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As the winter months approach, ensuring the safety and well-being of workers exposed to cold temperatures becomes a top priority for employers. Cold weather can pose significant risks to employees, ranging from frostbite and hypothermia to slips and falls on icy surfaces. Properly educating employees about the potential hazards and necessary precautions is crucial for preventing cold-related illnesses and injuries. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential tips for employers on how to keep their workers safe during cold weather.

Educating Your Employees About Cold-Weather Risks

Education is a foundational step that must be considered when keeping workers safe in cold temperatures. Properly educating employees about the potential hazards and necessary precautions is crucial for preventing cold-related illnesses and injuries. Here’s a closer look at how to effectively educate your workforce: 

  • Explain what cold stress is: Help employees understand cold stress — the body works hard to maintain a stable core temperature in cold conditions, and prolonged exposure can lead to serious health risks such as frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Recognizing early signs of trauma: Teach employees to recognize the early signs of cold-related illnesses. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, tingling, or discoloration of the skin. Additionally, hypothermia can manifest as shivering, confusion, and slurred speech. Encourage workers to find shelter and report any discomfort immediately, even if symptoms are minor. 
  • The importance of dressing appropriately: Educate your employees about wearing proper clothing to trap and conserve body heat. For example, moisture-wicking fabrics, clothes made of insulating materials, and thick fabrics are great for cold outdoor weather. However, they may need to wear more than just these types of clothing. Consider the materials to be worn. For example, merino wool won’t draw body heat from the skin when wet. Employees should add layers and protect extremities with items such as additional jackets, gloves, scarves, hats, beanies, etc. 

Monitor Weather Conditions

Stay informed about weather forecasts in your region. Thankfully, modern technology — such as satellite data — can predict extreme weather patterns (such as snowstorms) days, if not weeks, in advance. You can receive this information by tuning into your local news broadcasts and receiving up-to-date and accurate weather predictions for your geographic area.

The safety of your employees comes first. When icy conditions are predicted, consider delaying work or implementing shorter shifts. The risk of cold-related injuries increases in severe cold weather. Prioritize safety over productivity, you’ll abide by OSHA guidelines, and boost employee morale. 

In addition to monitoring weather conditions, you can also develop a weather policy. Create a clear and well-defined cold-weather policy that outlines how the company will respond to various weather conditions. This policy should include criteria for determining when it’s safe to work in cold temperatures and when adjustments must be made. 

Provide Adequate Breaks

When working in cold temperatures, providing employees with adequate breaks isn’t just about comfort — it’s a crucial safety measure that can help prevent cold-related illnesses and injuries. Adequate breaks allow workers to warm up, maintain their core body temperature, and recharge their energy. 

Frequent and more prolonged breaks are better than shorter ones in cold weather conditions. Also, encourage warm-up periods for employees to engage in physical exercises (e.g., jumping jacks). Not only is this good for their physical fitness, it increases blood circulation and raises body temperature. 

Granting ample breaks also gives workers a mental breather, which helps reduce the stress and anxiety of working in harsh weather conditions.

Encourage Hydration and Nutrition

Drinking fluids and consuming warm, nutritious meals can help the body generate heat and sustain energy levels. Ensure employees have access to hot beverages (such as hot cocoa, tea, and coffee) and warm, nutritious snacks and meals. 

For example, you can set up a table area to place your hot beverages (in insulated canisters/beverage dispensers). Hot meals can be stored in insulated packages. You can even place snacks that are dense in nutrition, such as protein bars and Clif bars. 

Address Slip and Fall Hazards

Due to icy and snowy surfaces, the risk of slips and falls escalates dramatically and makes a big safety issue. These incidents result in injuries and can disrupt operations and decrease worker morale. Employers must prioritize strategies that effectively address slip and fall hazards to ensure a safe and productive workplace. 

Maintain clear pathways by promptly removing accumulated snow and ice. Use snow shovels or snow plows to make walkways, entryways, and parking lots accessible in hazardous conditions. You can also encourage your employees to wear footwear with slip-resistant soles to ensure a safe workplace. Remember, proper footwear can make all the difference in icy conditions by enhancing grip and traction on slippery surfaces. Appropriate footwear provides stability, reduces the risk of falls, and contributes to worker safety. 

Have an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit empowers workers and supervisors to respond effectively in urgent situations, potentially minimizing the impact of injuries or health issues. Here’s what you can include in your emergency kit: 

  • First aid supplies: Provide a first aid kit that includes items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, gauze, and trauma scissors. These essential items can quickly address minor injuries and prevent infection.
  • Hand and foot warmers: These small packs generate heat and quickly relieve the symptoms of oncoming frostbite.
  • Flashlight and batteries: Ensure workers can illuminate their surroundings during low light or power outages. 
  • Whistle: A whistle can serve as a signal for help, especially when visibility is limited. 
  • Disposable waste bag: In some cases, your workers may not have easy access to the restroom, or maybe traveling to a nearby toilet would expose your workers to more severe conditions. For scenarios like this, a disposable waste bag can provide your workers with the necessary convenience, safety, and hygiene to take care of their needs. 

By equipping employees with knowledge, proper gear, and effective emergency measures, employers can shield them from harm and empower them to face cold-weather challenges confidently, all the while prioritizing worker safety. Your commitment to their well-being lays the foundation for a resilient and productive workforce, fostering a workplace where safety is paramount. If you want to equip your employees with the essential gear necessary for working safely in cold temperatures, browse our portable restroom solutions here.

Accidents in the workplace are among the worst possible scenarios for utility companies. Workplace accidents can be harmful to an employee’s life in ways that go far beyond what they do on the job, and any good company strives to keep their employees safe, healthy, and happy. 


But on-the-job injuries, especially those that result in workers’ compensation claims, are also detrimental to the company. They result in lower productivity, time spent replacing and training personnel, unplanned overtime for other employees, and a variety of other expenses and setbacks. 


It’s safe to say that for most companies, reducing the accidents that lead to workers’ compensation claims is in the best interest of all parties involved. 


Of course, this is easier said than done. For utility workers working closely with electricity, water, and in potentially hazardous environments, risk is just part of the job. But keeping workers safe must be a primary objective for any utility company, and taking these steps can certainly minimize the risks that lead to workplace accidents. Here are some ways to create a safe workplace environment.


Prioritize Risk Assessment and Prevention


Utility companies must have a dedicated, knowledgeable safety team that can assess risk factors for employees at business facilities and in the field. They should be adequately staffed and trained to meet the company’s needs, as well as understand the hazards that follow your employees wherever they go on the job. 


A good safety team will take steps like these to ensure employee safety:


    • Create a written safety plan.

      Having a written set of policies for safe conduct is vital, along with corresponding procedures for prevention and for reporting incidents. The plan should be based on OSHA requirements for the industry and should be tailored to your business. Making sure all your emergency exits are identified and up to code is also a top priority in any safety plan.
  • Consistently audit, update, and maintain the plan.

    Over time, circumstances and experiences may require additions and changes to the safety plan. Ensure your plan is regularly updated with the most current information available.
  • Engage your insurer.

    Insurance companies are professional risk assessors and may be able to offer advice for best practices to keep workers safe. 


Enact Comprehensive Training Practices

Training is essential for conveying safe practices, even for seasoned pros. Maintaining a rigorous training program creates an environment where safety comes first for everyone. 


Training programs should be job-specific and should be taken seriously, reminding employees that their lives — and the lives of others around them — are often on the line in the field, and safety should be taken seriously at all times. Even neglecting safety in simple aspects of the job, such as lifting heavy objects without proper safety equipment, can lead to problems. 


    • Train at regular intervals.

      Training isn’t just for new employees; it needs to be an ongoing requirement, particularly when safety is at a premium. Anytime there is a new piece of equipment introduced, anyone who may use the machine or even come into contact with it should be trained on its safe use.

      Continuing safety training and “refresher” courses continue to drill in best practices for all employees. Encourage your team to take regular breaks as well.
  • Encourage an ongoing dialogue.
    Encourage employees to report safety matters, and welcome their questions anytime. When an issue is reported, follow up and act on it promptly.
  • Evaluate processes and change them when necessary.

    Conducting regular safety reviews, updating training procedures, and implementing preventive measures will help ensure the rules are clear, accurate, and properly reflect the utility’s needs.
  • Consider multiple training types.

    In-person or classroom training, online modules or webinars, and reading materials can all be effective. Learn which works best for your company, or even better, use multiple methods to make it easier and more convenient for employees and trainers. 


Foster a Culture of Safety First


The best way to create a company that prioritizes safety is to have leadership that demands safety be put first. That priority must begin at the top and be pushed ahead of the normal metrics and goals. When management gives more value to a job done more slowly and safely than one done quickly, the rest of the company will follow suit. 


Implementing processes and procedures is a great first step, but if they are pushed aside when the chips are down, they don’t mean a whole lot. Here are ways to create a workplace culture of safe practices:


  • Reward good safety records.

    Employees who value safety should be rewarded for their efforts. Commending consistently good safety records, or even small accident-avoiding gestures, should come with praise or other incentives.
  • Pay attention to the small stuff.

    Sometimes, seemingly small gestures can have big payoffs. Managing the little details, such as optional equipment like a portable restroom solution, and a secondary portable restroom solution can keep technicians from situations where they do something careless that results in an injured employee..
  • Reinforce safety daily.

    When you talk about safety and the potential consequences every day, you keep it at the top of everyone’s minds. Work to follow best safety practices daily.


Indeed, it is often the little things that prevent costly accidents, higher insurance premiums, and the other pains that come with workers’ compensation claims. Having a safety program in place is a long term effort to reduce workplace injuries.


Brief Relief specializes in portable restroom solutions like the Disposa-John Portable Restroom which can help prevent emergency restroom situations that can lead to careless mistakes. Having the foresight to anticipate these types of scenarios not only prevents unsafe practices, it can save money and effort in the long run by preventing accidents and costly compensation claims. 


Help your utility workers stay comfortable on the job with these workplace safety tips.  Workers whose needs are met are safer workers. See how Brief Relief products can help your workers stay efficient, reliable, and safe when working in potentially hazardous environments. Always remember to create a safe work environment that practices a strong safety culture.

Wesco/Anixter is a leading provider of B2B distribution, logistics services, and supply-chain solutions. They also work in storm-related restoration efforts, particularly in the utilities business. A Fortune 200 company, they have 18,000 employees globally and $22 billion in revenue.


Working with major utility companies during natural disasters, including restoration efforts and the mitigation of major storms and fires, Wesco/Anixter is the largest utility distributor in the market focused on live post-storm restoration efforts. Their goal is to work with major utility providers to quickly restore power and utilities services to places where it has been knocked out by natural disasters. 


Logistical concerns for these types of events are massive, and Wesco/Anixter has to have a tremendous infrastructure in place to ensure they can restore utilities as quickly as possible. The first step is response readiness, because planning capabilities are limited. They might know ahead of time which state a storm is going to hit, but it’s impossible to predict which communities will be affected. 


Setup is key. Establishing camps and providing the supplies necessary for survival are vital yet massive undertakings. These camps are the nerve centers for the restoration, providing supplies and equipment for thousands of workers who will be on site. Restoration efforts often include a massive amount of resources. Bringing in dozens of campers, electrical equipment, ice trucks, porta-potties, generators, and emergency supplies of food and water is the first job. Maintaining an inventory of these critical supplies is crucial. 


The first three to five days are critical to the restoration efforts and whether the project will be successful. Often, there is not only no power, but, if cell towers are down, no real communications capabilities. That leaves satellite phones for Wesco/Anixter to call in the specific supplies they need. 


Challenges on the front end don’t just include supplies, but also manpower. Recruitment efforts often extend all over the country when thousands of utility workers are needed, well beyond the number stationed locally. Many are hesitant to work on Day 1 under the conditions of no power, running water, or communication with the outside world. Many times, those initial responders won’t yet have ways to satisfy basic needs like food, water, and using the bathroom. 


