When visiting a building from schools to restaurants, hospitals to airports – your patrons are going to expect designated washroom facilities. However, in order for you to get the best out of your washroom experience, there are certain regulations and best practices you need to pay attention to.
If you’re a facilities manager for a washroom, here are some of the top aspects to consider.
At present, regulations state that separate facilities should be provided for men and women. Where that isn’t possible such as if the workplace has one staff toilet then this needs to be a lockable facility. However, gender-neutral washrooms are now being hotly debated, given how progressive we have become as a society. While gender-neutral washrooms aren’t a current legal requirement, this may be something that comes into force over time. In addition, workplaces or public institutions that want to be viewed as inclusive may wish to add gender-neutral washrooms.
As a facilities manager, it’s your job to ensure your washrooms are meeting the needs of all your users, including those who may have impairments.
If a toilet block contains at least four cubicles, then one of these must be enlarged to a minimum width of 1,200mm for disabled users. Items such as washbasins, showers and toilets should be suitable for all users, including those with accessibility needs.
Light & Ventilation
Maintaining a source of fresh air is imperative for a washroom, as it will ensure any offensive odours are not able to linger. It can be tricky to get right depending on where the washroom is located, especially if installing a window leading to the outside is not possible. In such cases, additional ventilation may need to be added. The exit points of the ventilation need to lead outside, and not towards internal rooms, especially where food preparation takes place. Having adequate lighting is also important. As well as natural light, you may want to consider adding white-toned bulbs, which will mimic natural light in dimly lit areas or during the winter months.
All washrooms require an adequate supply of toilet paper which should be regularly replenished. Consider how many people use your washrooms to ensure the replenishment rate meets the needs of your patrons.
Washrooms also need to have sanitary bins provided in line with HSE guidance. The rooms containing sanitary bins also need to be well-ventilated and lit. It’s also possible to arrange for a collection of sanitary waste by a hygiene company, who will also clean the bins for you.
All washrooms should be regularly maintained so that they are pleasant to use for all those who need them. This includes arranging a minimum of daily cleans, which you may want to increase to hourly cleans for washrooms in busy public places such as transport hubs.
The quality of the materials used will determine how easy your washrooms are to clean and maintain. Also, using motion sensor technology will reduce touchpoints and as a result, the likelihood of bacteria being transmitted within your washrooms. Aspects to focus on include handles, taps, washbasins, cubicle doors, floors and walls. The cleaning solution used needs to be strong enough to kill all germs, while also not posing a hazard or irritation to the public.
For cleaning tips on keeping a washroom sparking clean, take a read through our expert blog here.
Washroom Installation UK
Inspired Washrooms installs commercial washrooms across the UK. If you’re interested in having a washroom designed and installed for your building, or if you require further help or advice on anything we’ve mentioned above, we’re here to help.
Please get in touch on 0115 811 4242 and our friendly team will get back to you.