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Differences in Bathroom Signs

Every business owner with a facility that provides commercial restrooms to customers understand that signage is necessary and often required by federal, state, or local regulations. However, many business owners may not understand the differences in bathroom signs and why they are necessary. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights division that holds businesses like yours accountable for the way restrooms are designed and how they are accessible to individuals with disabilities. While federal, state, and local regulations continue to evolve, it is important that your customers can clearly find your facilities and you remain compliant. International bathroom signs are important because they display international symbols for sex, disability, and accessibility for customers of all backgrounds and languages to fully comprehend.

The differences in bathroom signs begin with who the sign is targeting. Each state has its own regulations pertaining to which bathroom signs may be applicable to your business, but it is a universally accepted practice to install employee handwashing notices to improve hygiene and prevent the transmission of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. In a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning food worker handwashing, studies show that 89% of foodborne illness outbreaks in which food was contaminated were the direct result of germs from the hands of food workers. It is essential that your employees be trained and reminded to maintain adequate hygiene to keep your customers or guests safe.

According to ADA regulations’ Section 703.6, pictograms shall have a field height of six inches. Characters and braille shall not be located in the pictogram field. Pictograms and their field shall have a non-glare finish. Pictograms shall contrast with their field with either a light pictogram on a dark field or a dark pictogram on a light field. Pictograms shall have text descriptors located directly below the pictogram field. Last but not least, symbols of accessibility and their backgrounds shall have a non-glare finish. Symbols of accessibility shall contrast with their background with either a light symbol on a dark background or a dark symbol on a light background. The enforcement of these regulations ensures that people with low vision, blindness, and other differing abilities can find your facility with ease.

California is one of the most prominent states to enforce bathroom signage laws, and the CA AB 1732 law has been at the forefront of their latest efforts. This law states that “all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency shall be identified as all-gender toilet facilities by signage that complies with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, and designated for use by no more than one occupant at a time or for family or assisted use.” If you have any questions about the differences in bathroom signs or need help updating your restroom’s signs to be compliant, please contact a member of the team today.

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