Having an inadequate number of people willing and able to provide first-line help effectively means failure for the restoration efforts. Time is of the essence when delays could mean the difference between life and death for some of the people affected. 


For Wesco/Anixter, solutions mean taking action. They express appreciation and interest in the value of their products, providing solutions for those first crucial hours so responders can have their basic needs met from the outset. Brief Relief’s portable bathroom products include liquid and solid waste bags, commode systems, and portable privacy shelters, along with all of the accessories needed to provide supplies for safe and sanitary efforts. 


Brief Relief is a top manufacturer of portable restroom products, providing best-in-class worksite solutions to aid in the safety and productivity of employees. Out in the field, in storm-, fire-, or disaster-damaged areas, Brief Relief products can provide an emergency stopgap solution when restroom facilities are limited or unavailable. This effectively eliminates a major barrier for utility-worker recruitment efforts, improves efficiency, and reduces the time to complete restoration efforts.


Brief Relief products can be used anywhere. Line workers often won’t even have to come out of their lifts to take care of their business, saving critical time and energy so they can keep their focus on restoring power, cellular service, and water to the area. 


Brief Relief products are safe, sanitary, easy to use, discreet, cost effective, and help increase productivity. You can learn more about Brief Relief, their products, and how to obtain a supply of products at


When was the last time you updated your disaster prep kit? That is — if you have one at all. According to a 2020 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, only one in three people have an emergency supply kit. Having a well-stocked kit can make a big difference in the event of a hurricane, so it’s important to go beyond bandages and bottled water. Think you’ll be ready when disaster strikes? See which of our these five emergency prep tools you have in your kit.

1. Solar Charger

Electricity is often the first thing to go during a natural disaster, and having a way to generate energy can make or break a situation. Classic generators can come with a hefty price tag, and portable options aren’t ideal for wet conditions. Solar chargers are a more affordable, flexible option, and many of them are designed to be water-resistant. 

With solar chargers, you can rely on your power bank as long as you have access to sunlight. Some models are even made for low-light conditions, so you don’t have to worry about overcast days after a hurricane.

2. Body Lamps

According to the CDC, flashlights are the most common item people keep in their emergency supply kits, but it’s important to have functional, convenient gear in a disaster. Level up your kit with wearable body lamps that keep your hands free for whatever comes your way. Wearing a headlamp or light-up armband can help you navigate in the dark without worrying about dropping your flashlight or juggling bulky supplies. 

Because they’re always with you, body lamps are also a convenient way to increase your own visibility to those around you, such as family members or first responders. When the power goes out, you can rely on your body lamps to avoid fumbling around in the dark — just remember to pack extra batteries or charge them when a major storm is approaching.

3. Water Purifier

One of the first steps to take when a hurricane approaches is securing a safe water supply, with extreme weather having the potential to contaminate water sources. Severe flooding can shut down water treatment plants, damage pipes, and introduce dangerous chemicals into your home’s tap water. Setting up a store of bottled water is a great way to start, but having a water purifier on hand ensures that you’ll never run out. 

Quality water filters can often filter hundreds to thousands of gallons of water, removing microplastics, parasites, and even lead. Options ranging from lightweight straw filters for personal use to large, communal gravity filters make it easy for you to pick the right option for your kit. 

4. Weather Radio

Radios allow you to access vital weather updates during a natural disaster even when you can’t access the news on your phone or TV. When choosing your radio, consider opting for a model with a hand-crank generator. By putting in a bit of elbow grease, you can trust that your radio will always have power, even if you run out of batteries. Many models also have regular batteries and solar panels, giving you plenty of options to stay connected with critical weather information.

5. Emergency Toilet

When preparing for a disaster, thinking about where you’ll go number two is rarely the first thing on your mind. But the need to use the bathroom stops for no one, not even a hurricane. Many people turn off their main water valve during a hurricane; this is a great way to prevent flooding, but it also means sacrificing the comfort of a functional toilet. During a disaster, you may not know how long you’ll be without functioning plumbing, which makes having a clean, comfortable emergency toilet such a game-changer. 

While you may have seen makeshift toilets made from buckets and cat litter, there’s a better way to handle your bathroom emergencies in the face of a true disaster. Modern portable toilets like the briefcase commode are tidy and discreet, making them easy to store and even easier to use. The best portable commodes are lined with durable waste bags, which contain a high-tech powder that neutralizes odors and eliminates biohazards. Because the powder turns into a gel when it interacts with waste, you can simply seal the bags up and dispose of them like regular trash without worrying about tears or spills.

Become a Pro Prepper With Brief Relief

Emergency preparedness is all about having the tools to thrive when the conditions aren’t so perfect. Brief Relief’s line of portable commodes can help you bring dignity and comfort to even the most disastrous of situations. 

Although Brief Relief’s innovative, sanitary products are great in an emergency, they aren’t just for worst-case scenarios. They’re easy to transport and clean, so you can bring them with you to remote job sites, campsites, or any other situation where you need to go while on the go. If you’re ready to invest in your comfort and peace of mind, explore our full product line.

For as long as people have been going to the bathroom, they’ve been having bathroom emergencies. Whether someone just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they get stranded somewhere without access to facilities, there are painfully memorable times where they just couldn’t hold it. 

When nature calls, there are only so many times you can hit “decline” before you absolutely need to go. If you can’t find a restroom, this means relieving yourself in a less-than-ideal location or missing out on big moments to avoid an embarrassing accident. 

If you’ve had a close call on your way to the bathroom, you’re definitely not alone! Here are some cautionary tales of people in potty peril who could’ve used some Brief Relief in their lives.


In the Work Truck

Sometimes, the solution to your bathroom woes only causes more problems. One Reddit user recounts their experience of sudden digestive danger while doing maintenance on a client’s ice machine. Thinking quickly, he ran to his work truck, threw a trash bag in a bucket, and released the floodgates. Not wanting to stink up his van permanently, he tied up the bag and left the doors open before returning to the job. 

Crisis averted, right? He thought so too, until he saw the client’s dog frolicking in the yard, the sack of poo clenched in his jaws. Thankfully, the pup dropped the bag before retreating to the client’s home, but not without scaring the literal crap out of that poor maintenance tech. Talk about a workplace hazard!


At a Remote Work Site

In response to the above story, another user in the HVAC industry recounts rushing through a job because he was so distracted by the storm brewing in his bowels. Of course, the job was in the middle of nowhere with no public restroom or emergency toilet in sight. 

After hurriedly installing a replacement part and seeing no improvement, he called up the previous technician to gather more details about the repair. And what did he learn? That tech had also sped through the job, barely paying attention because he needed to go to the bathroom badly. Legend says that HVAC professionals are still frantically trying to complete that repair (with a turtle pokin’ out) to this very day.


Thousands of Feet in the Air

Not even the toughest among us are immune to the call of nature. This paratrooper shared his story of being cursed with a full bladder during a jump. Usually, keeping yourself hydrated is a smart move to stay cool in the searing sun, especially when you’re sweltering under tons of gear for hours on end. Unfortunately for this soldier, all that water went right through him just as he was about to leap from a plane. 

Try as he might to hold it in, the shock of his parachute opening also unleashed his bladder. Despite the distraction of bursting with urine mid-air, he made it to the ground safely, albeit damp. While recounting his tale, he mentions that if he had known he wouldn’t make it to a bathroom, he would have just peed his pants earlier. Not only would that have saved him some serious discomfort, but he could have focused a bit more on sticking his landing.


Live on Stage

Everybody poops, even the rich and famous. Lil Nas X was a public reminder of this at a concert in Atlanta, when his brief costume change turned into an impromptu bathroom break. Fans shared a video of his remote announcement — live from the backstage restroom — that he needed a couple of extra minutes before returning to the performance. His fans clearly didn’t mind as they responded with a wave of cheers, clearly relating to his blunt, honest admission.

Lil Nas X most likely had comfortable facilities backstage, but that’s not always the case at performance venues. Any festival-goer is all too familiar with the trying to avoid thee smelly, overflowing Porta Potties. It’s no wonder that both fans and musicians may be tempted to hold it until it’s too late.


Take the Urgency Out of Your Emergency With a Portable Solution

Having a clean, private place to go can make or break those moments when you suddenly feel the urge. At Brief Relief, we specialize in solutions that are easy to take with you and even easier to maintain. Our portable commodes, privacy shelters, and durable waste bags combine to create a discreet solution for job sites and events. 

Anyone can be the victim of a bathroom emergency, but this problem is more exasperating for people who have a digestive condition, such as the estimated 10% to 15% of Americans who live with IBS. Having  access to a portable commode can help everyone handle their business with dignity.

Because Brief Relief bags contain polymers and enzymes that neutralize waste into an odorless gel, they’re durable enough for even the most rugged conditions. Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, you can relax knowing that the next time you really have to go, you’ll have a safe, subtle, and comfortable way to take care of business.

For all the progress society has made over the years regarding gender equality in the workforce, some industries remain male-dominated. Construction, telecom, utilities, and even aviation (pretty much, the industries we work with) have a much higher percentage of men than women in the workforce, and it’s definitely harder for women to work in places where they’re surrounded by bros. 

To put it in perspective, in construction, less than 25% of employees are female. Female pilots clock in at just under 30%, 17% of utility employees are women, and in telecom, women make up just 8%!

For most employers, this is an unfortunate fact that is certainly not by design. One organization working to support and empower women in the industries we work with is the WICT network. (Women can search for a local chapter near them.) But how can employers help female employees succeed and encourage other women to enter the male-dominated industries? Let’s first look at what issues women face in these fields. 


Obstacles for Women in Male-Dominated Jobs

One of the first steps toward helping your female employees find success is to identify the various barriers they encounter. Then, you can help knock them down! These are just some of the obstacles women deal with.


Unfair Stereotyping 


Women are often pigeonholed into a handful of accepted archetypes based on societal expectations. If they enforce high standards, they’re considered “mean,” but if they’re lenient and easygoing, then they “don’t have what it takes to be a leader.” 


This unfair double standard makes it hard for female employees to thrive, let alone advance in the workplace.


Lack of Opportunities


Due in part to the stereotyping mentioned above, there can be a distinct lack of opportunity for female employees in male-dominated fields. 


Male decision-makers may have a (misdirected) lack of confidence in female candidates. Worse yet, women may have a lack of confidence in themselves to go after the roles they want.


Physical Requirements


While in most cases female employees can do anything their male counterparts can do, some jobs have physical requirements and limitations. Whether it’s a mobility requirement or a weightlifting minimum, there are some circumstances that put women at a disadvantage. We see this often in industries like construction, firefighting, and utilities where males dominate positions as linemen, er, lineworkers. Even the term has historically been male, which is why we’re trying our best to use “lineworker” today.


The Dearth of Restroom Facilities


One thing these industries all have in common is a certain amount of field or on-location work, often far from any type of bathroom facility. 


It’s usually easy for male employees to get creative when they have to go on the job, but it’s much more difficult for women and requires more break time. Trying to compete with their male coworkers, they often end up putting their health at risk by not using the restroom as often as they should.


How can you help women find success in male-dominated trades?

Here are a few simple ways to support your female workforce and focus on equity and inclusion:


Set an Example


An inclusive workplace culture starts at the top. Be sure to examine your company’s culture and practices and make corrections wherever you see gender bias interfering with your employees’ success.


Educating management along with modeling the behavior you expect in the workplace is the best way to ensure your employees get on board.


Create Opportunities


It’s crucial to be proactive in offering opportunities to women. By giving your female employees the chance to test their existing skill levels, they’re able to build confidence in their abilities. 


Not to mention, when the time comes to promote someone, those chances to excel make it easier to spot promising employees who could have previously slipped through the cracks.


Be Upfront about Any Physical Requirements


Make sure to clearly list any physical requirements necessary for a position in the job listing so you don’t waste potential applicants’ time. 


But don’t stop there! If presented with a promising applicant that may not meet all the requirements, think outside the box for any other positions they may be suitable for in lieu of a “thanks, but no thanks” response.


