Research by the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) reveals alarming insights into the negative impact that the state of workplace toilets are having on workers.
APHC surveyed over 1,000 workers in England and Wales asking about the condition of the toilets at their place of work. Their research found 43.8% of the people surveyed felt their workplace toilets needed to be better maintained. And when asked if their workplace toilets require updating or refurbishing, 44.4% said they did.
London seemingly has the worst workplace toilets with 50.9% of workers surveyed believing they need to be better maintained and require refurbishing.
Most alarmingly, 16.5% of workers stated that the current condition of their workplace toilets negatively impacts their happiness at work. This figure rises to 20% in Wales and to 20.9% in the South-East of England.
John Thompson, Chief Executive of APHC, commented: “There are too many employers who are seemingly neglecting the up-keep and maintenance of their toilet facilities. Employers have a legal requirement to adhere to. The Health & Safety Executive state that where it is reasonably practicable, employers have to provide adequate toilet and washing facilities for employees. In 2010, a businessman was fined £30,000 because he failed to ensure that his premises were equipped with clean and functioning toilet and welfare facilities.
“However, over and above all legal requirements, employers have a moral duty to provide clean, safe and well maintained toilet facilities.
“From a commercial point of view, investment in employee well-being is crucial for a business in order to be successful, as an unhappy workforce can cost employers dearly in reduced productivity, low quality levels, increased sick-leave and in staff turnover with the recruitment and training of new members of staff.”
Specific responses from the survey about the poor state of workplace toilets included there being bad smells, cracked tiles, broken toilet seats, toilet bowls, sinks and taps, poorly flushing toilets and tired and dirty decor.
APHC advises any employer planning substantial repair work or a toilet refurbishment to seek advice from a member of a professional membership organisation, to obtain at least three written quotes for the work, to speak to previous customers about their experience, to agree all costs before starting, preferably with a works contract in place, and to never pay for the entire job upfront.
Employers and householders can find a local APHC member at: www.FindAQualityPlumber.co.uk
All figures quoted, unless otherwise stated, are from research undertaken by Morar Consulting on behalf of APHC. Fieldwork of homeowners and employees across England and Wales. The survey was carried out online.