WorkSafe Victoria has upgraded the laws regarding the servicing of portable toilets on Victorian worksites.
Previously, there were no enforceable requirements for servicing in Victoria, but the new recommendations bring Victoria into line with other states. Builders are now required to ensure that portable toilets are checked and cleaned daily and serviced more regularly. WorkSafe now recommends fortnightly servicing, which is of particular importance in warmer months in order to minimise odour production. Tanks should be pumped out at a frequency that minimises odour and ensures the waste in the tank is unlikely to exceed 50 percent of the tank’s useable capacity before the next scheduled service.
In addition to the pumping and rinsing out of tanks, WorkSafe also recommends the following items are included with any onsite servicing: checking pumps and components for effective operation, repairing any defects, adding deodoriser and treatment chemicals to the sewage storage tank, refilling the holding tank with water, replenishing soap or other hand disinfectant, replacing toilet paper, and cleaning and disinfecting the internal compartment, including fittings such as pump and door handles, the floor, seat and bowl.
The new guidelines are a result of research showing that far too 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.
“We welcome these new WorkSafe recommendations, as it will ensure all workers have access to clean, safe and hygienic toilets. We have the capacity to handle the expected demand for servicing work in Victoria that is sure to eventuate,” says Jason Wilson, managing director of Sani Hire. He states that Sani Hire’s servicing standards meet all WorkSafe’s requirements and that the company has a specific servicing division, Sani Servicing, that is equipped with a fleet of 12 vacuum tankers specifically designed for onsite servicing work.