Sanitation Workers Safety and Handwashing

Sanitation workers at the frontline of the pandemic are amongst the most vulnerable segments of society due to the nature of their work.

It is difficult to identify households who may be suffering from COVID-19, hence precaution and safe management of all household solid waste generated in this pandemic is required. Therefore, solid waste collection and workers’ safety during door to door collection, street sweeping and drain cleaning work must be put under essential public services and precaution has to be exercised to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

GoI has released multiple guidelines and advisories to be followed by each state and local governments, as well as contractors employing sanitation workers. These include many categories such as solid waste management (street sweepers, waste collectors), and faecal waste management (drain cleaning, FSTP operators, vacuum truck operators, users and managers of community and public toilets). All the different categories of workers engaged in urban sanitation services and the risk they pose from COVID-19 need to be factored in for securing appropriate Protective Gear (PG). Their employment as contractual or regular staff with the ULBs should not come in the way of provisioning of protective gear.

The protective gear, at the very least, includes gloves, face masks and shoes, and may also include other equipment depending on the nature of work being carried out.

Government Advisories and Guidelines

S.No Name of Document Aspect Covered Language Type of Document Organization File Link Total views
1 Advisory for ensuring Health and Safety of Sanitation Workers during COVID-19 Putting in Place a Standard Operating Procedure Specific Measures to be taken by Sanitation Workers PPE/Safety Gears for Sanitation Workers Choice of disinfectant English National Advisory MoSJE, GoI 1
1 Advisory for ensuring Health and Safety of Sanitation Workers during COVID-19 Putting in Place a Standard Operating Procedure Specific Measures to be taken by Sanitation Workers PPE/Safety Gears for Sanitation Workers Choice of disinfectant English National Advisory MoSJE, GoI 2
2 Ensuring Health and Safety of Sanitation Workers and Waste- pickers in the wake of spread of COVID-19 Guided the ULBs to prepare the SOP covering: Mandatory orientation, Social Distancing norms and key precautionary measures; List of Do’s and Dont’s during work Providing PPE English National Advisory NSKFDC, MoSJE, GoI 1
3 Guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment Personal Protective Equipment required for sanitary workers; The rationale for use of PPE in sanitation English National Guideline MoHFW, GoI 1
4 Role of Frontline workers in prevention and management of Corona virus Role as a Frontline Worker What is COVID-19? How does COVID-19 spread? People who are at high risk Key messages for prevention Personal hygiene and safety Myths vs. reality for COVID-19 English National Advisory MoHFW, GOI 1
5 Assistance from State Disaster response Fund For PPE for healthcare, municipal, police and fire authorities English National Advisory PIB, GOI 1
6 Regarding proposal to support govt through CSR CSR support for soap and N-95-masks to GoUP English CSR GoUP 1
7 Guidelines for Hygiene and Sanitation in Densely Populated Areas, During the COVID-19 Pandemic Preventive Measures at home and public areas Face Cover Sanitation and Hygiene: - Hand Washing - Toilet usage - sanitization English National Guideline PIB, GoI 1
8 Poster: Do’s and Dont’s during Covid19 Personal hygiene and safety English National Advisory MoHFW, GoI 1
9 Poster: Do’s and Dont’s during Covid19 Personal hygiene and safety Hindi National Advisory MoHFW, GOI 1

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Practitioners Resources

S.No Name of Document Aspect Covered Language Type of Document Organization File Link Total views
1 PPE for sanitation workers When to use PPE Appropriate Combination of PPE Sanitation Workers in: -Liquid Waste Management -House Keeping -Solid Waste Management English Advocacy & Communication Saniverse 1
2 D2D Waste collector poster Safety measures to be taken by Waste collector; -Before leaving home, -At work place and -After finishing work English Advocacy & Communication UMC 1
3 Street sweeper poster Safety measures to be taken by Street sweeper; -Before leaving home, -At work place and -After finishing work English Advocacy & Communication UMC 1
4 Drain cleaner poster Safety measures to be taken by Drain cleaner; -Before leaving home, -At workplace and -After finishing work English Advocacy & Communication UMC 1
5 Community Toilet caretaker poster Safety measures to be taken by CT caretaker; -Before leaving home, -At workplace and -After finishing work English Advocacy & Communication UMC 1
6 Handwashing steps Poster Pictorial representation of hand-washing steps English Advocacy & Communication WaterAid 1
7 Handwashing steps Poster Pictorial representation of hand-washing steps Hindi Advocacy & Communication WaterAid 1
8 When to wash hands Poster Important activities before (and after) which hand wash required English Advocacy & Communication WaterAid 1
9 When to wash hands Poster Important activities before (and after) which hand wash required Hindi Advocacy & Communication WaterAid 1
10 Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers Key challenges and risks Good practices Gap in knowledge Reform Policy, Legislation and Regulations Develop and adopt Operational guidelines English Research WaterAid 2

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