3 Ways to Prevent Disease at Portable Restroom Sites

Best practices for portable restroom operators servicing agricultural sites, including portable sinks and hand sanitizers are critical components of disease prevention.
3 Ways to Prevent Disease at Portable Restroom Sites
Be sure to check local limitations on where you can — and cannot — place restrooms and hand-washing stations on agricultural and similar work sites.

Interested in Restrooms?

Get Restrooms articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Restrooms + Get Alerts

A recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation showed sanitation problems at an Idaho sprouts farm were linked to an E. coli outbreak. Culprits included a rusty and corroded watering system, dripping condensate and mold growth. An article on Spokesman.com says the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 17 people across five states were infected from the outbreak. 

While the findings at the sprouts grower cover broad sanitation issues, now is the time to review safe methods for portable restrooms on agricultural and other work sites. Best practices for portable restroom operators servicing agricultural sites, including portable sinks and hand sanitizers are critical components of disease prevention. 

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) outline various ways farming methods and pre-harvest practices can reduce produce contamination while protecting the health and hygiene of workers, livestock and public safety. 

There are basic ways you can minimize the spread of disease when working on jobs at agricultural and similar sites. 

1. Invest in hand-wash stations. According to the CDC, 80 percent of infections are spread by the hands. Hand washing decreases the spread of germs and disease.

A 2010 Pumper article outlined why an appropriate number of portable sinks should accompany all portable restrooms leaving your yard. Determining the number of sinks is another matter, and it usually depends on your geographical location and service area. 

Special event guidelines from cities across the country offer different recommendations, so it’s important to learn the standards for your area. Disaster relief guidelines from the American Red Cross outline a good “rule-of-thumb.” They recommend a sink for every two restrooms — a number consistent with the expected number of uses from a portable sink (about 500) and a portable restroom unit (200) before servicing. 

Tagged a “do-it-yourself” vaccine by the CDC, hand washing — and its close cousin hand sanitizing — solutions benefit your customers and your business. Good hand hygiene protects the health of your customers and the community. 

2. Restroom placement 101. For rentals on construction or agricultural job sites or events with food preparation or live animals, sinks are the more hygienic option, said the Pumper article. Ensuring restrooms and hand-wash stations are placed properly can help minimize the spread of disease and harmful pathogens. 

Some renters may disagree with your placement decisions because they want to hide units, but remember, people are more willing to use hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations if they are visible and easily accessible. 

There are limitations regulating where you can — and cannot — place restrooms and hand-washing stations on agricultural and similar work sites. Here are a few simple guidelines for placement: 

  • Do not place restrooms too close to food/beverages or livestock activities
  • Verify the number of restrooms necessary to prevent overcrowding or overuse
  • Allow 25 feet of access for a service truck 

Of course, be sure to check your state and local regulations to ensure compliance with all placement requirements.

3. Educate. Educate. Educate. You’re probably sick of hearing it — but hear it you must. Customer education is vital to increasing awareness of disease prevention. 

At agricultural sites and other special events where the general public may not understand the severity of diseases, you can take it upon yourself to promote hand washing and sanitizing. 

There are other benefits to raising awareness of health and hygiene practices. The public — and your customers — will appreciate the extra effort to post signage or make hand-wash stations available. This could help extend your contract with the renting agencies and add more rental jobs to your calendar from members of the public who notice. People like to know you’re willing to go the extra mile to educate them and their friends and family on health and safety issues.   

Check out this selection of hand-wash equipment and supplies to help you create a more hygienic portable restroom operation at job sites: www.promonthly.com/editorial/2013/07/standard_restrooms_hand_wash_equipment_and_supplies.



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.