Decisions about workplace facilities (which include toilets and showers) will depend on the industry the business is operating in, the nature of the work carried out, the size and location of the workplace and the number and composition of workers at the workplace.
All workers, including those who have particular needs or disabilities, must have access to adequate facilities while they are at work. However, it may not always be reasonably practicable to provide the same types of facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace that are normally provided for at a fixed workplace and access to external public toilets is sometimes required.
Workplaces and facilities should be cleaned regularly, usually on a daily or weekly basis. The cleaning schedule of facilities such as dining areas, toilets, hand basins and showers should take into account shift work, the type of work performed, the likelihood of contamination and the number of workers using them.
Chemicals which are generally for domestic use and considered safe in the home may present greater risks in the workplace depending on the frequency, duration and the way in which they are used. This is particularly relevant, for example, where domestic cleaning chemicals are purchased from a supermarket and used in a workplace environment. You should always follow label directions. However, if you are using a domestic chemical in a manner different to normal household use, you should also obtain the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in order to determine the level of risks to workers and the appropriate controls. The SDS should contain more detailed information on hazards and risks, for example on incompatibilities with other chemicals and risks from use in enclosed areas.
A hazardous chemical does not need to meet the labelling requirements under the WHS Regulations if the chemical is a consumer product with the original label on its container and if it is reasonably foreseeable that the hazardous chemical will be used in the workplace only:
The following example shows how to distinguish between a consumer product and a workplace hazardous chemical:
Toilet cleaner is sold in 750 ml bottles for domestic use and is sold in 20 L containers to commercial cleaning businesses. The 750 ml bottle is intended for domestic use and does not need to be labelled in accordance with the WHS Regulations.
However, it is reasonably foreseeable that, due to the package size of the 20 L product, it would be used in a workplace rather than in a domestic situation. Therefore, the 20 L product must be labelled according to workplace labelling requirements.
Number of toilets: For workplaces within buildings, the National Construction Code of Australia sets out the ratio of toilets to the number of workers, and the specifications for toilets. Generally, separate toilets should be provided in workplaces where there are both male and female workers. However, one unisex toilet may be provided in workplaces with both male and female workers where:
At least one shower cubicle for every 10 workers who may need to shower should be provided. Usually separate facilities should be provided for male and female workers. However, in small or temporary workplaces where privacy can be assured, it may be acceptable to provide one unisex shower. (source: Work Health and Safety (Managing the Work Environment and Facilities) Code of Practice 2015 (Cth))