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Sanitary workers and their safety


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THIS is with reference to a news item (Sept 4 ) according to which six men, including four sanitary workers of the TMA, Jhang, were killed after inhaling poisonous gas while trying to repair out-of-order electric motors in a sewage disposal station well at Satellite Town, Jhang.

Reportedly, these casualties occurred because the workers entered the disposal station without safety gear. Similar fatal incidents leading to deaths have already been reported frequently. Recently, ago two sanitary workers and the one who tried to rescue them were killed by toxic gas while working inside a choked sewage manhole in Lahore.

Frequent deaths of low-paid sanitary workers in such a pathetic way, however, have failed to evoke any preventive measures by the TMA/LG authorities so far.

Had the sanitary workers been provided with safety gear such as gas/oxygen masks as well as on the spot medical first aid, the tragedies could have been averted.

The municipal authorities concerned should take immediate notice of the unfortunate but preventable deaths of hapless poor sanitary workers and arrange to procure and provide proper safety gear to its workers who have to enter sewage manhole and disposal station wells as part of their duty for clean-up or repair work.

Simply, a small amount of fund and extra care is needed to save precious human lives of those workers who do that ‘dirty’ job to save us from filth and squalor.


Comments (3) Closed

DharmendraGoel Sep 12, 2012 12:01pm
it isindeed very distressing that poor sanitary workers aremade to do thenastiestjobof cleaning sewers in order to let city dwellers live in comparative freedom from nociousgases from chokedSewers, thathappens all over south Asia includingindia, Something must be done to eliminate thisibhuman treratment ofthese oppressed sanitary workers, everywhere, despite of liberal democratic traditionswe are never tired of boasting. Theunfortunate sanitary Workers desrve immediate attention in South asia, where very often they get killed by noxious gases as they step in these man-holes of the sewers.D. goel
Saad Sep 12, 2012 11:05am
not only that their salary should also be significantly increased.
Latif Khan Sep 12, 2012 10:49am
The workers should be equipped with proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). This includes, clothes, gloves, goggles, safety boots,safety hat and mask) including gas tester.and oxygen. Entry to manhole is always restricted as there is always danger of gas.presence. it is always advised to make sure no gas is present and if present, use appropriate PPE. Here in the UK, the employers can be charged if they do not provide protection to their workers and proper insurance to claim any loss of life or property. If the country has proper laws and regulations then it can develop a proper system.