Provide Safe, Sanitary Restroom Solutions


At Brief Relief, we offer an extensive line of safe, sanitary, portable bathroom solutions that enable employees to do their business anywhere with dignity.  

When on a site with only a truck for privacy, the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag is a compact, individually packaged bag for liquid waste that can be used by both men and women. It ensures everyone has a comfortable, sanitary way to go. It contains a unique blend of enzymes and polymers that convert urine into a deodorized gel, and it once it’s sealed, it can be thrown into any typical trash can. 

If you’re looking for a complete solution for your crew, we recommend The Brief Relief Lavatory System. It includes:

  • One Portable Briefcase Commode. This has all the comfort, height, and ease of a standard toilet with a full-size flexible seat.
  • One Privacy Shelter. It’s portable, roomy, and easily deployed. The shelter provides privacy whenever and wherever you need it.
  • Ten Brief Relief Daily Restroom Kits. Each kit comes complete with a secure, puncture-resistant waste bag, toilet paper, and a sanitizing wipe.


At Brief Relief, we lead the industry in safe, convenient products that manage waste in a dignified, reliable, and environmentally-friendly way.

To learn more about how Brief Relief waste bags help both men and women perform their jobs better, check out our full product line here.


Brave police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line daily while protecting and serving. Having to think of so many important factors when it comes to saving lives, no one would ever imagine that one of life’s basic necessities would also have to factor into their thinking: where and how to use the restroom. 

These bold men and women are never certain what situations they may encounter on the job, and they don’t always have access to regular bathroom facilities.

Whether their patrol routes are lacking in public restrooms or they’re battling blazes far away from basic necessities like electricity and running toilets, dedicated public servants have a lot to contend with when it comes time for a bathroom break, which makes their jobs harder.

Men and women in blue chatted back and forth online in a thread on, saying:

“Like a dog, I have left my mark all over town to include people’s backyards (residential alarm calls).” 

“Pick a dark corner in my county or the side of a redwood tree hidden from traffic and I’ve probably ****ed there. One thing I learned was to keep track of construction sites and farms that kept unlocked porta-potties on site.”

“For us city cops, it’s not out of the ordinary to go call to call from the start of shift to the end.”

“You do what you have to do.”

… Yeeeea. We could imagine there are more “stories” there, but we won’t ask. Instead, let’s look at the inconveniences putting our first responders in these positions in the first place.


The Issues around First Responders and Bathroom Breaks

For police officers, needing to find a bathroom while on patrol is one of the most annoying, uncomfortable, and unhealthy drawbacks of the job. It’s a bigger problem than you would think. 

  • There are health concerns at hand. Holding it in for the sake of public safety isn’t safe (or fair) for the officer.
  • A police officer’s safety, and that of the people they serve, depends on their ability to concentrate and eliminate needless distractions.


And there are many other considerations:

No Public Restrooms Nearby

During the day, officers and fire crew may have restaurants or building lobbies they know they can count on, and many officers did mention that they usually make stops at public places to use the restroom or even stop at home if it’s on their patrol route. But what if they’re working overnight? What if their beat is more suburban or rural, with no public restrooms for miles?

As for firefighters, so many wildfires happen in remote areas, there’s a solid chance there won’t even be a bathroom to be found for miles around. Plus, even if there was a bathroom available somewhere, the valuable time needed to find and use a bathroom could cost lives. However, bodily functions aren’t known to run our schedules or demands.


They’re Put in a Position to Break the Law

Some first responders may be inspired to find the nearest alley or tree when a restroom isn’t close by, but it’s actually illegal to urinate in public. It would be unacceptable for an officer to get caught breaking the very law they’re meant to enforce, but they’re many times put in positions where they have no choice.


Smile—You’re on Camera!

With doorbell cameras, red light cameras, and surveillance cameras everywhere, not to mention police bodycams, managing to find a private spot somewhere in public is nearly impossible today. A couple officers acknowledged how this is now playing into their restroom woes — some have changed their habits and others don’t seem to care.

“There are way to many cameras out there now……………………….but back in the day.” 

“But speaking of cameras, about the time they release body cams the number of ****s I take a day is going to increase dramatically. And John Q. Citizen is going to get a front row seat.”


Today, if first responders don’t watch their surroundings or find a good place to hide, what might start as an innocent effort to relieve oneself on the job could end in a P.R. nightmare if a camera catches the officer and someone posts it online. 


Females Are Especially Vulnerable

For female officers and fire crew, picking a tree isn’t really an option! These officers have the additional hardship of having to remove their utility belts (gun holster and all) in order to use the restroom, putting them in a particularly difficult situation. Doing this means their weapon isn’t completely in their control, and they also have to find a secure (and sanitary) place to put it. 

One officer said, “As a girl, you have to take off a few layers of gear most of the time. You may be on the side of the road using your doors to shield yourself and thankful that you have napkins, water, and cleaner in your cruiser while cursing all the guys and how easy it is for them.”


So, What’s the Solution to the Potty Probem for Police and Firefighters?

We’re so glad you asked! Some first responder agencies are turning to portable bathroom solutions like Brief Relief to protect their workers and their reputations.

If you served in the military you may remember WAG Bag®s. The sister brand of Brief Relief, Cleanwaste, invented the original WAG Bag®. The WAG Bag® (Waste Alleviation and Gelling Bag) is a disposable human waste bag. And yup, that means exactly what you think it does. It’s a bag for catching and disposing of human waste.

When out on patrol with only a car for privacy, the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag is a compact, individually packaged bag for liquid waste that can be used by both men and women. It ensures everyone has a comfortable, sanitary way to go. It contains a unique blend of enzymes and polymers that convert urine into a deodorized gel, just like the WAG Bag®, and each bag can hold up to 20 ounces of urine. 

If you’re looking for a complete solution, we recommend The Brief Relief Lavatory System. It includes:

  • One Commode Portable Toilet. This has all the comfort, height, and ease of a standard toilet with a full-size flexible seat.
  • One Privacy Shelter. It’s portable, roomy, and easily deployed. The shelter provides privacy whenever and wherever you need it.
  • Ten Brief Relief Daily Restroom Kits. Each kit comes complete with a secure, puncture-resistant WAG Bag, toilet paper, and a sanitizing wipe.

With this gear, police officers and firefighters have everything they need on hand to find a clean, private, and legal way to find relief anywhere in the field. 

To learn more about how Brief Relief waste bags help first responders, the military, and

government agencies perform their jobs better, check out our full product line here.


It’s no secret that we depend on the ease of at-home delivery services, especially since COVID darkened our doors. These days, we rely on package delivery services more than ever

Drivers already face the almost impossible challenge of quickly delivering every single package on their trucks during a shift, but you may not realize how incredibly unsafe being a delivery driver can be!

Drivers have to contend with threats ranging from unsecured dogs to actual gun violence, all while just trying to do their job and stay on schedule. So what are some of the ways your company can help keep drivers safe en route?


Hazards Faced by Delivery Drivers

For one whose entire job takes place in a moving vehicle, there is the obvious risk of auto accidents. Here are some ways you can help protect your drivers on the road.

  • Teach employees defensive driving. This could be as simple as implementing a safety handbook or as involved as offering your delivery drivers defensive driving courses as part of their training. You can even purchase online courses from The National Safety Council.
  • Invest in route-optimization software. From planning more efficient routes to step-by-step directions, these types of programs keep drivers focused on the road.
  • Properly maintain your delivery vehicles. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 percent of crashes can be attributed to mechanical issues. The most common culprits are tires, brakes, steering, transmission, suspension, and engine issues. 
  • Adopt company policies that prioritize safety. Establishing actions that are unacceptable while driving such as speeding, texting, and working under the influence.
  • Don’t penalize drivers who fall behind schedule due to circumstances they can’t control. This will cut down on speeding or reckless driving when a driver is attempting to make up lost time, which increases the risk of accidents. 


The Risk of Violence

The threat of violence against delivery drivers is up. In fact, last spring, almost 2,000 drivers signed a petition calling for stricter safety measures after several drivers were actually shot at!

While you as an employer can do your best to protect on-the-job drivers by installing cameras and panic buttons in delivery vehicles, much of what happens during a shift is largely out of your hands. 

Here are some tips to share with your drivers: 

  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Pay attention while you’re traveling between stops in case you’re being followed by other vehicles.
  • Watch where you park. Be sure to park in safe, well-lit areas at night. You can also use your headlights to light the path to the door. 
  • Know where you’re going. Familiarize yourself with the route. Idling when you’re lost or stopping for directions puts you at risk of carjacking.
  • Lock up when you can. If you’re going to be away from your truck for more than a few seconds, lock the vehicle and carry the keys.
  • Don’t stop if it seems unsafe. While you can’t predict when nature will call, you should never take a bathroom break in an area that doesn’t seem safe. Carrying sanitary, portable toilet solutions like the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag will allow you to take necessary bathroom breaks without leaving the safety of your vehicle. It holds up to 20 oz of liquid and is ideal for all drivers, no matter their gender.


Workplace safety is of the utmost importance, and the world of package delivery services is certainly no exception. And what better way to increase productivity than to have a convenient, fast solution that cuts down on the possibility of lost time, product, fuel, or the drivers’ risk of an incident?

At Brief Relief, we truly care about the safety of delivery drivers. We’re also an industry leader in the innovation of safe, convenient products that allow users to manage waste in a dignified, reliable, and environmentally-friendly way

To learn more about how Brief Relief’s waste bags are providing safer, more sanitary solutions for all, check out our full product line.


It’s a simple fact that people love the convenience of at-home delivery services, especially since the dawn of the pandemic. These days, we’re relying more and more on delivery services

Drivers already face enormous challenges when it comes to delivering every single package on their trucks during their shifts. Still, most people probably aren’t aware of the most annoying, uncomfortable, and unhealthy challenge of all: needing to find a bathroom while out on their route.


Why Not Just Stop Along the Delivery Route?

Everyone knows that holding it in isn’t just annoying, it’s also incredibly unhealthy! You may be thinking, “Why don’t drivers just stop when they need to use the restroom?” Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

It’s common for delivery drivers to work long, grueling shifts since most delivery service providers don’t allow drivers to return with any undelivered packages from their routes. Drivers have to hustle to unload all of their deliveries during a single shift

Furthermore, most drivers are tracked and timed! Any time a driver’s stop clocks in at more than a few minutes, their employer gets a notification, leading to drivers being chastised and, in some extreme cases, sent home for “wasting time” by going to the bathroom.


Where Does One Go?

So where does that leave drivers when nature calls? While they may catch a lucky break with a delivery to a convenient office lobby or coffee shop, more often than not, drivers are forced to make due with makeshift toilet solutions while on the go

We’ve heard of all kinds of workarounds — plastic bottles, cleaning wipe containers, and even small trash cans in a pinch. These options are simply irritating and unsanitary, especially for female drivers!


WAG Bag®s Are the Solution

Never fear, WAG (short for “waste alleviation and gelling”) Bag®s are the safest, most reliable solution for delivery drivers.


WAG Bag®s are a convenient, portable, and sanitary solution when you need to go on the go. Each bag is filled with a powder that gels and solidifies waste while neutralizing bacteria and odor.

  • These double-lined, zipper-sealed bags are made of durable, puncture-resistant materials.
  • The outer lining has a secure zip-top that creates an airtight seal when closed.
  • When you’re finished, you can simply toss them into any trash can


And WAG Bag®s are for everyone! Included in Brief Relief’s huge range of sanitary, portable toilet solutions is the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag. This mighty bag holds up to 20 oz of liquid and is ideal for all drivers, whatever their gender.


The WAG Bag® has truly been an overlooked need by many organizations, and it’s one that can help drivers complete their routes without risking their health and comfort.

Trust us, our sister company, Cleanwaste, is the creator of the original WAG Bag®, and years of research went into forming the safety, reliability, and durability of our bags. Brief Relief doesn’t just have a near-perfect satisfaction rate. We’re an industry leader in the innovation of safe, convenient products that allow users to manage waste in a dignified, reliable, and environmentally-friendly way … and all our bags are made in the USA

To learn more about how Brief Relief’s waste bags are providing safer, more sanitary solutions for all, check out our full product line.


