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CWU Area Safety Rep Tackles Disgrace Of Non-Existent Public Toilets

The lack of Public Toilets is both a workplace and public health issue!

Unionsafety is dedicated to promoting the fact that CWU’s safety reps are not just active for workplace changes, and certainly not just for Christmas; but are active for their local and wider communities interests too.

Whilst some ignore the work they do and see the community aspects of a Union Safety Reps work as ‘irrelevant to CWU members and too wide an area of activity’ The reality is that what benefits our member’s local community, also benefits our members workplace interests.

A perfect example of this is in the Dog safety work that our Postal Constituency Area and workplace Safety Reps are already heavily involved with, which benefits our postal and telecom membership and the Union as a whole.

One area that has far too long been neglected by employers of those who work outdoors - postal delivery staff and telecoms engineers – is that of the lack of public toilet facilities in this country.

Area Safety Rep, Jamie McGovern from the Great Mersey Amal Branch (aka Merseyside & South West Lancs) has long held the view that the lack of public toilet facilities is a disgrace and an important factor in the cause of work related ill-health.

So, now Jamie has decided enough is enough, and has embarked upon a campaign utilising the 38 Degrees petition platform utilising social media, to campaign for major changes across the UK to change the disgraceful situation that public toilets, or rather the lack of, which is the blight of every outdoor worker in the country.

Here is the text of his petition, Taking the Piss: Outdoor Workers Need Toilets Too:

The Government must make the provision of public toilets a compulsory priority on a well planned and regulated basis.

  • Parity laws to be established in the UK to ensure fair provisions for women, outdoor workers,
    children & the disabled.
  • The Government must reverse years of funding cuts to local authorities and invest in our 
    civic infrastructure.
  • National and local government should urgently pilot innovative new ways of financing public toilets.

Why is this important?

Many people in the UK are now embarking on 'deliberate dehydration' tactics to reduce the need to to use the toilet when outdoors.

According to the Royal Society Of Public Health Over half (56%) of the public now restrict fluid intake due to concern over lack of toilet facilities. Outdoor workers are facing similar problems with some resorting to deliberate dehydration which can seriously affect health and exacerbate existing medical problems.

National and local governments must pilot innovative new ways of financing public toilets, including a “spend a penny” campaign. In recent decades an increasing pressure on local authority budgets has led to the privatisation or closure of many public toilets. Failure to provide adequate public loos also directly hampers some of the UK’s wider public health efforts, such as curbing obesity, and keeping our increasingly elderly population physically active and socially engaged with the community.

The increasing decline in public toilets is a threat to health, mobility, and equality.
Also .... 

  • The lack of public toilets disproportionately affects people with ill health or disability, the elderly, women, outdoor workers and the homeless.

  • Three in four of the UK public think there are not enough public toilets in their area.

  • Knowledge of lack of facilities nearby acts as a ‘loo leash’, deterring as many as one in five (20%) from venturing out of their homes as often as they would like.

  • This rises to over two in five (43%) among those with medical conditions requiring frequent toilet use. 

  • Over half (56%) of the public now restrict fluid intake due to concern over lack of access to a toilet.

We must therefore call the Government to make the adequate provision of public toilets a compulsory and urgent priority.
Please share if you agree

Pic: Public Toilets - click the pic

You can support Jamie’s fight for the adequate provision of public toilets and help highlight it as a both the right of the public and of outdoor workers to have access to publicly available toilets, and make this a public health as well as workplace issue!

Click the pic above to sign Jamie’s 38 Degrees petition

Source: J McGovern / unionsafety

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