Ontario government proposes women’s-only washrooms on construction sites
The Ontario government is proposing changes to require cleaner bathroom facilities, and women’s-only washrooms on construction sites.
According to the government, there are nearly 600,000 construction workers in Ontario, but only one in 10 are women. These changes, if approved, would make the skilled trades more accessible to women by ensuring they have access to at least one women’s-only washroom on jobsites and properly fitting equipment such as uniforms, boots and safety harnesses.
“Access to a washroom is a basic human dignity and something every worker should have the right to,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Careers in construction offer six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits, and it is an injustice only 10 per cent of them are filled by women. Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to stand with these heroes. Everyone has the right to a safe and welcoming workplace.”
The government is further improving portable washrooms by requiring them to be private and completely enclosed, have adequate lighting and hand sanitizer (where running water is not reasonably possible). Additionally, the government is doubling the number of toilets on most jobsites.
“Workplaces that are safer and more equitable help increase women’s participation in the workforce,” said Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity. “Our government is taking action to remove barriers and empower women to excel in sectors where they are underrepresented – because when women succeed, Ontario succeeds.”
The proposed regulatory amendments, if approved and filed, would come into force on the July 1, 2023.