Portable toilet requirements and regulations

portable toilet regulations

Does your workplace require portable toilets? If so, it’s important to know the rules and regulations. Portable toilet regulations cover everything from the number of toilets to their location. Ignoring these rules can impact the welfare of your staff. What’s more, your business could face harsh penalties.

This post will cover everything you need to know about portable toilet regulations. That includes additional regulations for construction sites.

HSE general requirements for portable toilets

The HSE provides a clear set of portable toilet regulations to adhere to. But first…

What is the HSE (Health and Safety Executive)?

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is the UK’s workplace health and safety regulator. It’s a government agency sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. HSE proposals inform regulations made by the government.

The role of the HSE

The HSE aims to prevent death, injury, or ill health in workplace environments. The role of the HSE involves developing and enforcing health and safety regulations. Their responsibilities include:

  • Developing health and safety policies and regulations
  • Providing advice on regulations
  • Carrying out inspections
  • Raising awareness of workplace safety
  • Prosecuting companies that fail to comply with regulations

Number of toilets required per job site or workplace

A minimum number of toilets (and washbasins) are required per person at your workplace. For mixed (or women-only) sites, you’ll need:

  • For 1-5 people – 1 toilet and 1 washbasin
  • For 6-25 people – 2 toilets and 2 washbasins
  • For 26-50 people – 3 toilets and 3 washbasins
  • For 51-75 people – 4 toilets and 4 washbasins
  • For 76-100 people – 5 toilets and 5 washbasins

Over 100 people at your workplace? As a principal, you’ll need an extra toilet and washbasin for every additional 25 people.

For men-only sites or in addition to the mixed toilets and washbasins above, you’ll need:

  • For 1-15 people – 1 toilet and 1 urinal
  • For 16-30 people – 2 toilets and 1 urinal
  • For 31-45 people – 2 toilets and 2 urinals
  • For 46-60 people – 3 toilets and 2 urinals
  • For 61-75 people – 3 toilets and 3 urinals
  • For 76-90 people – 4 toilets and 3 urinals
  • For 91-100 people – 4 toilets and 4 urinals

Requirements for placement and accessibility

The relevant HSE legislation is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. According to Regulation 20, sanitary conveniences must be provided at “readily accessible places.” You need to ensure staff always have easy access to your portable toilets. So, for example, they should not be located somewhere locked during work hours. 

Maintenance and cleaning requirements

Portable toilet regulations require the toilets to be kept clean and tidy. Walls and floors should preferably be waterproof for easy cleaning. Toilet paper, soap, hand towels, and other bathroom supplies should always be accessible. With LetLoos, cleaning and maintaining your toilets is made simple – as we take care of the process for you.

Requirements for ventilation and lighting

You must ensure your portable toilets and wash areas are well-lit and ventilated. This is vital through winter when it becomes darker earlier in the day.

Requirements for privacy and security

To ensure toilets are secure, they should be lockable. This is particularly important if the facilities are unisex.

Restrictions on sharing of portable toilets

Portable toilet regulations do not prevent men and women from sharing portable toilets. However, you’ll need to ensure the room is lockable from the inside and kept separate from urinals.

HSE’s additional requirements for portable toilets in construction

There are some specific portable toilet regulations for construction environments.

Requirements for toilets

There are two options for portable toilets on construction sites. In the first instance, flushing toilets are the best choice. These can be linked to the mains water supply or, in a portable option, feature a built-in water supply. For shorter-term jobs, portable chemical toilets are a suitable option.

Requirements for hand-washing facilities

Hand-washing facilities require hot or cold or warm running water. Adequate provisions of soap and hand towels should be provided.

Washbasins need to enable staff to wash their hands, face, and forearms. Some portable toilets only provide a small sink and hand sanitiser. Our construction site portable toilets provide HSE-compliant forearm sinks. Hand-washing facilities must be kept separate from areas where staff eat and drink. This is due to potential contamination risks.

Requirements for waste disposal

You’ll need to provide sanitary waste disposal facilities for female workers. It’s important to ensure waste is removed from your worksite. At LetLoos, we take care of this for you so that you can focus on your business.

Requirements for servicing and maintenance

Portable toilets in construction settings require frequent maintenance. Dirt and dust may mean that daily cleaning is not enough. LetLoos can provide a weekly steam cleaning service. You’ll need to arrange for a specialist contractor for more frequent cleaning.

Requirements for lockable doors

For mixed toilets, there must be a lockable toilet cubicle that is separate from any urinals. All LetLoos cubicles are fully lockable and secure to meet portable toilet regulations.

Requirements for drinking water

There is a legal requirement to provide drinking water for staff. The water needs to be free from contamination. Where possible, the water should come from the public water supply. Bottled water dispensers can be used as a secondary option.

Common issues with compliance

Complying with the myriad of portable toilet regulations can be challenging. Still, keeping to the regulations means your staff has the necessary facilities. It also makes sure your toilet facilities are within the law. However, mistakes do happen. Here are some common compliance issues to avoid…

  • Providing too few toilets for staff
  • Poor lighting and ventilation
  • No locks on the inside of the cubicle on shared toilets
  • Placing portable toilets in an inaccessible or distant location
  • Placing hand-washing facilities near eating or drinking locations
  • Not providing sanitary waste disposal
  • Infrequent cleaning and maintenance of the cubicles

HSE’s enforcement and penalties for non-compliance

It’s important to comply with portable toilet regulations for employee welfare. Beyond that, non-compliance comes with harsh penalties. The HSE enforces its legislation first by conducting targeted inspections and investigations. Companies are served with an “Improvement Notice” (IN) if the toilets are unsuitable.

A “Prohibition Notice” (PN) will be served when there is a threat to health. If these notices are ignored, then prosecution may be considered. Penalties can include fines, disqualifications, and even imprisonment.


Don’t get caught out by portable toilet regulations. LetLoos provides a wide range of products to cover all bases. That includes everything from portable toilet trailers to welfare units. All our portable toilets feature lockable doors and arrive ready to use. We also offer construction toilet hire with fully-compliant forearm sinks.

With over 25 years of industry experience, our teams are local to London, Essex, and Liverpool. That means a speedy and efficient service, with 24/7 customer support. Plus, there’s guaranteed next-day delivery for orders placed before 12 pm.

Leo Sharp
Content writer and researcher at LetLoos