When it comes to employee safety and sanitation across the construction, utility, and mining industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prides itself in making sure employers walk a straight line. So, don’t just guess at OSHA’s regulations for restrooms (hefty fine, anyone?). Instead, let us share them with you. We’ll even provide you with an easy solution at the end to make sure you’re OSHA compliant.


What You Need For Restrooms to Be OSHA Compliant

To stay compliant, make sure you check all the following boxes:

Minimum Number of Facilities

Toilets have to be provided for employees according to the following numbers:


Number of employees Minimum number of facilities (separate for each sex)
Less than 20 1
Over 20 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per 40 workers
Over 200 1 toilet seat and 1 urinal per 50 workers


And if these numbers weren’t vague enough, OSHA goes on to say that “employers must provide an adequate number of restrooms for the size of the workforce to prevent long lines.” 


As you’re very well aware, restroom needs depend on a variety of factors, including fluid intake, medical conditions, medications, air temperature, and more.


For example, during cooler months, you could get away with the minimum number of facilities at the job site. But during warmer months, you may need to double that number as your employees will likely consume more liquids to stay hydrated. (Speaking of which, if you’re looking for the best way to protect outdoor workers in extreme heat, look no further.)


And when it comes to mine safety, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requires surface coal mine operators to provide at least one approved sanitary toilet at a location that’s convenient to each surface work site. They also require one additional approved sanitary toilet for each 10 miners working at a location. 


Good Sanitation Standards 

OSHA also requires job site restrooms to be in sanitary condition. Employers should provide:


  • Hot and cold running water (or lukewarm water)
  • A cleansing agent, like hand soap 
  • Warm air blowers or individual hand towels (e.g., paper or cloth) 
  • Trash cans for disposal of hand towels and feminine hygiene products


And, of course, we need to mention cleanliness, as in how often the portable restrooms are cleaned.


While there are no set rules, OSHA requires employers to “regularly” evaluate toilet conditions and set routine servicing schedules for cleaning, waste removal, and supply replenishment. (The servicing scheduling should account for the number of on-site toilets, workers, and shifts.) 


Also, keep in mind that these are the minimum restroom requirements set forth by OSHA. Be a decent human. Go above and beyond to make sure your workers’ restroom experience is as enjoyable as possible. 


Immediately Available Restrooms

Also according to OSHA, employers with mobile workers must provide readily available transportation that provides prompt access (i.e., less than 10 minutes) to restrooms if they are not available at the work location.


Again with the ambiguity, we know.


But as an employer, this restroom requirement actually does benefit you as well because it cuts down on what we like to call “rolling costs.” 


Think about it: Do your employees have to use a company vehicle to travel to a bathroom from the job site or construction site? How much gas is used every trip? How many extra miles is that putting on the vehicle, adding to maintenance costs? 


When you consider all those related expenses, your employees’ hourly cost can easily quadruple, if not more.


Provided with Reasonable Restrictions

OSHA also requires that you avoid imposing “unreasonable restrictions” on restroom use, such as those that cause extended delays or limit restroom use—i.e., locking the doors and requiring the employees to ask and sign out a key.


Important note: This still means you as an employer need reasonable restrictions on access to toilet facilities. Whether considered reasonable or not will be up to the discretion of OSHA’s compliance officer if a citation should ever be issued. 


OSHA evaluates restrictions on a case-by-case basis, giving careful consideration to the nature of the restriction (i.e., how long workers have to delay restroom breaks) and employers’ explanations. 


[Psst—If you feel like nerding out over the exact implications of this requirement, here’s OSHA’s reference number: §1910.141(c)(1)(i). You’re welcome.]


How to Meet All Restroom Requirements for OSHA Compliance

We’d be doing you an injustice not mentioning Brief Relief’s line of products here. (Shameless plug to follow.)


Consider the Brief Relief Lavatory System to be your OSHA-compliant, full-service bathroom solution for mobile crew members. It comes with a privacy shelter, commode, full-sized seat, and supply of single-use Disposa-John waste bags. 


To use it, an employee simply sets up the privacy shelter, places the commode inside, and lines it with a Disposa-John waste bag. When they do their doody, the chemical compounds inside the waste bag convert the liquid and solid wastes into an odorless gel. When finished, the employee simply removes the waste bag and seals it closed. 




And because Brief Relief waste bags are non-toxic and landfill-safe, they can be thrown away in any regular trash can. 


Storage is effortless as well. Workers can set up the Brief Relief Lavatory System and fold it away in a carry case in a matter of minutes.


No more bacteria-infested, smelly porta-potties. No more hours of wasted time and money trying to get to and from the restroom sites. No more privacy issues for team members. We created a solution that successfully tackles OSHA’s restroom requirements and common portable toilet problems. 


To browse the complete line of Brief Relief products for your workers, visit our shop.

From tending to a facility that’s lost power from a blown transformer to repairing an electrical malfunction in a residential home, going to the bathroom should be the least of an electrician’s worries. Yet it’s one that can cause the most hubbub.


Which is why the best tools for electricians have nothing to do with the job itself, but everything to do with their bodily needs.


The Benefits of Having a Portable Bathroom Solution in Electricians’ Tool Kits


Storing a privacy tent, portable commode, and waste bags in your electricians’ service vehicle benefits them as much as it does you.


They Cut the Cost of Bathroom Breaks

When electricians need to leave a job to find a bathroom, their days become longer. And not only that, but when you add up all the time lost to bathroom breaks that require them to leave the job site in search of a running toilet, you realize how many service call opportunities may have been missed. 


To paint the picture a bit more clearly, let’s break the potty numbers down.


Imagine an electrician makes a 20-minute bathroom run three times a day. That’s an hour per day, or five hours per week, lost to restroom breaks. And if the average hourly wage of an electrician is $25 per hour, you’re losing approximately $6,250 a year due to toilet visits (assuming they work 50 weeks a year).


And that’s just the cost associated with wages.


You also need to consider “rolling costs.” Think: Do they ever have to travel to a bathroom? How much gas is used for every trip? How many extra miles is that putting on the company vehicle, adding to maintenance costs? 


(For the complete panorama on cost breakdown, check out our savings calculator.)


They’re Sanitary

Norovirus, hepatitis A, and salmonella are just a few viruses and bacteria found in public restrooms—on toilets and other surfaces. (Gross!)


We understand that public restroom cleanliness isn’t always top-of-mind, especially when the need to go feels like life or death. But if you were able to provide a portable restroom solution that’s not festering with illness-causing pathogens, wouldn’t you? 


Introducing: Brief Relief products.


Brief Relief offers a line of portable bathroom products fit for any off-site technician or electrician work, including commodes, liquid and solid waste bags, and privacy shelters.


The portable waste bags are OSHA-compliant, odor-free, puncture-resistant, and spill-proof. Once properly sealed, the enzymes inside the bags neutralize the waste by breaking it down into simple salts and water. 


They’re also landfill safe, meaning you can throw them away in any regular trash bin. Plus, each bag comes with toilet paper and antimicrobial wipes.


They’re Lightweight and Easy to Set Up

All of Brief Relief’s personal-lavatory systems are lightweight and set up within seconds.


For example, the Briefcase Commode weighs only seven pounds and transforms from a convenient carrying case to a fully functional portable bathroom in a few seconds.


Here’s how:


1. Pull out each leg until it snaps into place.

2. Press thumb tabs to remove the lid.

3. Unfold the waste bag.

4. Set the waste bag inside the commode.

5. Do your business as usual. (The seat holds the waste bag in place. Alternatively, the waste bag can cover the seat to keep the seat clean.)

6. After use, lift the bag with the attached draw straps. Holding the straps together, slide the liner closed and tie straps. Tuck the liner inside the foil bag and firmly seal the zip-top.

7. Throw away the used bag in any trash. (Unlike most chemical toilets and Porta Potties, Brief Relief’s solid waste disposal bags are landfill safe.)

They’re Private and Can Be Used Year-Round 

We get it. Using the client’s bathroom isn’t the most ideal, but when nature calls, nature calls. And public restrooms aren’t always nearby.


With commodes and their accompanying privacy shelters, there will always be a bathroom within each.


Like the commodes, the privacy shelters set up and break down easily, coming with a carry case that makes storing it in the service vehicle easy.


Full sun out? Raining cats and dogs? No problem! Brief Relief’s gray privacy shelters have opaque gray fabric that offers full privacy whenever the other kind of nature calls, no matter the weather.


The Portable Bathroom Solution for Electricians’ Tool Kits Is Here


Whether you’re looking to cut the cost of bathroom breaks, keep things more sanitary, or offer electricians a more private bathroom solution, Brief Relief has just what you need. Check out the full line of products for your team today. 


Fire Fighters walking through a forest fire

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When combating wildfires, firefighters routeinly face a number of dangers—extreme temperatures, smoke inhalation, and snake or insect bites, just to name a few. While wildfire firefighters undergo rigorous training to mentally and physically overcome these challenges and survive in the most primitive living conditions, they still need a bathroom solution that is convenient, sanitary, and—most importantly—portable[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

But First, How Do Firefighters Normally Go to the Bathroom?

Firefighters are generally encouraged to go to the bathroom whenever they have the chance, so they can hold it when they’re on call. Many also find themselves monitoring their food and beverage intake throughout the day to minimize the possibility of needing to relieve themselves at inconvenient moments. 


When nature calls en route to an emergency or when they’re already on the scene, a firefighter is left with few options other than waiting until an opportunity presents itself. This might mean slipping into a nearby business, ducking behind a tree—or even taking advantage of the facilities in an actual burning building (true story).   


(And if you wonder whether wearing adult diapers is an option, forget about it. It’s impractical to wear them on a daily basis, and more than a few firefighters just choose to go in their turnout gear when all other options are exhausted.)


The men and women bravely fighting wildfires often face even greater challenges when it comes to finding bathroom facilities.  


It’s not uncommon for wildland firefighters to work 16 hours straight with just an occasional five-minute reprieve to eat throughout the day. For these professions, potty breaks are very few and far between. 


To say firefighting is a job that can deprive its workers of even the most basic bathroom access is an understatement.


Why Portable Bathrooms Are the Way to Go for Wildland Firefighters 

Brief Relief offers a variety of sanitary portable bathroom solutions that should be a part of every firefighter’s supplies. Here’s why: 


Brief Relief Bathroom Products Work for All Types of Waste

The Disposa-John Portable Restroom is Brief Relief’s waste bag solution for both liquid and solid wastes. It boasts a thick, 3-layer barrier “bag-in-bag” design that comes with multiple closures to seal in waste and odor. It contains the same patented materials as the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag, which breaks down wastes and converts them into a deodorized gel. 


For extra sanitation, the Disposa-John Portable Restroom comes with an antimicrobial wipe and toilet paper. You simply throw any used toilet paper, wipes, and even feminine hygiene products straight into the bag. Seal it up, and store it away until you reach a trash receptacle.


Talk about handy.


They’re Lightweight and Portable

Depending on how far wildland firefighters need to walk or how much they have to accomplish that day, their fireline pack can weigh up to 40 pounds, if not more. 


The beauty of Brief Relief’s Liquid Waste Bags and Disposa-John Portable Restrooms is that each bag weighs mere ounces. Plus, they fold flat for easy storage. This means firefighters can easily slip them into their pack, without worrying about extra weight. (Trust us when we say every extra pound matters!) 


Brief Relief also has a line of portable, lightweight commode systems that can be set up in all terrains, perfect for storage in vehicles for use pre-departure and upon return:


  • The Briefcase Commode can be set up in seconds and is the same height and size as a standard toilet. It supports up to 500 pounds.
  • Porta-Quick Utility Pack is also the standard height of a toilet seat and comes with a set of waste bags. It supports up to 300 pounds.


