29 CFR 1926.51 - Sanitation.

§ 1926.51 Sanitation.

(a)Potable water.

(1) An adequate supply of potable water shall be provided in all places of employment.

(2) Portable containers used to dispense drinking water shall be capable of being tightly closed, and equipped with a tap. Water shall not be dipped from containers.

(3) Any container used to distribute drinking water shall be clearly marked as to the nature of its contents and not used for any other purpose.

(4) The common drinking cup is prohibited.

(5) Where single service cups (to be used but once) are supplied, both a sanitary container for the un used cups and a receptacle for disposing of the used cups shall be provided.

(6)Potable water means water that meets the standards for drinking purposes of the State or local authority having jurisdiction, or water that meets the quality standards prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations ( 40 CFR part 141).

(b)Nonpotable water.

(1) Outlets for nonpotable water, such as water for industrial or firefighting purposes only, shall be identified by signs meeting the requirements of subpart G of this part, to indicate clearly that the water is unsafe and is not to be used for drinking, washing, or cooking purposes.

(2) There shall be no cross-connection, open or potential, between a system furnishing potable water and a system furnishing nonpotable water.

(c)Toilets at construction jobsites.

(1) Toilets shall be provided for employees according to the following table:

Table D-1

Number of employees Minimum number of facilities
20 or less 1.
20 or more 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per 40 workers.
200 or more 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per 50 workers.

(2) Under temporary field conditions, provisions shall be made to assure not less than one toilet facility is available.

(3) Job sites, not provided with a sanitary sewer, shall be provided with one of the following toilet facilities unless prohibited by local codes:

(i) Privies (where their use will not contaminate ground or surface water);

(ii) Chemical toilets;

(iii) Recirculating toilets;

(iv) Combustion toilets.

(4) The requirements of this paragraph (c) for sanitation facilities shall not apply to mobile crews having transportation readily available to nearby toilet facilities.

(d)Food handling.

(1) All employees' food service facilities and operations shall meet the applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the jurisdictions in which they are located.

(2) All employee food service facilities and operations shall be carried out in accordance with sound hygienic principles. In all places of employment where all or part of the food service is provided, the food dispensed shall be wholesome, free from spoilage, and shall be processed, prepared, handled, and stored in such a manner as to be protected against contamination.

(e)Temporary sleeping quarters. When temporary sleeping quarters are provided, they shall be heated, ventilated, and lighted.

(f)Washing facilities.

(1) The employer shall provide adequate washing facilities for employees engaged in the application of paints, coating, herbicides, or insecticides, or in other operations where contaminants may be harmful to the employees. Such facilities shall be in near proximity to the worksite and shall be so equipped as to enable employees to remove such substances.

(2)General. Washing facilities shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.


(i) Lavatories shall be made available in all places of employment. The requirements of this subdivision do not apply to mobile crews or to normally unattended work locations if employees working at these locations have transportation readily available to nearby washing facilities which meet the other requirements of this paragraph.

(ii) Each lavatory shall be provided with hot and cold running water, or tepid running water.

(iii) Hand soap or similar cleansing agents shall be provided.

(iv) Individual hand towels or sections thereof, of cloth or paper, air blowers or clean individual sections of continuous cloth toweling, convenient to the lavatories, shall be provided.


(i) Whenever showers are required by a particular standard, the showers shall be provided in accordance with paragraphs (f)(4) (ii) through (v) of this section.

(ii) One shower shall be provided for each 10 employees of each sex, or numerical fraction thereof, who are required to shower during the same shift.

(iii) Body soap or other appropriate cleansing agents convenient to the showers shall be provided as specified in paragraph (f)(3)(iii) of this section.

(iv) Showers shall be provided with hot and cold water feeding a common discharge line.

(v) Employees who use showers shall be provided with individual clean towels.

(g)Eating and drinking areas. No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room nor in any area exposed to a toxic material.

(h)Vermin control. Every enclosed workplace shall be so constructed, equipped, and maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, as to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects, and other vermin. A continuing and effective extermination program shall be instituted where their presence is detected.

(i)Change rooms. Whenever employees are required by a particular standard to wear protective clothing because of the possibility of contamination with toxic materials, change rooms equipped with storage facilities for street clothes and separate storage facilities for the protective clothing shall be provided.

[ 44 FR 8577, Feb. 9, 1979; 44 FR 20940, Apr. 6, 1979, as amended at 58 FR 35084, June 30, 1993; 76 FR 33611, June 8, 2011]

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