International

Many UK workers lack access to decent toilets: research


LONDON, Nov. 19 — Tens of thousands of UK workers do not have access to decent toilets, Britain’s biggest trade union Unite has found.
In the research of Unite published to mark the World Toilet Day on Monday, the union said it had uncovered evidence of staff at small branches of high street banks being encouraged to use a bucket in a neighbouring room.
Other examples included bus drivers not being given a break for five hours and a construction worker who said the women’s toilets were used for storage.
In total, it said tens of thousands of people across Britain suffered a lack of “toilet dignity”, where they were either not offered with proper toilets or had restrictions upon the use of the facilities.
Unite represents workers in a wide range of fields from nurses and teachers to bank staff and bus drivers.
The union’s assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said it was “simply disgraceful” and the situation is “clearly deeply humiliating” for workers.
“Employers have got absolutely no excuse for ensuring toilet dignity and if they fail to do so they should be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE),” she said.
According to HSE guidance, employers must provide “adequate” toilet and washing facilities “so far as is reasonably practicable”, including enough facilities for the number of workers, separate bathrooms for men and women and a supply of toilet paper.
The organisers of the World Toilet Day event say that 4.5 billion people in the world live without a safe toilet.

Xinhua