They’re Female Firefighter-Friendly

Female firefighters have even fewer options to relieve themselves than their male counterparts. (We get it—discreetly emptying your bladder into a Gatorade bottle off somewhere in the woods isn’t quite as simple.) 


Brief Relief portable bathroom products make the “going” experience much more inclusive.


We designed the Brief Relief Disposable Urinal Bags with all genders in mind. The splash-proof funnel opening directs liquid to the bottom of the pouch, where it’s instantly converted into a deodorizer gel. And thanks to its sturdy design, the bags are puncture-proof and odor-safe. (The last thing you need to worry about while fighting fires is cleaning up a smelly mess in your pack at the end of the day.) 


What more could you ask for?


Check out Brief Relief’s sanitary portable bathroom products, and say yes to better.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

To learn more about how Brief Relief improves work quality for unique jobs, please check out our line of products.


How Truck Fleets Can Reduce Fuel Costs

As of summer 2022, the average cost nationwide for a gallon of diesel fuel is $5.28—$2 higher than this time last year. In some states, like California, the price hike is even higher, with diesel prices reaching an average of $6.40 a gallon. 

For owner-operators and others who foot the bill, this equates to $600 more spent every time a driver fills up, assuming 300-gallon fuel tanks. (We’ll let you do the math and multiply that by the number of trucks in your fleet…)

We understand that cutting costs is top priority these days. Here’s a roundup of practical ways fleets can reduce fuel costs and combat rising fuel prices.


Optimize Routes

Improving your drivers’ routes can reduce time spent in traffic, stops at stoplights, and miles driven—all of which conserve fuel. 

One of the best (and perhaps obvious) ways to optimize routes is by using a GPS vehicle tracking solution. They’ve proven to help fleets reduce fuel costs by up to 25% and total miles driven by up to 10%.

Plus, depending on the tracking system, some allow you to track how much fuel each truck uses in gallons or dollars, as well as coach drivers or recommend engine tune-ups. 


Reduce Out-of-the-Way Stops

When nature calls, it doesn’t check for optimal stopping points first. Depending on your truck drivers’ routes, finding a convenient place for bathroom breaks can be a challenge. 

Instead of driving miles out of the way or sitting uncomfortably until the next on-route stop, drivers can find comfortable, convenient relief by using the Brief Relief portable Briefcase Commode. It’s compact, easy to store, and quick to set up. 

Paired with the Brief Relief Privacy Shelter, the Briefcase Commode allows truck drivers to “take care of business,” no matter where your company’s business may take them. 


Keep an Eye on Tire Pressure

When not properly inflated, tires flex more under load. This produces heat and increases rolling resistance. (We didn’t say it—the US Environmental Protection Agency did!) Also according to the EPA, for every 10 pounds per square inch (PSI) below the recommended air pressure level, underinflated tires reduce truck fuel economy up to 1%.  

In layman’s terms: your fleets are wasting fuel with underinflated tires.

The solution? Install tire maintenance management systems to ensure drivers and maintenance personnel check tire pressure frequently. (Doing this electronically and automating it makes things even easier). 


Watch the A/C 

In addition to record gas prices, record heat is in the books for this summer. That means increased A/C usage.

While fuel consumption in semi trucks using A/C hasn’t been widely studied, it’s known that in cars, A/C can increase fuel consumption up to 20% due to the extra load on the engine.

Rolling the windows down and using portable fans can only help so much. A cooling towel like Heat Relief gives drivers an additional way to beat the heat. They’re lightweight, versatile, and use the latest hyper-evaporative technology that allows wearers to find reprieve from hot weather while on the go. 


Cut Down on Idling

Leaving a truck idling leads to a whole slew of problems.

For starters, when a truck idles, it burns through a gallon of fuel an hour—all while covering no distance. This decreases overall fuel economy by 1%. Translation: Profit loss.

Idling also accelerates engine wear and tear (as seen by warranties applying to “hours operated” instead of “miles traveled.”) Translation: Unnecessary maintenance costs.

And to put the cherry on top, rest-period idling results in emission of about 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 55,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 400 tons of particulate matter annually. And that’s just in the United States alone. Translation: Environmental costs. 

While there’s no standard solution to reduce truck idling, here are a couple that could work for you.

Introduce a company-wide policy change, using a fleet management system that logs idle time and notifies drivers of when they’re reaching the recommended limit.

Or install Automatic Engine Start/Stop (AESS) systems on your fleet. As the name suggests, they can automatically stop a truck’s engine if it’s left unattended for a certain period of time.


The Ultimate Key to Reducing Fuel Costs? Be Mindful and Proactive

Unfortunately, you can’t stop rising fuel prices, nor can you abruptly halt trucking operations. But you can intentionally decide which measures to take to save on fuel this summer—and going forward.

We covered just a handful of ways to reduce fuel costs. But what’s the best way? Whatever works for your drivers and fleets and you can stay accountable to. (After all, there’s no use installing the latest technology, only for it to collect “dust” on the dashboard, going largely unnoticed after the novelty wears off…)

Start with one method. When your drivers have mastered it, move onto the next. 

Baby steps and consistency will get you to where you want to be: less overhead, more profits. 

At Brief Relief, we’re in the business of offering comfort and relief for all mobile workers—whether that’s providing privacy through our travel lavatory systems or a respite from heat through our cooling towels. Contact us today to learn more about our suite of products and how we can serve your team. 

How Utilities Companies Can Avoid PR Disasters

Public Relations problems arise from actual problems.

That’s right. PR crises often surface when there’s something fundamentally wrong within your business that’s brushed under the rug or ignored. And until that something’s addressed, you’ve got a ticking time bomb on your hands.

Tick, Tick…

But what if we said utilities companies can drastically reduce the number of PR nightmares they have for indecent exposure, workplace accidents, or other mishaps? 

(Yes, workplace mishaps are actually something to worry about. Take the city of Boston, for example. It has suffered numerous fatalities in the past 18 months. And when workplace accidents aren’t handled properly, families dig for answers.)

Luckily, avoiding PR disasters isn’t a pipe dream. It just requires being proactive before sh!t hits the fan. 

Here’s how.


Ensure workplace safety

Electrocutions, falls, environmental stress, and fires are some of the most common workplace risks and hazards in the utility industry

While yes, some incidents are beyond manager control, doing everything you can as a company to ensure workplace safety will lessen your chances of enduring a public relations disaster.

Some measures you can take today are:

  • Properly outfit your workers for the type of work they do, including things like reflective gear
  • Take steps to prevent falls (i.e. proper ladder training, fall protection systems)
  • Pay attention to the weather
  • Put procedures in place to prevent electrocution
  • Encourage employees to report workplace hazards as they see them

And who knows? You could wind up on the list of America’s Safest Companies and win an award, just like Rosendin Electric did last year. 


Create a crisis communication plan

No matter what industry you work in, having a crisis communications plan smoothes out PR disasters before they escalate.

Include the following at a bare minimum: 

  • Explicit instructions for each department’s roles in case of a crisis
  • Contact information for PR spokespeople
  • Customizable response template for press releases
  • Social media action plan 

To address the most important elements, work through these essential steps to create a crisis communications plan.


Monitor social channels in real-time

Having an employee in a branded work vest caught on camera relieving themselves and getting it splayed all over the internet is a major PR concern. And one that’s got substance with the prevalence of phone cameras. 

It seems like every other day someone gets caught breaking indecent exposure laws.

Here is a news article about the Hays County commissioner getting caught on camera urinating in a parking lot in February. Here is another story about an unidentified man urinating on a church in April, and here’s another instance of a Zamboni driver getting sacked for public urination the same month.

In the case of your utility company, what can you do if an employee is filmed answering nature’s call in public?

Act quickly!

Make sure your social team monitors, reviews, and follows activity across your social media channels, including mentions of your brand. To save time, they can even use social listening tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Agorapulse.

While it won’t undo what’s already been done, you can at least staunch the wound a bit.


Better yet, provide easy access to portable bathrooms

Don’t risk your employees getting caught on camera—or worse, blown up on social media. Look for a portable toilet solution that protects your reputation, time, and wallet. 

Look no further than Brief Relief!

The Brief Relief Lavatory System comes with a privacy shelter, commode, full-sized seat, and supply of Disposa-John waste bags. It’s a complete personal bathroom at any worksite.

Set-up is simple and optimized for ultimate privacy.

Once the privacy shelter is set up, all workers have to do is place the commode inside and line it with a Disposa-John waste bag. When they’ve finished their business, they simply toss the bag away in the nearest waste bin. Disposa-Johns are odorless, and compounds within the bag convert liquids to solids (meaning they’re spill-proof, as well). Plus, they’re water-repellant, non-conductive, and fire retardant, meeting CPAI-84 standards. 

No more close calls with indecent exposures. No more sanitation concerns with smelly porta-potties. No more workers holding it in until they can find a place to relieve themselves. (True story.) 

Sound like your cup of tea? To see the complete line of Brief Relief products for your workers, visit our shop.

Looking for a Porta Potty Alternative for Your Remote Teams? The Commode is the Better Way to Go

As an operations manager, you deal with a lot of crap. Reporting to insistent higher-ups, keeping your team productive, resolving conflicts between departments. It’s enough to wipe anyone out. So, we totally get that looking for a Porta Potty alternative for your remote teams may not be high on your list. 

But did you know the restroom choices you make not only affects employee health, but also their morale and your company’s bottom line?  

Choose well, and your team won’t cringe at what’s available for their use when nature calls. Choose poorly, and you could put their health at risk, land some hefty fines for breaking OSHA regulations, and smear your public reputation. Not to mention the amount of extra work and time that goes into coordinating emptying Porta Potties.

Decisions, decisions. 

If Porta Potties and other chemical toilet options are starting to become a real stink for your remote teams, don’t worry. We have just the solution for you. They’re called Brief Relief commodes. 

Here’s why they’re the best way to go! (You’re welcome in advance.)

The 411 on Brief Relief Commodes

In a nutshell, Brief Relief commodes are sturdy, portable, lightweight solid waste disposal solutions. They come in two types:

  • Brief Relief Commode. This commode is made to the height of a standard toilet seat and comes with a gamma lid.

  • Briefcase Commode. This option collapses into a briefcase-sized box that weighs just seven pounds and can be set up in seconds. (When you gotta go, you gotta go!) 

When used with a pop-up privacy tent and Disposa-John portable restroom bags, our commodes are some of the most versatile portable toilet solutions you can buy. (We can’t make that sh!t up. Really, check it out for yourself.)


Why Our Commodes Smoke the Porta Potty

For users, Brief Relief commodes’ attractiveness comes from their size, cleanliness, and easy solid waste disposal. (Plus, they won’t have to hold their nose going in.) 

For operations managers, the benefits are plentiful:

They Can Be Used Anywhere

To maintain OSHA compliance, companies must provide readily available access to restroom services (i.e. employees can reach them in less than 10 minutes). 

While Porta Potties are a viable on-site, portable restroom option, they don’t provide instant bathroom access. (Think about it. The 4-foot by 4-foot rectangular box is only functional when placed on even ground.) 

Brief Relief Commodes? They’re extremely versatile AND play by OSHA’s rules.

They’re light and small enough to transport in a crew’s vehicle, and they’re designed for sturdiness on the most uneven terrain. The Briefcase Commode also transforms from a convenient carrying case to fully functional outdoor restroom in a few seconds.

Don’t believe us? 

Here are its specific set-up instructions:

1. Pull out each leg until it snaps into place.

2. Press thumb tabs to remove the lid.

3. Unfold the foil bag.

4. Set foil bag inside the commode and unfold the waste bag.

5. The seat holds the waste bag in place. Alternatively, the waste bag can cover the seat to keep the seat clean.

6. After use, lift the bag with the attached draw straps. Holding the straps together, slide the liner closed and tie straps. Tuck the liner inside the foil bag and firmly seal the zip-top.

7. Throw away the used foil bag in any trash. (Unlike most chemical toilets and Porta Potties, Brief Relief’s solid waste disposal bags are landfill safe.)

