Temporary Housing for Workers

Chapter 296-833, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/02


Utilities employers must provide

WAC 296-833-300

For printing


Your responsibility:

To provide utilities to your temporary housing camps.

You must:

Provide electricity and lighting to temporary housing areas

Provide adequate water

Provide toilet facilities

Follow local regulations for sewage disposal


WAC 296-833-30005

Provide electricity and lighting to temporary housing areas.

You must:

(1) Supply electricity to all:

  • Dwelling units
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Shower/bathroom facilities
  • Common areas
  • Laundry facilities.



You need to follow additional requirements for electricity and lighting. See WAC 296-800-280, Basic Electrical Rules, in the Safety and Health Core Rules book for more information.

(2) Provide lighting to camp buildings.

  • Make sure general lighting and task lighting are adequate for normal daily activities
  • Make sure living quarters have:
    • - One ceiling-type light fixture
    • and
    • - One separate floor or wall convenience outlet.
  • Make sure laundry rooms, toilet rooms, and other common areas have at least:
    • - One ceiling light fixture
    • or
    • - A wall light fixture.

WAC 296-833-30010

Provide adequate water.

You must:

  • Provide a water supply that is adequate and convenient for:
    • - Drinking
    • - Cooking
    • - Bathing
    • - Laundry purposes.
  • Make sure the water supply system is:
    • - Capable of delivering
      • 35 gallons per person per day to the campsite
      • At a peak rate of 2-1/2 times the average hourly demand
    • - Able to supply water to all fixtures at the same time with normal operating pressures
    • - Approved by the appropriate health authority
  • Supply water to each housing area by either:
    • - Piping water directly to the shelters
    • - Providing yard hydrants within 100 feet of the shelters
  • Prohibit common drinking cups
  • Provide one or more drinking fountain(s) for each 100 occupants (or fraction of that number) where water under pressure is available.

WAC 296-833-30015

Provide toilet facilities.



For the purposes of this rule, a restroom is a room maintained on the premises for use by employees that contains a toilet. This includes outhouses.

You must:

(1) Provide enough toilets for the camp's capacity.

  • Toilets and outhouses must be provided in a ratio of one for every 15 people, with a minimum of 2 units for any facility shared by men and women.



Check with your local jurisdictions for regulations regarding outhouses.

(2) Have enough rest rooms for each sex based on the maximum number of persons the camp is designed to house at any one time.

(3) Provide separate rest rooms for each sex wherever rest rooms are in buildings shared by men and women.

  • Distinctly mark the rooms “men” and “women” with:
    • - Signs printed in English and in the native language of the persons occupying the camp
    • or
    • - Easily understood pictures or symbols.
  • If the facilities for each sex are in the same building, they must be separated by:
    • - Solid walls
    • or
    • - Partitions extending from the floor to the roof or ceiling.

(4) Make sure:

  • No one has to pass through a sleeping room to reach a rest room
  • Rest rooms have a window of at least 6 square feet opening directly to the outside, or are satisfactorily ventilated
  • All outside openings are screened with 16-mesh material
  • Fixtures, toilets, chemical toilets, or urinals aren’t located in a room used for other than toilet purposes
  • A rest room is within 200 feet of the door of each sleeping room
  • Any outhouse is at least 100 feet away from any sleeping room, dining room, lunch area, or kitchen.

(5) Provide urinals as follows:

  • One urinal or 2 linear feet of urinal trough for each 25 men
  • Construct the floor out of materials that are moisture proof, from the wall and out at least 15 inches from the outer edge of the urinals
  • Have an adequate water flush in urinals when water under pressure is available
  • Urinal troughs in outhouses must:
    • - Drain freely into the pit or vault
    • and
    • - Have a drain constructed to exclude flies and rodents from the pit.

(6) Install any new toilets in a rest room.

(7) Make sure:

  • There is an adequate supply of toilet paper for each rest room, outhouse, or chemical toilet
  • Toilet facilities are:
    • - Kept in sanitary condition
    • and
    • - Cleaned at least daily.

WAC 296-833-30020

Follow local regulations for sewage disposal.

You must:

  • Provide sewage disposal systems according to local health jurisdictions.

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