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Men and women forced to share toilet facilities on building sites, survey finds

Many construction sites have “entirely inadequate” toilets and washing facilities for workers.

Men and women are being forced to share toilet and washing facilities on many building sites, workers have revealed.

Unite called on construction companies to tackle the issue after a survey of 3,500 members showed there were no separate facilities for women on almost one in five sites.

One in 10 sites did not supply toilet paper and half did not have any showers, while many of those with showers did not offer separate areas for women, the study showed.

Comments from Unite members included:

“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 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: “Providing toilets and washing facilities is not a luxury – they are a basic human right.

“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.

“Where Unite is organised on a site we will always ensure that decent welfare facilities are provided and will ensure our members take the necessary measures to ensure they are in place.”

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