Renting Portable Restrooms for Plant Turnarounds, Shutdowns and Outages

Safety culture and service matter more than the units themselves.

Plant or refinery turnarounds, shutdowns and outages are complex, intense events with many moving parts and swarms of contractors who aren’t normally onsite. Planning such an event calls for anticipating the needs of those contractors, including their need for bio breaks.

Renting portable restrooms for a plant outage is one of those tasks that seem minor, until something goes wrong. It’s important to use a vendor who can help you accurately estimate the number of units you require and also service them as needed. It helps if the vendor’s safety culture matches that of the plant.

Before choosing a portable restroom supplier, ask these questions.

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Can you scale your service for the project size?

Let’s say your turnaround plan calls for 500 craft workers on site. The number of workers dictates how many porta potties you’ll need. Your supplier should be able to help you make that calculation. But the space available may limit how many units will fit. If you find you need more units but don’t have the room, the units that do fit will need servicing more often.

“If you have to switch from 500 to 700 craft workers 30 days into the turnaround, you have to decide if you will add more toilets or service them more often. You need a company that can react to that demand,” said Tom Jones, region vice president at United Rentals. “In a turnaround, we’ve had to service a large number of units three times a day, seven days a week. There are companies out there that don’t have the infrastructure or the ability to do that.”

Servicing can include pumping out the wastewater, recharging the tank with deodorizer and water, cleaning the interior of the unit and restocking the toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

What kinds of units can you provide?

Above all, you need clean, comfortable units that work. United Rentals offers well maintained and fully stocked portable toilets in standard models as well as industrial-strength models (for longer projects or intense conditions) and portable restroom trailers. It also offers units that can be hoisted to multiple stories, units equipped with heating and cooling, and hand wash stations and freshwater and wastewater holding tank systems.

RELATED: Safety Tips for Managing a Plant Shutdown or Turnaround

“If you have to switch from 500 to 700 craft workers 30 days into the turnaround, you have to decide if you will add more toilets or service them more often. You need a company that can react to that demand.”

Tom Jones, Region Vice President at United Rentals

What safety measures do you take?

On any industrial site, attention to detail is paramount. Choosing a vendor that takes safety seriously can help you maintain the safety culture you’ve established.

United Rentals can facilitate compliance with site-specific security requirements for drivers requiring on-site access. In addition, United Rentals drivers receive ongoing safety training and arrive on site equipped with appropriate PPE, such as hard hats, steel-toed boots, safety glasses and reflective clothing.

Toilets may seem like the least of your worries when planning a turnaround, shutdown or outage, but imagine taking time out during the event itself to deal with inadequate or under-serviced facilities, and the loss of productivity you’ll face if workers have to stand in line to answer nature’s call.

United Rentals prides itself on its portable restroom service, even performing regularly scheduled preventive maintenance on service trucks to reduce the potential for downtime. For help with your portable restroom needs, visit United Rentals online or call 833-859-6007.

Marianne Wait is an editor and writer who creates content for Fortune 500 brands.

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