They’re the Most Sanitary Option

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Portable Sanitation Association International updated the septic waste standard to at least one restroom toilet for every eight workers, following CDC and OSHA regulations. 

They also require portable restrooms be spaced to accommodate social distancing and avoid creating lines.


Because a standard Porta Potty is a hotbed of viruses, including norovirus, salmonella, shigellosis, Hepatitis A, seasonal flu, and now, COVID-19. 

But have no fear. Brief Relief is here! 

With Brief Relief, employees will never have to worry about fly-infested Porta Potties on a hot summer day ever again. Our commodes’ single-use waste collection bags and kits are—as the name suggests—single use. One and done. 

They also come with antimicrobial wipes and toilet paper, and the commode is made of durable plastic that can be easily cleaned with disinfectant spray or wipes.

Additionally, our portable, privacy shelters are well ventilated to let airborne microbes out—a.k.a. no more smell!

You’ll Rake in More Cash

Here’s how getting to the bottom of portable restrooms increases your bottom line:

Cut Costs on Bathroom Breaks

Imagine this:

If a telecommunications worker makes 20-minute bathroom runs three times a day, that’s an hour per day, or five hours per week lost to restroom breaks. And if the average wage of a telecommunications technician is $22.95 per hour, you’re losing approximately $5,738 a year due to toilet visits (assuming your employees work 50 weeks a year).

. . . And that’s just costs associated with employee wages.

Also take into account the “rolling costs.” Do employees have to use a company vehicle to travel to a bathroom? How much gas is used for every trip? How many extra miles is that putting on the vehicle, adding to maintenance costs? 

When you consider all those related expenses, the hourly cost can easily jump to an average of $150/hour, or $37,500 a year!

(For the complete panorama on cost breakdown, check out our blog The Real Cost of Employee Bathroom Breaks.)

Cut Costs on Porta Potties

When you rent a Porta Potty, you’re not just paying to have it on company property and for maintenance. You also need to figure in the costs of delivery, placement, and removal. Because of this, Porta Potty rental can cost upwards of $300 per week.

Brief Relief can cut you some slack.

The daily restroom kits that pair with our commodes don’t require maintenance, delivery, placement, or removal. Each user handles their own liquid and solid waste bags, easily disposing of them wherever there’s a trash bin. 

Easy peasy.


The Future is Brief Relief Commodes

Whether you’re tired of maintenance fees, are concerned about your team’s health, or need a more versatile portable restroom solution, Brief Relief commodes are your best option.

Make it your duty to provide your employees a clean, private, and convenient way to go when they need it, where they need it. Plus, they’re sanitary enough to keep OSHA (and PR teams) off your back while padding your bottom line. 

Check out our full line of commode systems to get started today!

Why Disaster Prep Should Involve Putting Waste Bags in Supply Kits and Gear

Without a doubt, there’s an increase in frequency and damage caused by major storms and tornadoes nationwide, such as the tornados that tore through Kentucky and the Midwest in December 2021 as well as the “superstorm” hurricanes. 

Overall, 2021 was hailed as the second costliest year on record for the insurance industry ($145 billion) thanks to losses caused by natural disasters and secondary perils—i.e. smaller storms that bring hail, high winds, tornados, and flooding. 

Read between the lines, and you’ll see where we’re headed: the need for emergency response and disaster supply kits and gear is rising. 

Whether rescuing trapped victims, controlling the crowds, or treating and transporting victims, being a first responder in the wake of a natural disaster could mean long hours on call. At some point, first responders – or those they’re helping – will need to relieve themselves. 

And while including waste bags in disaster prep gear makes the most sense, it’s not an industry standard. (We’d like to make it one.)

Here are five reasons why disaster preparedness should involve putting waste bags in supply kits and gear.


Going to the Restroom is a Basic Need

In times of calamity, food, water, first aid, and shelter are the main concerns. But these aren’t the only basic human needs. A basic human need is also being able to relieve oneself in a timely, sanitary manner.

At some point, nature calls, and every person needs to answer her. 

But can’t people just hold it in for a few hours? You might ask. They could, but that can lead to even more painful complications. 

Holding the urge to pee for extended periods of time can increase the risk of bladder infections and weaken bladder muscles. And holding in poop can cause severe constipation and bloating (… if there weren’t enough problems already!).


Everyone Involved Benefits From Disaster Supply Kits with Waste Bags

Response teams typically hand out blankets and basic disaster supply kits to civilians. They’re also likely to carry the same essentials for themselves, just in case. 

These kits include what’s necessary to cover one’s basic needs—water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. But as we mentioned, going to the bathroom should also be considered a basic need.

By stashing a waste bag in a disaster supply kit or go bag, not only will civilians have their bathroom needs taken care of, but first responders will as well.


Waste Bags Are a Safe, Sanitary Way to Go without Electricity or Running Water

Natural disasters can leave roads inaccessible due to debris and fallen trees. Water utilities can be shut down to avoid contamination of water sources. And even if the disaster doesn’t destroy power lines, electricity will likely be turned off to prevent the risk of igniting leaking gas or causing an explosion. 

If you put the dots together, you’ll see this is the perfect recipe for a clean freak’s worst nightmare.

No electricity means non-flushing toilets and having to find bathrooms in the dark at night. No running water means no ability to wash hands before or after using the bathroom. And the cherry on top—there could be a considerable number of people using the same bathroom.


Waste Bags Are a Quicker Solution 

In the same light (no pun intended), spending too much time searching for a bathroom can impact the speed at which first responders conduct search and rescue operations or deliver medical attention. And assisting those who need to go also takes time away from the life-saving tasks at hand.

By including waste bags in disaster supply kits and first responder gear, everyone impacted will have an optimal solution for their bathroom needs. 


Waste Bags for Disaster Supply Kits Just Make Sense

Considering the drastic turn of events and benefits to having a waste bag handy when disaster strikes, including them in supply kits, gear, and “go bags” just makes sense.

Having said that, not all waste bags are created equal. First responders need one that’s durable enough to withstand rough handling, convenient enough to be used anywhere, and sanitary enough to help people feel clean despite the unfortunate circumstances.

We’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t introduce Brief Relief, a solution that offers first responders and the civilians they assist with a sanitary, convenient, and portable bathroom solution. 

Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bags are puncture-resistant, odor-free, and spill-proof triple barrier bags for human waste. They use a specialized technology that converts waste into a deodorized gel, and they come complete with toilet paper and antimicrobial wipes.

When finished, Brief Relief waste bags can be thrown away in any regular trash bin as they’re made with non-toxic materials and are landfill-safe.

And if there’s nowhere private to go, Brief Relief’s Liquid Waste Bags can be easily paired with commode systems and portable shelters. (These include travel systems, curtains, canopies, and tents.)

For first responders in the aftermath of a natural disaster, where to go to the restroom should be the LAST worry on their minds—or the minds of those they’re helping—at the end of the day.

With waste bags, they can stay focused and save time, which could ultimately mean the difference between life or death.

Why Telecom Workers Need Portable Toilets on the Job

Long hours stuck in traffic. Endless drives to construction sites. Long, laborious hours installing new lines at remote utility service locations. While these typical stomping grounds of a telecom worker are fine and dandy, where’s one to take a whiz when needed? 

Seems a bit dirty to admit, but indoor plumbing is a luxury everyone takes for granted. The tough reality of a telecom worker’s day-to-day life is that toilets are few and far between.

But did you know while an onsite porta-potty is the industry standard, those who pack portable toilets on the job are actually doing their employers (and the environment) a favor? 

Here’s why. 


Portable toilets are environmentally friendly

Yes, our dear Mother Earth. We often forget about her … sadly. But using portable toilets is very easy on her — once you crunch some numbers.

Your standard toilet takes 1.28 gallons per flush. Multiply that by the number of bathroom runs and number of employees, and you get a lot of excess water usage from people simply minding their business.

A wonderful thing about portable toilet systems is that they don’t take vast amounts of water to operate (or any at all!). Using them also ensures proper waste disposal.


Portable toilets save money and time

Have you ever stopped to think about all the time invested in multiple bathroom breaks? And how that poorly invested time is taking a chunk out of your bottom line? (This is especially true if reaching an acceptable toilet requires traveling.) 

As we detailed in our blog The Real Cost of Employee Bathroom Breaks, if a worker had to make a bathroom run three times a day, that’s an hour per day. Per week, that’s five hours lost to restroom breaks. And if the average wage of a telecommunications technician is $22.95 per hour, you’re losing approximately $5,738 a year due to toilet visits (assuming your employees work 50 weeks a year) for just one employee.

When you consider the “rolling costs,” (using a company vehicle to travel to a bathroom, the gas used, the extra mileage that adds to maintenance costs, etc.), the hourly cost can easily jump to an average of $150/hour, or $37,500 a year. Now, multiply that by the number of employees working in remote locations.

(If these numbers make you wince, maybe don’t check Brief Relief’s savings calculator to see how portable toilets can not only boost your bottom line, but also employee productivity, worker morale, and business reputation.)


Portable toilets save your reputation 

We’re sure you’ve heard of indecent exposure and know the risks of revealing one’s genitals under circumstances that are likely to offend others. 

And public urination and defecation citations leave a lasting stain on a company’s image. (Defecation defamation, anyone? Not to mention a hefty fine for your company … Wanna be in charge of explaining that to your board this quarter? Didn’t think so.)

Don’t risk your employees getting caught on camera — or worse, blown up on social media. Look for a portable toilet solution that protects the environment, and your time, money and reputation. 


In short, portable toilets like Brief Relief are a clear answer 

When telecom utility workers are on-location and don’t have access to a running toilet, a privacy tent, portable commode, and waste bags are all they need when the urgency arises. 

Introducing, Brief Relief!

The Brief Relief Lavatory System comes with a privacy shelter, commode, full-sized seat, and supply of Disposa-John waste bags. In other words, it’s a complete personal bathroom at any worksite.

How does it work? We’re glad you asked!

Once the privacy shelter is set up, the worker places the commode inside and lines it with a Disposa-John waste bag. In the act, the compounds inside the waste bag convert liquid and solid wastes into an odorless, deodorized gel. When done, one simply removes the waste bag and seals it closed. 

And because Brief Relief waste bags are non-toxic and landfill-safe, you can throw them away in any regular trash can. Plus, they’re water-repellant, non-conductive, and fire retardant, meeting CPAI-84 standards. 

Storage is effortless as well. Workers can set up the Brief Relief Lavatory System and fold it away in a carry case in a matter of minutes.

No more smelly porta-potties. No more hours of wasted time and money trying to get to and from the restroom sites. No more privacy issues. We’ve packed up all the common portable toilet problems and solved them with one solution: the Brief Relief Lavatory System. (You’re welcome!) 

Sound like your cup of tea? To see the complete line of Brief Relief products for your workers, visit our shop.

The Real Cost Of Employee Bathroom Breaks

Bathroom breaks. The dirty, little secret no one likes to talk about that’s costing companies LOADS of money. 

Make a stink and require employees to punch out to use the restroom, and you could get a hefty fine. Do nothing about bathroom breaks, and you’ll silently rack up thousands upon thousands of dollars in lost time from your employees doing their doo…duty. 

And don’t get us started on the hassle of fulfilling workplace sanitation requirements while making sure you don’t break indecent exposure laws.

It’s enough to give any company leader a headache. (Defecation defamation, anyone?)

To keep your workforce happy and reputation clean, you need to find a solution that solves the cost of bathroom breaks without sacrificing your employee performance and morale. 

We have the perfect solution.

Let us break down the real cost of employee bathroom breaks and show you a way to improve the restroom experience no matter where your workers are.


Breaking Down the Cost of Bathroom Breaks

Imagine you manage the workforce of a communications technology company. Your workers climb hundreds of feet each day to inspect tower exteriors, repair equipment, collect data, and perform routine maintenance. 

The only way up and down the tower is by a vertical metal ladder. And of course, there’s no porta-potty or bathroom in the tower.

