From shared, high-traffic spaces to dust and debris, job sites can be messy and harbour many germs. Without sanitation tools and practices in place, a simple day at work could lead to the spread of microorganisms, fungi, bacteria, and illnesses. 

In Canada, job site sanitation regulations ensure the cleanliness of the area, but what do these entail? From adequate portable toilets and hand washing stations to regular maintenance and education, employers must ensure each of these factors is considered to keep their employees and job site clean and sanitized.

What Is Jobsite Sanitation?

Job site sanitation refers to the cleanliness or hygiene of construction sites or other work sites. It’s aimed at increasing the health and safety of workers, minimizing their exposure to contaminants, unsanitary conditions, and hazardous materials. 

Employers are required to provide easily accessible job site sanitation facilities for all workers. This includes clean drinking water, toilets, waste bins, and washing facilities.

Why Is Jobsite Sanitation Important?

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) provides occupational health and safety standards. To comply with these standards, employers must keep the workplace clean, sanitary, and in good repair to eliminate risks to the safety and health of workers.

In addition to meeting these regulations, other benefits of proper job site sanitation include:

  • Healthy environment: Keeping your job site clean and organized is important. Having a designated area for waste is helpful. Regular removal by sanitation workers is also necessary. This promotes a healthy environment.
  • Employee contentment: Accommodate brief bathroom breaks by providing a sufficient number of portable toilets onsite. Not only is this convenient, but it helps employees to finish their work on time, too.
  • Enhanced productivity: Happy employees are more productive. Having an adequate supply of toilets, washing stations, and potable water makes for a more pleasant working situation.

What Does Job Site Sanitation Involve?

Jobsite sanitation requires workers to be provided with the following facilities to comply with OHS regulations for all job sites:

  • Fresh water*
  • Toilet facilities
  • Hand washing stations
  • Waste bins

*Fresh water is safe to drink and meets the quality standards established by the Minister of National Health and Welfare. Any water sources that are not safe for drinking must be labeled as such.

Handwashing station between porta pottys at a construction site

5 Ways to Keep Your Job Site Clean & Sanitized

Supply the Right Amount of Toilets

Job sites vary in size, which means while 1 toilet may be fine for up to 10 workers, if you have more workers, you’ll need more toilets. If you have workers of both sexes on your job site in Edmonton, Calgary, or elsewhere, you’ll need to ensure you have separate toilets for each.

Employers are required to provide toilet facilities for all workers. If no sanitary sewer facilities are available at a particular job site, privies, chemical toilets, recirculating toilets, or combustion toilets must be provided.

Following these toilet requirements will help your site meet regulations and keep your workers comfortable.

Use our Portable Toilet Calculator.

Keep Up with Hand Hygiene

Hand washing significantly reduces the risk of illnesses. Regular hand washing is important for everyone, everywhere, however, it’s even more important in shared workplaces. 

Hand washing is a simple task that makes a big difference, and to implement it on your construction site properly, you’ll need the right amount of hand washing stations that are correctly placed and maintained. You’ll need supplies such as soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer along with the actual station.

If workers are doing any painting, coating, herbicide or insecticide spraying, or any other construction tasks where contaminants may harm them, washing stations must be provided and must meet the following requirements:

  • There is at least one hand washing station in a toilet facility
  • There is one hand cleaning station for every additional 2 toilets per facility
  • Each washing station must have hand soap or similar products. Some work types may require specialized personal cleaning products.
  • Each washing station must have individual hand towels, warm air blowers, or clean individual sections of continuous cloth toweling.

Regular Cleaning & Disinfection

The difference between a clean and unclean toilet facility is night and day. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting these facilities is paramount for worker comfort and health. 

Maintain a cleaning schedule on your site, disinfecting high-touch areas like doorknobs, handrails, tools, and equipment. Using EPA-approved disinfectants will also ensure germs are eliminated. 

Maintain Proper Waste Management

Waste bins are required on every job site to keep the work areas safe and clean. But that’s not where waste management should stop. 

You’ll need to implement a waste management system to ensure all types, including hazardous materials are regularly collected and properly disposed of. Disposing of waste regularly can help keep job sites tidy and free from bacteria and pests.

Lead by Example

As the manager of your construction site, it’s important to lead by example. Maintaining proper hand-washing routines and waste management shows employees you care about their well-being and encourages them to wash their hands too. You can also help reduce the number of germs on your site by:

  • Encouraging sick employees to stay home
  • Educate workers about the importance of hygiene
  • Use trusted products

Keep Your Jobsite Clean with FenceLine Rentals Ltd.

FenceLine Rentals Ltd. is Alberta’s source for high-quality equipment rentals including portable toilets, hand washing stations, and construction fence rentals. We aim to keep your jobsite in Edmonton and Calgary safe, secure, and sanitized. 

Book your jobsite rental today!


Can hand sanitizer be used in place of soap and water?

Hand sanitizer can be temporarily used as a substitute for soap and water, but it isn’t effective in all situations. While it can work against many germs, it’s less effective at reducing certain pathogens. Plus, it doesn’t physically remove dirt or grease like soap and water.

Are hand dryers really more sanitary than paper towels?

Some studies suggest that because paper towels physically remove bacteria, they’re more sanitary than hand dryers which can disperse contaminants in the air. However, hand dryers don’t generate waste which makes them more sustainable.