Sanitation and Accommodations

It is important that all workplaces have sanitation and toilet facilities that are sufficient to meet the needs of those in the workplace. Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to incidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious health and safety hazards may be taken for granted.

General Sanitation and Accommodations

Employers must:

  • Keep the workplace clean, sanitary and in good repair to eliminate a risk to health and safety.
  • Keep, store, install or place materials, machines or equipment in ways that avoid hazards.
  • Empty the trash frequently and regularly, and ensure containers are adequate and used for their intended purpose.

Rest Periods, Drinking Water and Food

It is the employer’s responsibility to:

  • Provide drinking water that:
    • Is safe to drink and that meets the “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality”, Sixth Edition, published by authority of the Minister of National Health and Welfare, 1996.
    • Is readily available.
    • If not dispensed on an as-needed basis, is kept clean in a covered container. A covered water container must have a faucet for dispensing the water when used by more than one employee.
  • Provide either a water fountain at the workplace or individual clean cups, bottles or other drinking vessels.
  • Label all water outlets if some of the workplace’s water outlets dispense non-potable (non-drinkable) water.
  • Instruct employees who travel or move to various workplaces where safe drinking water may not be readily available to carry safe drinking water.
  • Provide a separate eating area for employees if there is a possibility that food could be contaminated in general work areas.
  • Keep the designated eating area clean.
  • Ensure that the eating area has enough light and is adequately ventilated and heated.
  • Provide, in the separate eating area, a place for employees to clean and dry their hands.
  • Provide enough tables and seats for the number of employees who use the eating area at any one time.
  • Provide garbage bins.
  • Ensure employees do not bring food or drink into areas where it may become contaminated.
  • Provide at least one half-hour break after five consecutive hours of work for employees to eat and rest.

Employees must:

  • Keep all food and drink out of areas where it may become contaminated.
  • As much as possible, use the 30-minute food and rest break (after five hours of work) provided by the employer.

Bathrooms and Toilets

It is the employer’s responsibility to:

  • Provide water flush toilets, where running water and sewage facilities are available at the workplace.
  • Provide chemical self-contained portable or other similar toilets if there is no running water available at the workplace.
  • Provide the number of toilets as required by the table below:
    Number of employees normally on site Minimum requirement
    1 to 9 (not gender specific) One lockable washroom
    10 to 24 males Two male toilets*
    10 to 24 females Two female toilets
    25 to 49 males Three male toilets*
    25 to 49 females Three female toilets
    50 to 74 males Four male toilets*
    50 to 74 females Four female toilets
    74 to 100 males Five male toilets*
    74 to 100 females Five female toilets
    More than100 males Five male toilets with one additional toilet for each additional 30 male employees*
    More than 100 females Five female toilets with one additional toilet for each additional 30 female employees

*urinals may be substituted for up to two-thirds of the number of toilets

  • In an underground mine, provide toilets according to the number of male employees and the number of female employees employed.
Number of employees normally employed at the mine Minimum requirement
1 to 24 males One male toilet
1 to 24 females One female toilet
25 to 50 males Two male toilets*
25 to 50 females Two female toilets
51 to 75 males Three male toilets*
51 to 75 females Three female toilets
76 to 100 males Four male toilets*
76 to 100 females Four female toilets
More than 100 males Four male toilets with one additional toilet for each additional 30 male employees*
More than 100 females Four female toilets with one additional toilet for each additional 30 female employees

*urinals may be substituted for up to two-thirds of the number of toilets

  • Provide toilet facilities that are:
    • Within easy access of an employee’s work site.
    • Enclosed so it is sheltered from view and protected from weather.
    • Well-lit and adequately ventilated.
    • Heated, where possible.
    • Clean and sanitary.
    • Supplied with toilet paper.
    • Supplied with hygiene supplies.
    • Equipped with a covered garbage bin.
    • Maintained in working condition.
    • In the case of chemical self-contained portable or other similar toilets, emptied and serviced regularly so the unit does not overflow.
  • Provide at least one wash basin in the room of a single toilet facility and enough additional basins or equivalent hand-cleaning facilities for any additional toilets or urinals.
  • Where there is a wash basin, provide hot and cold water, liquid or powdered soap, and an adequate and sanitary way to dry hands.
  • Provide hand-cleaning facilities as close to outdoor toilets as practical and in sufficient numbers. As a last resort, chemical hand sanitizers may be substituted for wash basins.