When nature calls, workers have to descend to reach a porta-potty (or worse, a tree), take time to do their business, and then climb back up a few hundred feet to resume working.

A free climb can take 10 minutes. The descent can be quicker and take as little as five minutes, and the bathroom break another five to 10 minutes. To make numbers easy, let’s say that’s 20 minutes in total per bathroom break.

If a worker had to make a bathroom run three times a day, that’s an hour per day, or five hours per week lost to restroom breaks. And if the average wage of a telecommunications technician is $22.95 per hour, you’re losing approximately $5,738 a year due to toilet visits (assuming your employees work 50 weeks a year).

… And that’s just in employee wages.

You also have to consider the “rolling costs.” Do employees have to use a company vehicle to travel to a bathroom? How much gas is that using for every trip? How many extra miles is that putting on the vehicle adding to maintenance costs? When you consider all those related expenses, the hourly cost can easily jump to an average of $150/hour, or $37,500 a year!

So, how can you cut costs without soiling your company’s image? First, we’ll tell you how NOT to do it. 


The Risks of Cutting Corners to Save Costs on Bathroom Breaks

There are a couple ways to cut corners on bathroom breaks, but both come with repercussions.   

You Could Violate Workplace Sanitation Requirements 

According to OSHA, employers must “avoid imposing unreasonable restrictions on restroom use.” Taking this into account, encouraging employees to speed things up when relieving themselves is an OSHA violation. 

Limiting bathroom breaks – even if “inadvertently” due to extreme productivity quotas – could also lead to negative public backlash if word got out. (We all saw what happened with Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers.)

Your Employees Could Violate Indecent Exposure Laws

Asking workers to pop a squat 400 feet above the ground or doing so once they reach the worksite (if there’s no porta-potty) is a big no-no. 

Not only are bathroom breaks meant to be private and mirror the same “at home” experience, but revealing one’s genitals under circumstances that are likely to offend others is considered indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is considered a misdemeanor in most states, and fined accordingly. 

And aside from violating the law, you run the risk of someone seeing them pop a squat and complaining about it—or worse, blasting photos on social media. (And let’s not forget on-site security cameras, too.)


The Ultimate Bathroom Break Solution

No matter your employees’ work situation – atop a 30-story steel structure, in the remote wilderness, or stuck in a vehicle for hours on end – you need a bathroom break solution that’s private, safe, and compliant.

That’s why we developed the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag.

Our waste bags are spill-proof, compact, and convenient. They have a triple barrier to lock in waste, making them odorless and puncture-proof, and can be thrown away in a regular garbage bag.

Don’t have somewhere private where employees can use the waste bags? No problem! 

Brief Relief’s Liquid Waste Bags can be easily paired with commode systems and portable shelters for ultimate privacy and comfort. From travel systems and curtains to canopies and private shelters, we can find the perfect solution for your specific bathroom break needs.

Check out Brief Relief’s savings calculator to see how our products can assist your organization in saving time and money while simultaneously increasing employee productivity, improving worker morale, and keeping your reputation clean.

Work Truck Driving on a Remote Dirt Road


When You Are on the Go

Due to long shifts and inaccessibility to consistent or private restrooms, bathroom breaks can become complicated. Unfortunately, Field Service Crews and long-distance drivers face this problem daily. Bin Door Buddy privacy curtain is great for utility and construction workers, first responders, and outdoor professionals who need a private area for an emergency restroom or changing.

Reliving yourself outside may not always be the best option, but sometimes it is the only option if you really have to go. Going outside without any kind of privacy can be embarrassing and attract unwanted attention from other travelers. This is where Bin Door Buddy comes in, providing a private area anytime, anywhere.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”4938″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

A Better Solution

Introducing Bin Door Buddy: a portable, multi-purpose privacy curtain that may be used alongside your truck’s bin door to create an instant private area. This product can be used in conjunction with Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bags, creating a convenient and trouble-free restroom on the go.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Magnets are placed in each corner of the product for easy attachment to the side of your truck. If there are no magnetic surfaces available, Bin Door Buddy comes with grommets in the corners to hang by rope or bungee cord. It can also be folded up and stored in compact spaces, conveniently allowing it to fit in most SUVs, cars, and trucks.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Made from high density opaque nylon, there is no need to worry about being seen by others. Bin Door Buddy is also durable and water resistant. Because of this, it can be easily sanitized and cleaned.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

Why Bin Door Buddy?

When it comes to portable, sanitary privacy shields, there is no other product on the market like the Bin Door Buddy. No longer will you have to deal with hiding behind the car door or a makeshift cover when nature calls, hoping you’re not in full view to the public. No matter where or when, the Bin Door Buddy is ready when you are![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Hurricane scene with trees bending and a lot of rain

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Each year, tropical storm systems and hurricanes leave homeowners and their families struggling for basic necessities. As a first responder or on-call emergency restoration specialist, being equipped with the right tools is critical to keep you, your team, and those being rescued. However, there is one thing that is overlooked. If you have to go to the bathroom, where do you go? If plumbing is out and people’s homes are flooded, you are left in a tricky situation. This is where Brief Relief products can help you and those effected by the storm!

Staying Prepared with Brief Relief

During periods of utility damage or plumbing inoperability, providing customers with a portable restroom supports greater health, comfort, and peace of mind. With portable commodes, waste bags, privacy curtains, and more, Brief Relief products are ideal for hurricane preparedness and confer three key advantages, including:[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

1. Health & Sanitation

Whether your clients secured their plumbing systems in preparation for the storm or do not have accessible bathrooms in the hurricane’s aftermath, Brief Relief’s waste bags alleviate the risk of spreading contaminants, viruses, bacteria, and potential disease.


2. Comfort & Privacy

In the wake of a storm, temporary public restroom stations and trailers are oftentimes provided to service the community. At the same time, these solutions can be cumbersome to access, unsanitary, or unavailable before or during the storm. Brief Relief’s commode systems and privacy curtain, the Bin Door Buddy, create sanitary portable bathrooms where and when your team need it most.


3. Easy Storage

When customers allow waste to accumulate in an inoperable household toilet or bucket, the conditions quickly become nauseating and unsanitary. Both our liquid and solid waste bags are puncture proof, odorless, and compact. They can be stored somewhere until you find a safe place to dispose of them, keeping you, your staff, and others safe from bacteria.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Be Prepared and Stay Prepared

Brief Relief portable lavatory systems are a safe, convenient, and sanitary way to keep first responders prepared for a post tropical storm, hurricane, or disaster scene. In addition, it’s a great supply to have in your family’s personal hurricane preparedness kit. Each travel toilet, waste bag, and restroom kit is a key addition to any disaster kit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Building site manager using corona practices


2020 Double Whammy

As temperatures drop, COVID-19 and flu cases push the limits of what our healthcare system can handle. We do not yet know how influenza (the seasonal flu) and COVID-19 will interact with each other. The best thing you can do is create a work environment that spreads neither.

Good News? The same proactive steps that prevent COVID-19 from spreading also prevent influenza from spreading. That means that if you already have precautions in place, you will see fewer occurrences of both viruses.

Bad News? Not everyone is following the CDC guidelines.

What can you do as a team leader and business owner in your community? You can help prevent the spread of airborne germs in the workplace.

There is more, though. Leadership isn’t just about providing equipment to your employees and expecting them to use it. It is also about setting the expectation that they follow through to keep their fellow employees and customers safe.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Encourage Hand Washing 

Both COVID-19 and the flu last longer on surfaces under colder temperatures. Hands touching things can quickly become a danger to your employees and customers.

So how do you the community that you’re taking this seriously? First, have hand sanitizer visible. Placing hand sanitizer stations by the entrance will set the expectation that it should be used. Placing bottles outside restrooms and, if applicable, at the register will also help remind customers that it is not just themselves that they are put at risk.

Another suggestion is to put 20 seconds of a song’s lyrics, laminated, above the sinks in your restrooms. Encourage people to sing it while scrubbing[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Provide Face Shields

If your staff work in pairs outside, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell them not to share tools…they are going to share tools.

If you are a first responder, you will come into close contact with other people. The size of the group doesn’t matter. If you work in a restaurant, there is no working from home.

So what are you going to do to protect your team? Face masks are great for preventing YOU from spreading viruses to other people.

Face shields protect you from other people who cannot bring themselves to:

  • Wash their hands
  • Cover their mouths when sneezing or coughing
  • Stay away from large groups of people

Your business needs to stay open; your employees have to be onsite for you to operate. Do the best you can for your employees and get them to face shields to protect them from the Flu and COVID-19.

Brief Relief Face Shields add a better layer of protection for your employees. Some of the features include:

  • Shield tilts for versatile use
  • Adjustable strap
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Covers your entire face
  • Soft foam padding provides additional ventilation and reduces fogging
  • Reusable
  • Made from durable PETG, which is mentioned as one of the best materials for face shields by the FDA

By following these guidelines and safety measures, employees and staff will have the highest set of standards and criteria to prevent germs in the workplace.


Utility worker in crane lift working on a power line

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Months into the pandemic and the coronavirus is still spreading.

Public health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), instruct us to remain six feet apart or more, wash our hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and wear protective face gear. But compliance with these measures, especially face masks, is mixed. Daily we hear of instances where people do not know they were infected. We hear about superspreading events, where one person infects many. Salons in some cities are closed, but gyms and indoor dining at restaurants have partially reopened. People are confused. Businesses need answers.

A clear understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted is needed to ensure people best protect themselves. It will also guide companies in instituting the best safety protocols.

Although much remains unknown about COVID-19, scientists have established that the coronavirus is transmitted via air and highly contagious. Research suggests that the virus primarily spreads when infected people talk, sing, cough, or sneeze. These actions expel respiratory droplets containing particles of coronavirus combined with saliva and mucus. If these droplets are inhaled by others nearby, they could transmit the coronavirus.

Yet, wearing a face mask does not fully protect wearers from airborne droplets. Face shields do.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Why Face Shields Work

Face shields protect the wearer’s eyes from aerosol particles. If someone is only wearing a face mask, their eyes are fully exposed to the open air.

Face shields protect the wearer from touching their face. By touching the front of your mask, you might also infect yourself. Experts tell us not to touch the front of your mask while you’re wearing it. After taking your mask off, it’s still not safe to touch the front of it. Once you’ve washed the mask (in a washing machine), it is safe to wear it again.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Cable and Utility Workers Need Face Shields

Restaurant and retail employees are obvious customer-facing employees and you may have noticed that many of them are incorporating face shields into their standard PPE wear, but a whole sector is missing from this idea of customer-facing service providers.

Plumbers, electricians, gas, cable, HVAC, handymen – Anyone who has to enter the home of a customer needs to be wearing a face shield, to protect themselves and to protect the customer.

Customers are concerned more than ever about letting people from outside their family onto the property or into their homes. If your employee is not wearing what a cautious customer considers enough PPE, they could deny them access. That in turn means that you have to reschedule the appointment, creating a service back up.

These in-home service providers are also nervous about entering a home. What if the homeowner or tenant chooses not to wear a mask or refuses to in their own home? That conversation is not going to go well, and it could put your employees at risk as well as the reputation of the company if things get heated.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Give Customer-Facing Employees Optimal Protection

Give your employees everything they need to protect themselves and the public. This assures the customers, clients, and patrons that your company cares about their health and employees.

Face Shield Features:

  • Customizable – Your business name and logo across the front
  • Deluxe Shields Tilt – Easy to eat, adjust glasses, etc.
  • Medical Grade – Designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • Reusable & Durable – PETG durable plastic
  • Easy to Clean – You can use household cleaners or agents to disinfect
  • Long-Wear Comfort – Thick foam headband, designed for long surgeries–comfortable even after an 8-hour shift

Unlike a mask, communication is more straightforward, you can see people’s expressions and conversion is less muffled.

