Disabled toilet regulations, especially in the workplace, are a little different than the regular ones. The government has strict building codes in place for disabled washroom services in the workplace, a few of which are discussed below.
Toilet Cubicle Dimensions
All the same sex washrooms in a workplace should have a minimum of one disabled friendly toilet cubicle, complete with lots of manoeuvring space, grab rails on both sides and an ambulant disabled toilet door that opens outward instead of inward.
Wheelchair accessible toilet cubicles should be at least 2220 x 1800 mm in size to accommodate movement in a wheelchair. The turning diameter should be at least 1500 mm. The door of the stall should open outwards at a 950 mm width while the door itself should be at least 900 mm wide.
The height of the toilet seat has to be 480 mm while 750 mm is the projection of the pan of the commode. The hand rail should be placed at a height of 680 mm while the wash basin should be at a height of 720 to 740 mm. The height of the horizontal hand rails can be the same as the height of the drop down grab rails. Using a professional cleaning company is a good idea and I have used these commercial cleaners in Surrey before.
Again there should be grab rails or hand rails on both sides of the commode within arm’s length. The wash basin should also be within arm’s reach from the commode. Disabled toilets should also have locks that are accessible from the outside, because in emergency situations, disabled people may get locked in inside their stalls and this may delay medical assistance.
Some other considerations for disabled toilets include doors that are differently designed or painted or marked ‘for disabled use’ to distinguish them from the regular toilet stall doors.
The doors must be such that frail disabled individuals with limited strength or dexterity can operate the doors with closed fists or at least with ease. The outward opening door should in no way obstruct other stall users or obstruct the circulation route or limit wheelchair mobility outside the toilet cubicle.
The flush handle or lever should be placed, not towards the wall side of the cistern, but towards the open side. It should be flexible enough to be operated with the push of an elbow or hand or any other body part. Many disabled people who cannot use their hands, have to use the flush lever with their chins. So it must be on the open side to allow the individual to reach it from his/her wheelchair.
Other necessary washroom services are toilet tissue dispensers fitted at the right height and position. Traditional toilet roll holders may be there as well, but if the disabled individual has only one hand to use, he or she may not be able to tear off tissues from the toilet roll and hence the tissue dispenser.
Even the liquid soap dispenser, hand lotion dispenser, dry sheet dispenser, hand sanitiser and hand dryer should be placed at the right height and position to make like easy for a disabled individual.
Washroom services in a disabled toilet stall should also include the following. A colostomy bag hook, hand rails, modesty blanket for covering up if the disabled individual requiring help is trapped in a compromising situation, yellow sharps bin for disposing used needles, alarm cord placed within 200 mm from the floor and shelves at arm’s reach for keeping injectable medicines like insulin
One of the main reason that staff go off sick is due to the cross contamination of germs within the work environment. If little or no effort is made to reduce the number of germs in the office then they will continue to spread. Staff should be encouraged to eat away from their desks, as keeping food at the workstation can encourage germs.
It may be a good idea to have a cleaning sessions for a few minutes each week. Equipment such as telephones, keyboards, computers and mice could be wiped down with anti bacterial wipes. The desk will also need a clean, this can either be done with an anti bacterial wipe or a solution and a disposable cloth.
A possible method of preventing germs coming into the office is to place a bottle of anti bacterial hand wash near the door for employees to use when entering and leaving the building. These hand washes could also be left in the toilet areas, this may encourage employees to take better care of personal hygiene. A bottle could also be placed in a central location within the office for employees to use should they have the cold and need to cough.