Work Clothes

If the work requires employees to change into work clothes to protect themselves, employers must provide:

  • Storage for street clothes.
  • Work clothes that prevent them from becoming wet or dirty.
  • A changing room.

If an employee’s work clothes may become contaminated by a hazardous substance (toxic, noxious, infectious or irritating) that could affect the health of the employee or others, employers must:

  • Provide work clothes to those employees.
  • Provide storage space t to keep street clothes away from contaminated clothing.
  • Provide a changing room.
  • Ensure the clothes are cleaned.

Showers

Employers must also provide showers if employees could be exposed to hazardous substances or extreme heat or humidity.

The number of showers required are:

  • One shower for one to 10 male employees, with one additional shower for each additional 10 male employees
  • One shower for one to 10 female employees, with one additional shower for each additional 10 female employees.

Employers must ensure that showers

  • Provide water with a temperature range of 35 C to 45 C.
  • Have soap and towels.

Employers may have additional responsibilities for Emergency Eyewash and Showers

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part II SANITATION AND ACCOMMODATION

Section 4 Drinking Water

4. (1) An employer shall ensure that sufficient potable water for drinking is readily available and that it meets the standards set out in the "Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality" , Sixth Edition, published by authority of the Minister of National Health and Welfare, 1996.

(2) Where drinking water is not taken directly from a water pipe, an employer shall ensure that it is kept in an adequately covered container and that, if used by more than one employee, the container is equipped with a drain faucet.

(3) An employer shall ensure that individual sanitary drinking vessels or cups are provided, except where the drinking water is delivered in an upward jet from which an employee may drink.

(4) Where outlets exist for both drinking water and water not suitable for drinking, an employer shall ensure that the outlets are appropriately and clearly labelled.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 2]

Section 5 Toilets

5. (1) An employer shall provide a minimum number of toilets for each sex determined according to the maximum number of employees of each sex who are normally employed at any one time at the same place of employment as follows:

(a) where the number of such employees does not exceed nine, one toilet;

(b) where the number of such employees exceeds nine but does not exceed twenty-four, two toilets;

(c) where the number of such employees exceeds twenty-four but does not exceed forty-nine, three toilets;

(d) where the number of such employees exceeds forty-nine but does not exceed seventy-four, four toilets;

(e) where the number of such employees exceeds seventy-four but does not exceed one hundred, five toilets; and

(f) where the number of such employees exceeds one hundred, five toilets and one toilet for every thirty such employees in excess of one hundred.

(2) Where the total number of employees normally employed by an employer in the place of employment at any one time does not exceed nine, the employer may provide only one toilet for both male and female employees if the toilet is situated in a room whose entrance door is fitted on the inside with a locking device.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), in an underground mine an employer shall provide a minimum number of toilets for each sex determined according to the maximum number of employees of each sex who are normally employed at any one time at the same place of employment as follows:

(a) where the number of such employees does not exceed twenty- five, one toilet;

(b) where the number of such employees exceeds twenty-five but does not exceed fifty, two toilets;

(c) where the number of such employees exceeds fifty but does not exceed seventy-five, three toilets;

(d) where the number of such employees exceeds seventy-five but does not exceed one hundred, four toilets; and

(e) where the number of such employees exceeds one hundred, four toilets and one toilet for every thirty such employees in excess of one hundred.

(4) Where more than two toilets are required for male employees, an employer may substitute urinals for up to two-thirds of the required number of toilets.

(5) Where running water and sewage facilities are available, toilets shall be of the water flush type and may be of the chemical, self- contained portable or other similar type if no running water is available.

