Earthmoving Industry Insight, Opinion

NAWIC highlights poor access to safe toilets for construction workers

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is highlighting the issue of poor access to safe toilet facilities for construction workers

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has just kicked off its most recent campaign – ‘Better’? Just to hold it?

For too long women and men working in this industry have been required to travel to, share or use unsafe toilets, or have no access to toilets at all. Every state and territory in Australia requires employers to provide ‘appropriate’ facilities. So what does this mean?

While the federal government hasn’t designated what an appropriate toilet is, what it has
said is that toilets should be:

• Fitted with a hinged seat and lid

• Provided with adequate lighting and ventilation

• Clearly signposted

• Fitted with a hinged door capable of locking from each side of the cubicle

• Positioned to ensure privacy for users

• Separate from any other room by an airlock, a sound-proof wall and clearly marked separate entrance

• Supplied with an adequate amount of toilet paper, hand washing facilities, rubbish bins and, for female workers, hygienic disposal of sanitary items

If you are in a mobile workplace, it is the responsibility of your employer to locate and provide access to a toilet, allowing additional time for travel in addition to your regular breaks.

For remote workers, employers need to provide portable toilets in a secure place with safe access. Do your toilets meet these standards?

Not being able to access safe toilets at work is a workplace safety risk. It is your right to have accessible and safe toilets at your workplace. We need to take action to enforce minimum standards.

You can find out more about our #dobinadunny campaign on our website or via the QR code.

NAWIC is a not-for-profit organisation led by a team of employees and volunteers who all strive to champion and empower women to reach their full potential. Our mission is to drive changes that will aid in the increased recruitment, retention and further vocational development of women in the construction industry. You can join the conversations on our socials @nawicau and keep up with our advocacy, events and opportunities at www.nawic.com.au

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