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Access to Facilities and Breaks to Use Them Are Part of Employee Safety

Regardless of the type of business you are in—from health care to construction, financial or food, energy or electronics—there are some basic facts of nature that everyone has in common: the call of nature, in fact. The manner in which your business facilitates workers using the facilities is a matter of occupational safety and health, and as such can be considered an aspect of risk management in Connecticut.

Easy access to facilities is a must

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health has set standards for employers to follow in providing toilet facilities to prevent employees from suffering adverse health effects that can arise when facilities are not available in time of need.

Medical studies indicate that employees who cannot use the restroom when they have the urge (either because none are available or the employees are not allowed to leave their post) are in danger of developing several problems from moderate to severe, such as: painful urinary tract infections, constipation, abdominal pain, hemorrhoids, bladder obstruction, inflammation of the intestinal tract, and even kidney damage in extreme cases.

To avoid problems stemming from unreasonable restrictions to use of facilities, make sure flushing bathrooms are maintained within or on the premises of your business. Make sure you have the correct number of toilets required for the number and gender of employees, and that supplies (toilet paper, and soap and water for handwashing) are available.

Don’t attempt to evaluate someone’s needs

Denying employees the opportunity to use the facilities as needed can put the employee at risk from a health standpoint, and the employer at risk from a potential liability standpoint should the employee become injured. Makes sure you allow sufficient breaks for employees to use the facilities, and arrange for other employees to take someone’s place if the person should need to use the restroom during his or her shift. Requiring the employee to continue working if he or she has expressed a need to go is counter to best practices of risk management in Connecticut. Talk to a professional insurance agent to learn more.

 

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