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Guidance Note June 2017


Workers need to have access to clean, hygienic and conveniently located toilets at all times. If it is not practicable to provide access to permanent toilets, which is often the case on housing construction sites, portable toilets need to be provided.

Often, portable toilets are not cleaned, serviced or transported in a safe and hygienic way, putting workers and members of the public at risk of infections and disease.

Installing portable toilets

Portable toilets should be:
• situated on stable, flat ground to ensure effective operation and stability
• accessible by a clear path suitable for all weather conditions.

On-site cleaning and servicing
The builder should ensure portable toilets are checked daily and cleaned as required. If there is no contractedcleaning arrangement, the builder should make alternate arrangements to have the toilets cleaned and maintained.
In addition to cleaning as required, toilets must also be serviced regularly. On-site servicing is generally undertaken by the hire company and should include but is not limited to:
• checking pumps and components for effective operation
• repairing any defects
• pumping and rinsing empty sewage storage tanks
• adding deodoriser and treatment chemicals to the sewage storage tank
• refillling the holding tank with water
• replenishing soap or other hand disinfectant
• replacing toilet paper
• cleaning and disinfecting the internal compartment, including fittings such as pump and door handles,
the floor, seat and bowl.

Tanks should be pumped out at a frequency that minimises odour production and ensures the waste in the tank is unlikely to exceed 50 per cent of the tank’s useable capacity before the next scheduled service.

WorkSafe recommends pumping out storage tanks every two weeks, particularly in warmer months. At a maximum,
you should not leave pumping out for longer than four weeks.

Workers must be supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment for cleaning and servicing toilets.
Vaccinations for hepatitis and tetanus should be made available to workers required to service toilets.

Transporting portable toilets
Toilet bowls in portable toilets do not have a water-tight seal. This means liquid waste can escape the bowls and pose a potential health risk to members of the public or workers who handle the toilets. Portable toilets should only be moved or transported when the toilet has less than the following volumes in the storage tank:
Toilet useable capacity Maximum allowable
volume during transport
Less than 220 litres 20 litres
Greater than 220 litres 20 litres or 10 per cent
of the useable storage
tank capacity, whichever
is greater.

Portable toilets on worksites
This information sheet provides advice for builders and workers on the installation, servicing and transport of portable, self-contained toilets on housing construction sites.

Guidance Note Portable toilets on worksites
Further information
Contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service
on1800 136 089 or go to
Guidance Note – Amenities on housing sites
Guidance Note – Amenities required on greenfield
developments and minor civil construction and
maintenance sites
Information About – Workplace facilities on
medium sized residential construction developments
Compliance Code – Facilities in Construction
Note: This guidance material has been prepared using the best
information available to the Victorian WorkCover Authority and should
be used for general use only. Any information about legislative obligations
or responsibilities included in this material is only applicable to the
circumstances described in the material. You should always check the
legislation referred to in this material and make your own judgement
about what action you may need to take to ensure you have complied
with the law. Accordingly, the Victorian WorkCover Authority cannot be
held responsible and extends no warranties as to the suitability of the
information for your specific circumstances; or actions taken by third
parties as a result of information contained in the guidance material.
This guidance has been reviewed and updated for the sole purpose of
amending year and regulation references relating to the Occupational
Health and Safety Regulations, in line with amendments which came
into effect on 18 June 2017.


Read the full worksafe guidance note: