The Sanitation Charter includes an employers checklist on the requirements for decent sanitary facilities for transport workers.

The ITF has also compiled a checklist for activists and negotiators, to help you launch an investigation into sanitary conditions where you work.

Outlined below are the steps you can take to report on and address poor sanitary facilities. While this checklist was originally developed for the urban transport sector, you can easily adapt these steps for other sectors too.

Investigation steps


Document the problem

Create a notebook, log, map and/or spreadsheet with the following information:

  • Route terminal and depot locations, and addresses, both inbound and outbound.
  • Restroom locations/addresses for each terminal and depot.
  • Distance from route to sanitary facilities.
  • When is the restroom open?


What you see

Measure and/or walk the distance to the restroom from the route terminals and inside the workplace.

  • How long does it take? Schedule impacts? Is there a restroom at each terminal?
  • Is the restroom maintained and stocked? Is there soap and warm running water?
  • Are the facilities clean and inspected regularly?
  • Are there sufficient numbers of facilities for both women and men?
  • Are facilities easy to access and located in safe and secure locations for all workers? 
  • Are there any obstacles or deterrents to access? (e.g. vulnerable to inclement weather, busy or dangerous intersections, hills, flights of stairs, no lock on the door, no facilities for women, located in dangerous areas, shared with members of the public)
  • Is there a relief system to enable workers to have access to hygiene and sanitation facilities?


What you hear

Interview and/or survey transport workers. Some questions can include: 

  • Scheduling
    Do you have enough time to use the restroom?
    How long does it take to get there and back?
    Does your schedule allow for this?
    Do you run late? How often?
    Do you skip bathroom breaks? How often?
    Do you deliberately avoid drinking (dehydrate yourself) to avoid having to use the restroom?
  • Safety
    Is it safe to walk to and from the restroom alone? (for example, are there gangs in the area?)
  • Are there any unlisted restrooms?
    Get them listed and make transport workers aware of their locations.


Health and safety management

Here are some areas to focus on to evaluate health and safety. 

  • Do risk assessments take account of sex and gender differences (women, men, non-binary)?
  • Have all people involved in risk assessment been trained to be aware of sex and gender differences affecting women’s and men’s health and safety at work?
  • Are sex and gender differences taken into account when providing sanitary, washing and welfare facilities for workers?
  • Are any special reproductive health concerns of women (such as menstruation, pregnancy, menopause) and men accommodated?
  • Are specific policies, plans and actions in place to prevent workers becoming infected with Covid-19 including providing training for workers, regular cleaning regimes for vehicles and static workplaces, regular access to sanitation and washing facilities, and support for workers including those who are suffering long-term effects of Covid-19?


Bargaining and worker involvement

  • Is there a joint union and management workplace health and safety committee or other workplace consultative body?
  • Are women and men trade union representatives included on the committee?
  • Are health and safety issues of concern to women and men regularly discussed at the committee, and actioned?
  • Are women and men involved at local and national level on government advisory committees, including on health and safety and Covid-19?


Get the proof and use it

Record interviews with transport workers both at their terminals and while getting to the restroom to demonstrate the lack of break time.

  • Carry out a survey of transport workers.
  • Collate and present your information to your members.
  • Agree the action to be taken with your members with your employer and/or municipality.


Take action

  • Show your video to the municipality and your employer.
  • Create presentations and other communications to report transport workers’ concerns.
  • Make your video freely accessible online to gain public support.
  • Post your video on social media and encourage your friends and networks to share it.
  • When applying your findings, refer to the Sanitation Charter, and the employer’s checklist.

Sanitation rights are HUMAN RIGHTS