilities

The 1992 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations replaced many individual pieces of legislation relating to toilet and washing facilities, including those in the Factories Act and Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act.

As a minimum, employers should provide the facilities shown in the tables below.

Separate facilities should be provided for men and women, except where conveniences are in a separate room with a door capable of being secured from inside.

Where separate facilities are provided, a calculation should be made for each group of workers - e.g. separate calculations for men and women. Adequate provision should be made for disabled staff.

The aim of the regulations are that sufficient facilities are provided to enable them to be used without undue delay - so greater numbers may be needed if, for example, everyone gets a break at the same time. Whilst the facilities do not have to be within the workplace they should, if possible, be within the building. They should, in any case, be reasonably accessible at all times that people are at work.

In an emergency situation, for example where building water supplies have failed, employers can make arrangements for use of other facilities, but public facilities should only be used as a last resort.

Minimum Provisions

Table showing the general provision of water closets and wash basins in a workplace

Number of people at work

Number of water closets

Number of wash stations

1 to 5 1 1
6 to 25 2 2
26 to 50 3 3
51 to 75 4 4
76 to 100 5 5

Table showing the number of urinals and water closets in a workplace

Number of men at work

Number of water closets

Number of urinals

1 to 15

1 1
16 to 30 2 1

31 to 45

2 2

46 to 60

3

2

61 to 75

3 3

76 to 90

4 3

91 to 100

4 4

  

An additional water closet and one additional washing station should be provided for every 25 people (or part thereof) over 100.

For men, an additional water closet for every 50 (or part thereof) over 100 is acceptable, provided that at least an equal number of additional urinals are provided.

Where staff with mobility or other impairment related reasons would find it difficult to use a standard toilet facility, accessible toilet facilities should be made available. 

These can be unisex facilities - and if there is access for the public to such facilities then they should ideally be a unisex facility. It is better if these facilities are reserved for the exclusive use of those who require the additional facilities that they offer.

The legislation on toilet facilities is contained in the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992.

See elsewhere in this section for guidance on dealing with temporary disruptions to water supplies and toilet facilities.

 

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