Washrooms and PPE… relief is coming to Ontario’s women of construction
By Anthony Capkun
March 16, 2023 – When nature calls on a construction jobsite, the Ontario government wants to help make the job of going potty in a portable washroom a more pleasant experience for everyone—including women.
The province is introducing changes that, if approved, would ensure women have access to:
• at least one “Women Only” washroom on jobsites, and
• properly fitting equipment, such as uniforms, boots, and safety harnesses
“Access to a washroom is a basic human dignity and something every worker should have the right to,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Everyone has the right to a safe and welcoming workplace.”
Proposed amendments to the Construction Projects Regulation would explicitly require that personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing be properly fitted to women and workers with diverse body types.
“I fully support Ontario’s efforts to make construction sites more accessible to all workers,” said Melissa Young, Skilled Trades Ontario. “These changes not only promote safety and dignity for women in the skilled trades, but will help remove barriers to create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for all.”
Portable washrooms will be required to be private and completely enclosed, have adequate lighting, and hand sanitizer (where running water is not reasonably possible). Additionally, the government will require the number of toilets on most jobsites to be doubled.
“These amendments are a welcome change, and will assist in paving the way to a future where construction sites will be more inclusive and inviting for women,” said Natasha Ferguson, founder and CEO, Ethelfox Construct Group.
The proposed regulatory amendments, if approved and filed, would come into force on Canada Day, 2023.