Having a washroom in your building means there is a continued responsibility to ensure the facilities are not only clean and well maintained but that they are fit for purpose in the first place.
While we’d always advise keeping up to date with the HSE on all things health and safety, here is an overview of how to keep your washroom in tip-top condition in the eyes of the law.
Facilities – The Law
The issue of gender has been hotly discussed in recent times as we become a more progressive society. However, where the law is concerned, washrooms must provide separate facilities for males and females. Though gender-neutral washrooms are also acceptable, so long as each convenience offers a separate room with a lock on the inside to ensure privacy for users.
The most suitable setup is also going to depend on the building construction. Ideally, having separate facilities along with a gender-neutral option will cater to the widest demographic. Alternatively, making each washroom gender-neutral will remove the issue entirely and save costs.
Another aspect that is a legal requirement is making sure your washroom facilities cater for disabled patrons. Regulations exist to ensure aspects such as showers, toilets, sinks and cubicle bays have the correct sizing and features so that they are accessible to all. Although not every feature in a washroom needs to be accessible, at least one bay must be if it contains more than four cubicles.
Light And Ventilation
A well-lit washroom doesn’t just make the environment seem more inviting, it also allows users to see properly which is an integral part of any health and safety protocol. Light can come from artificial sources, though natural light where possible is preferred.
Ventilation will make the difference between a clean and fresh washroom, and one which not only smells unpleasant but is likely harbouring mould and bacteria. Fresh air must be able to circulate in a washroom, with an extractor fan being one of the most useful tools for the job. If your washroom contains showers, then an extractor fan also couldn’t be more essential.
When users enter a washroom, they expect to be able to find basic supplies such as toilet paper, hand wash and paper towels (unless a hand dryer is present). These aren’t just ‘nice to haves’ but are essential to ensure the health and safety of building users can be maintained in general.
For instance, if users cannot wash and dry their hands properly, then this can quickly spread bacteria and disease. That’s why you must appoint a facilities manager to take care of the supplies, ensuring stock levels are routinely checked so missing items can be replenished before they have a chance to cause a problem.
Maintenance & Cleaning
It’s probably not a surprise that any health and safety guidelines have an emphasis on cleaning, especially where washrooms are concerned. Regular and stringent cleaning not only creates the best experience for your users, but it will also help to prolong the life of your washroom equipment too. Maintenance and cleaning is crucial in settings such as school toilets, hospitals and offices.
Cleans should happen at least daily, and hourly for incredibly busy or large public washrooms. Obvious areas to concentrate on include toilets, taps, washbasins and floors. However, don’t forget hidden areas where bacteria can accumulate including door handles, light switches, soap dispensers and any other touchpoints the washroom may have.
Washroom Installation UK
Inspired Washrooms is a leading commercial washroom installer in the UK. We can help you plan, design and install all aspects of your washroom including how to maintain health and safety.
The best way for us to help select the most appropriate materials for your building environment and the project budget is to get in touch. From there, we can give you tailored advice so that you can maximise the outcome of your project.
Why not download our brochure to get some ideas of what we can do for you? Browse our full range of colours and materials to help bring your washroom project to life!
If you’re ready to book in with us, or if you need any further advice on anything we’ve mentioned above, please give us a call on 0115 811 4242 or drop us an email and our friendly team will be in touch.