(6) As soon as work has started on a project site, the principal contractor or, if there is no principal contractor, the owner shall provide toilets in accordance with subsection (1).

(7) An employer shall ensure that a toilet facility is

(a) within easy access of an employee's work site,

(b) enclosed so that an employee is sheltered from view and protected from the natural elements,

(c) adequately ventilated and illuminated,

(d) where possible, heated,

(e) kept in a clean and sanitary condition,

(f) provided with a sufficient supply of toilet paper and hygiene supplies,

(g) provided with a covered waste receptacle,

(h) maintained in working condition, and

(i) in the case of a self-contained unit, is emptied and serviced at intervals which ensure that the unit does not overflow.

Section 6 Washrooms

6. (1) An employer shall provide a wash basin or equivalent hand cleaning facility in a room with one toilet and sufficient additional wash basins or equivalent hand cleaning facilities in the room for additional toilets or urinals.

(2) Where an outdoor privy is provided, an employer shall provide a hand cleaning facility as close to the outdoor privy as is practicable and sufficient additional hand cleaning facilities as close as practicable to additional outdoor privies.

(3) Where a wash basin is provided, an employer shall provide

(a) hot and cold water,

(b) liquid or powder soap or other appropriate cleansers, and

(c) sufficient sanitary hand drying facilities.

Section 7 Eating Areas

7. (1) Where the possibility of contamination of food exists if there is no eating area separate from a work area, an employer shall provide an eating area for employees separate from that work area.

(2) An employer shall ensure that the eating area referred to in subsection (1)

(a) is kept in a sanitary condition, and

(b) is adequately provided with

(i) light, heat and ventilation,

(ii) hand cleansing and drying facilities,

(iii) tables and seating sufficient for the number of employees who use the eating area at any one time, and

(iv) garbage receptacles.

(3) An employer shall ensure that an employee does not convey food or drink into an area where a process is being carried out which may contaminate the food or drink.

(4) An employee shall not convey food or drink into a area where a process is being carried out which may contaminate the food or drink.

Section 8 Food and Rest Periods

8. An employer shall allow an employee at least one-half hour for food and rest after each five consecutive hours of work.

Section 9 Work Clothes

9. (1) If the nature of an employee's work makes it necessary for the employee to change from street clothes to work clothes to protect the employee's health or safety, an employer shall provide

(a) storage for the employee's street clothes and work clothes that will prevent the clothes from becoming wet or dirty, and

(b) a changing room.

(2) Where an employee's work clothes are liable to be contaminated by a toxic, noxious, infectious or irritating substance so that the health of the employee or other persons may be adversely affected by exposure to the clothes when contaminated, an employer shall

(a) provide work clothes for the employee's use,

(b) provide storage for the employee's street clothes and work clothes that will prevent the street clothes from becoming contaminated,

(c) provide a changing room, and

(d) ensure that the work clothes are cleaned as necessary.

Section 10 Showers

10. (1) Where an employee may be exposed to a toxic, noxious, infectious or irritating substance or may be exposed to high levels of heat or humidity so that the health of the employee may be adversely affected, an employer shall provide a shower facility.

(2) An employer shall provide a shower facility referred to in subsection (1) as follows:

(a) a number of showers for each sex determined according to the maximum number of employees of each sex who are normally employed at the same place of employment and who are exposed as described in subsection (1) at any one time as follows:

(i) where the number of employees does not exceed ten, one shower, and

(ii) an additional shower for each unit of ten additional employees of each sex;

(b) sufficient water supply which can be manually adjusted to come within a range of 35°C and 45°C; and

(c) soap and towels.

Section 15 General

15. An employer shall ensure that a place of employment is kept in a clean and sanitary condition and in a good state of repair so as not to affect adversely the health and safety of an employee.

Section 16

16. An employer shall ensure that materials, machines or equipment are not stored or located in a place of employment so as to create a hazard to an employee.

Section 17

17. An employer shall ensure that containers used for refuse are emptied at frequent intervals and constructed to withstand the intended use.