Women share toilets on one in five sites claims union

Aaron Morby 12 months ago
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Nearly one in five construction sites still force men and women to share toilets despite industry efforts to attract more women into construction.

A survey of over 3,500 workers found that many are forced to endure entirely inadequate toilets and washing facilities.

The survey of construction union Unite members found that on 17% of sites there were no separate facilities for women workers.

Unite members tend to work on a mix of larger sites and housing maintenance projects where there are issues of mobile working.

In total, 18% of respondents’ rated their workplaces as having poor toilet facilities and 10% of sites did not supply toilet paper.

Just over half of respondents said that their workplace did not have any showers.

Even when showers were provided in 16% of cases there were no separate showers for women.

Survey comments

  • “There are 30 toilets for 2,500 men you have to queue to use them”
  • “We need more toilets and cleaner toilets with better privacy the toilets one have half doors”
  • “More toilets at workface not a 10-15 minute walk away”
  • “Our shower blocks and toilets are in serious need of updating, the toilets smell and the showers are mouldy”.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “This survey must act as a wake-up call to the construction industry.

“In the 21st century there is no excuse for any workplace not to provide clean and decent welfare facilities.

“Companies that fail to provide decent welfare facilities can and should be prosecuted and this is an area where Unite is working with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure standards are improved.”

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