Mar 15, 2023

By Jeremy Logan

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Ontario’s labour minister is attempting to resolve an excrement issue.

Monte McNaughton is set to announce Wednesday that he is proposing to change rules regarding construction site bathrooms in order to make them cleaner, safer, and to provide some for women only.

McNaughton says he frequently hears from women in the skilled trades who believe the restrooms on job sites are unsafe or unsanitary and that they must leave work to use the restrooms at a coffee shop.

According to McNaughton, a Ministry of Labour bathroom inspection blitz last month at more than 1,800 construction sites discovered 244 violations, the most common of which were no toilets, a lack of privacy, or a lack of cleaning.

He claims that the new rules are intended to use every tool available to ensure that workers have access to clean restrooms.

The minister proposes doubling the number of job-site toilets, requiring them to be properly lit and to provide hand sanitizer where there is no running water, and requiring at least one women’s only toilet on large sites.

According to McNaughton, the proposed changes would also make it more explicit that personal protective equipment be properly fitted, taking in account women and “diverse body types.”

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