Safety and OSHA News

OSHA: Here’s what to do regarding restrooms for transgender workers

A new publication from OSHA offers guidance to employers on best practices regarding restroom access for transgender workers. 

OSHA’s Sanitation Standard requires all employers provide employees with sanitary toilet facilities, so that workers won’t suffer adverse health effects if restrooms aren’t available when needed.

The publicationGuide to Restroom Access for Transgendered Workers, says the key is gender identity. All employees should be permitted to use the facilities that correspondent with their gender identity, according to OSHA.

“The core principle is that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” said OSHA administrator David Michaels.

For example: A person who identifies as a man should be permitted to use men’s restrooms, and a person who identifies as a woman should be permitted to use women’s restrooms.

The guide states:

“Segregating [transgender employees] from other workers by requiring them to use gender-neutral or other specific restrooms, singles those employees out and may make them fear for their physical safety. Bathroom restrictions can result in employees avoiding using restrooms entirely while at work, which can lead to potentially serious physical injury or illness.”

Such adverse effects include urinary tract infections and bowel and bladder problems.

OSHA’s publication includes which federal, state and local laws affirm the principle of providing employees with access to restrooms based on gender identification.

The guide was developed at the request of the National Center for Transgender Equality, an OSHA Alliance partner that works with the agency to develop materials to protect employee safety.

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  1. How can you force companies to open themselves up to all kinds of lawsuits women don’t want males even transgender males in there bathrooms. Now the more timid women wont use the bathrooms. What happens to the company if a rape happens. This has not been thought out at all. Its just a knee jerk reaction.

  2. NavymanBill says:

    I had this happen to me several years ago at a local state university where we were doing “Gender Neutral Day” (a load of sophomoric college kid P.C. baloney, but I digress) They made the bathrooms open. Now, as Ray said MOST women don’t want ANY Males- Straight or transgender- in their bathrooms, so I picked the one I knew was usually for MEN. Well, there were two decidedly un-feminine looking females in there, sort of milling about-I didn’t pay them that much attention. I just went up to one of the urinals, unzipped my fly, and had a pee. Then I went and washed my hands and dried them and walked out, the two unfeminine females watching me the whole time. (I couldn’t care less. If I had to, I could pee in front of Michelle Obama, or the Queen of England. Who cares? ) My straight female supervisor was rolling on the floor laughing when I came out. I almost wish I’d had to do a # 2, following a Mexican food feast, and had lots of gas and could have made their eyes water!!) My point-this is going to happen and some people are going to be embarrassed and offended, and I don’t know how to stop that. Personally, I think the transgender numbers are WAY over-inflated. In 60 years I am hard pressed to even recall any contacts with transgender people. I empathize with them-it must be very difficult-but building four sets of bathrooms throughout the nation is not going to happen. They are just going to have to swallow hard, and do what they think is best, for them AND OTHERS.

  3. Comonsense says:

    It is a sad day when OSHA has to issue a statement about workers hurting themselves for refusing to go to acknowledge the need for a bowel movement. Afraid for their safety while pissing? Gimme a break from the insanity please!

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