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Why this toilet is causing so much outrage

Would you sit on this throne? Image: StandardToilet

This toilet looks pretty normal, but one design choice has people outraged. 

Can you spot it? 

The toilet, from British startup StandardToilet, slopes at a 13 degree angle, meaning it’s uncomfortable to sit for longer than five minutes at a time. 

The design choice is meant to stop employees from taking overly-long toilet breaks. 

The toilet, which has been approved by the British Toilet Association, will cause strain on the legs after five minutes, but will not cause health problems, the founder of the startup, Mahabir Gill told Wired. 

“Anything higher than that would cause wider problems. Thirteen degrees is not too inconvenient, but you’d soon want to get off the seat quite quickly.”

He said the toilet had been designed after he kept finding employees asleep on the toilet, and his frustration at toilet queues in department stores. 

Gill also said the toilet will have health benefits due to better posture, but said the main benefit is to the employers. 

“It saves the employer money.”

Toilet outrage

Angry Twitter-users took to the platform to blast the design. 

“As a person with an autoimmune condition that effects my GI and undiagnosed painful abdominal condition - I think the idea l stupid and ghoulish,” said Laura K.

“Surely there ought to be a Hippocratic oath for industrial designers: first, do not make less ergonomic,” added another. 

“Business? If you need a toilet that slants down 14 degrees to increase productivity, you aren't treating your employees correctly,” said user Cherese Cobb. “You're also discriminating against people with disabilities.”

According to the Victorian Trade Hall’s union for Occupational Health and Safety Representatives, rest breaks aren’t covered under fair work legislation, and come largely down to employee and employer frameworks. 

However, it said workers must have access to toilets when they need to use one. 

“Not allowing workers reasonable time and access to toilets puts their health at risk and this is a breach of the employer's duty of care. In addition, the provision of toilet facilities is a legislated duty - so the law recognizes that workers need to use toilets during work hours.”

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