At Brief Relief, we provide unique products to ensure the safety and productivity of your work crews. With our experience working with utilities, construction, military, police, fire, and medical professionals, we worked alongside experienced engineers to design a line of Face Shields for most situations. Our deluxe line is perfect for businesses that want to maximize corporate branding. The industrial line is made for rugged work environments, including construction site and offsite utility workers, and the standard shield is best for larger workforces.

Don’t worry; we have stock. So whether you have ten employees or 100, we have you and your eyes covered. Need a customized quote? No problem! Give us a call or email us at[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Portable Toilets Unsanitary

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most companies do their best to ensure that remote teams have the best protection. Not just because they have OSHA compliance issues, but because they want to keep employees safe and productive.

Have you overlooked your sanitation safety requirements from OSHA? You might be out of compliance, exposing your company to unnecessary risk.

OSHA Requirements

Some of your workforce may not work in a traditional office setting. Instead, they’re on worksites or in their vehicles. Providing OSHA standard bathroom facilities looks a little different for them.

To keep your company OSHA compliant and your mobile team of linesmen, technicians, and engineers healthy, you must provide “adequate access,” meaning you have to supply them with bathroom services in 10 minutes or less.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Leaving it up to the Employees Leaves the Company at Risk

It is a threat to expect your employees to make the right choice and protect your company from embarrassing situations.

Right now, Amazon is facing a lot of scrutiny in the UK due to:

  • Bathrooms located too far from workstations
  • 74% of employees report avoiding using the toilet out of fear of losing their jobs due to missed performance targets
  • Bottles of urine found in the warehouse

In Levittown, NY, a Long Island Power Authority employee was caught on a security camera urinating on a customer’s fence and house.

What about putting the general public at risk, not just private property? In California, a water manager with the water bureau urinated into an empty reservoir. You would think that a manager would have the common sense to know that even an empty reservoir is a lousy judgment call for a safe place to answer the call of nature. Leaving workers to figure out where to take a bathroom break can put a company’s reputation on the Line.

These incidents, which are not isolated, deteriorate a company’s credibility and reputation.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Standard Solutions Fall Short Protecting Your Remote Workforce

Portable toilets are ubiquitous on construction sites, and they are also hotbeds of viruses that can sicken your workforce.

The top 5 viruses transmitted in these environments include:

  1. Norovirus
  2. Salmonella
  3. Shigellosis
  4. Hepatitis A
  5. Seasonal Flu

And now, we can add #6:

  1. COVID-19

Portable toilets become unsanitary fast. Compound this with a lack of personal cleaning supplies, including toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and you have a toxic nightmare.

Last spring, employees sent thousands of complaints to OSHA about poor hygiene and lack of supplies in portable toilets. 

Portable toilets are not ideal.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Side of the Road and Empty Bottles

Trusting employees to make the right decision about where and when to go to the bathroom can have undesired results. We know that as a company, you would never tell an employee to pull over on the side of the road, but it happens.

Employees wearing company-branded clothing and driving company-branded vehicles can get ticketed or filmed. This can create unintended expenses for PR, legal, and lead to fines; not to mention the environmental impact. Despite what our parents told us, it is not okay to pee behind a bush. It destroys habitats, damages soil, and leads to bio-hazards.

Don’t even get us started on the bio-hazard of peeing in a bottle.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Productivity and the Bottom Line

Companies lose hundreds of thousands of dollars every year due to:

  • Lost time at the bathroom
  • Employee illness due to unsanitary bathroom conditions
  • Fines due to OSHA non-compliance

The average person needs to use the restroom three times during a workday. When on a site with portable toilets, it can take people up to 15 minutes to use the bathroom due to:

  • Accessibility (location)
  • Availability (how long is the Line)

That equals 45 minutes per employee of lost productivity per day, which averages out to about $6,000 a year, per employee.

Further, if there are no toilets that are not on-site, employees have to drive to use a bathroom in another business, adding a commute time to that bathroom break for utility workers, increasing your costs exponentially.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Brief Relief: A Better Bathroom Alternative

Brief Relief offers bathroom portable solutions that are:

  • Available on demand
  • Sanitary
  • Private
  • OSHA compliant

Brief Relief is a system that allows your workers to have a restroom wherever it needs to be.

Mobile Employee Solution:

  • Liquid & solid waste bags that include toilet paper and hand sanitizing wipes
  • Door Privacy Screen

Construction Site Employee Solution:

  • Mobile Privacy Shelter
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Low to Zero Surface Contamination
  • Port-a-John
  • Bag-able Waste System

All products are:

  • Spill-Proof
  • Odorless
  • Ultra-Light Weight
  • Sturdy
  • Landfill Disposable

These products reduce human waste to the point where it is safe to dispose of in any trash receptacle.

Keep your employees happy and healthy – and your company’s reputation, un-soiled.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Worker At Construction Site Is Fixing The Form For The Beam

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With so many scenarios going on during this pandemic, ensuring job site safety in the workplace is key. It’s vitally important to not only train employees, but have control measures in place that prevent the spread of infection.

There are multiple measures that can assist in ensuring job safety:


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all employees should understand what a pandemic is; what types of activities or jobs that may put them at risk for exposure; options for working remotely, or sick policies; social distancing strategies; good hygiene and disinfection procedures; the types of PPE available and how to wear and use it; and how communications between management and employees will take place moving forward.

  • Social distancing
    Social distancing or maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet from others whenever they can is the first step in protecting employees and others. There should be restricted use of shared items and spaces.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    Coughing and sneezing in an elbow or shirt is recommended instead of releasing those particles into the air.
  • Clean surfaces regularly
    Surfaces should be cleaned on a consistent basis with antiseptic to ensure surfaces are not contaminated, especially in high-traffic areas. Training should also include which agents to use for disinfection, what type of protective equipment to use when cleaning, and how to properly dispose of the protective equipment and cleaning agents. These routine cleanings should continue once the business is fully operational.
  • Encourage hand hygiene
    Washing hands for 30 seconds or more on a consistent basis and using hand sanitizer whenever touching items or others can assist in preventing the spread of contamination.
  • Wearing protective equipment
    Keeping employees safe with protective equipment, especially when working in high-risk work settings is important. Employees should also understand that all surgical masks and PPE should be properly sanitized or disposed of after use.
  • Sick employee procedures
    Any employee who does not feel well should stay home. Additionally, daily routines which include employee health checks should be implemented and monitored. There should be a flexible time off policy in place, as well as protocols for remote work if warranted.
  • Action Plan
    An action plan should be in place to address any issues employees or management may have in the event of an infection spread. This includes emergency communication protocols, what to do if someone is infected, and who to notify.


Other equipment

When working around biohazards, maintaining safe restroom facilities is crucial in keeping employees safe. The use of Brief Relief products has been instrumental in keeping working conditions sanitary. The use of a portable restroom with privacy screens can keep the spread of infection down, as there are no facilities to maintain. Workers in highly sensitive and contaminated situations should also use face shields whenever necessary to prevent particles from reaching their faces when working. Face shields, compared to face masks, don’t itch and people are less likely to rub their eyes, infect themselves, and infect others if the wearer is contagious. The overall objective is to save both time and money while keeping employees safe.

What is a portable restroom?

The Disposa-John Portable Restroom works with a commode to capture waste, break it down and convert it into a deodorized gel. This helps keep everyone safe while providing the services needed to keep essential operations going. For field workers and those who are in makeshift camps, this is a sterile, working alternative when there are no restroom facilities available. These solutions will also work well in establishments where more restroom facilities are needed due to new social distancing policies. There are training videos and other resources available on how best to use these products effectively while keeping employees safe.

Safety First

As businesses and other areas start to reopen, having tips and protocols posted throughout the area helps remind workers of the general guidelines for workplace safety. All federal, state, and local policies must also be considered when implementing these protocols. By following these guidelines and safety measures, employees will have the highest set of standards and protections in place.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nurse washing hands to avoid virus.


It’s important for medical professionals to stay healthy and prevent the unwanted spread of illnesses throughout the year.

Regardless of the virus or bacteria that is causing illnesses across the country, medical professionals in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers are at the highest risk for contracting and spreading illnesses. As the first line of defense, these individuals must stay healthy in order to protect those who need their services.

The following 10 ways will help medical professionals prevent the spread of unwanted bacteria/viruses:

  1. Portable Toilet Waste Bags
  2. Face Shields
  3. Commode Systems
  4. Hand Sanitizer
  5. Privacy Shelters
  6. Heat Relief Towels
  7. Fluid Tactical Electrolyte Mixes
  8. Breaks for Mental Relief
  9. Proper Nutritious Meals
  10. Blackout Mask to Ensure Sleep


Continue reading this blog post to learn more about how Brief Relief products keep those in medical facilities safe and healthy.

1. Portable Toilet Waste Bags

Brief Relief’s environmentally friendly products allows for liquid waste using our disposable waste bags. The Brief Relief Disposable Urinal Bag is our most popular product and instantly transforms urine into a deodorized gel. The special blend of polymers and enzymes allow human waste to be disposed of in normal trash cans. 

The Disposa-John Portable Restroom will take care of any solid or liquid waste.  This bag is a one-time use sanitary waste bag containment system that allows men and women to easily and hygienically answer nature’s call. When public bathrooms cannot be sanitized in between each use, these environmentally safe products allow all medical professionals the ability to go without worry of spreading germs. An antimicrobial wipe and toilet paper for extra sanitation is included for easy cleanup. These disposable waste bags for portable toilets can be combined with commode systems and privacy shelters to provide peace of mind.

2. Face Shields

The best way to prevent infection is to have the most vulnerable entry points protected. Face shields, similar to Tru-Form Plastics thermoforming manufacturing technology, is a great solution because they cover a larger surface area protecting the eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as help keep medical professionals from touching their face.

3. Commode Systems

Commode systems are practical replacements for traditional toilets because they allow for accessories that add typical bathroom comfort. Between risers and a toilet seat, those using a commode can almost feel like they are using a real toilet. These systems help prevent the spread of unwanted smells.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Rather than utilizing disposable hand wipes, hand sanitizer effectively kills bacteria and viruses. Stations throughout hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes can prevent healthcare professionals from spreading illnesses. When paired with commode systems or other portable toilet options, hand sanitizer allows everyone peace of mind that their hands are clean.

5. Privacy Shelters

Men and women in the medical field do not need to be subjected to everyone watching their bathroom routine. Fortunately, Brief Relief privacy shelters allow individuals to have peace of mind while they use the restroom. With a lock, zipper, and thick material, these shelters provide complete privacy when used with any of Brief Relief’s portable toilets or waste bags.

6. Heat Relief Towels

Long shifts at rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical facilities can be labor intensive. Even when indoors, it is possible to heat the body to higher than normal temperatures. Heat relief towels ensure these professionals do not suffer from heat-related illnesses. Simply run them under water, and they are ready to use!

7. Fluid Tactical Electrolyte Mixes

Hydration is critical to remaining healthy in medical work environments. In addition to heat relief towels, fluid tactical electrolyte mixes replenish and replace vital electrolytes and key nutrients to hydrate individuals so they can continue to perform their essential duties.

8. Breaks for Mental Relief

Mental health is just as important as physical health. The strain of working in facilities that see pain, death, and despair daily can take a large mental toll. Medical professionals must walk away when it becomes too much in order to keep a sharp mind and remain healthy. When it feels like too much, ask for a break and clear the mind.

9. Proper Nutritious Meals

Medical professionals take on long, hard shifts. In order to keep going, proper nutrition is key. Whether visiting the cafeteria or bringing food from home, nutritious meals will keep medical professionals at hospitals healthy.

10. Blackout Eye Mask to Ensure Sleep

A profession in the medical field can mean overnight shifts on occasion. In order to achieve a healthy amount of sleep, utilize a blackout eye mask and blackout curtains. Eight hours of sleep are essential to perform the best at work.

Brief Relief is here to assist medical professionals in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities year round. Our products can allow those working with sick patients the ability to safely and hygienically relieve themselves. With these waste bag containment systems and other environmentally friendly products, the spread of illnesses can be stopped. Contact us today for a quote or to place an order.