Ensuring Occupational Safety of De-sludging Operators/Sanitation Workers Using Hierarchy of Controls

Mamta Gautam, Kavita Wankhade, Srinithi Sudhakar | 2021


Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) as an economical and sustainable complement to network basedsystems has been gaining traction in recent years in Tamil Nadu. In this growing space of work, the occupational safety of desludging workers transporting sludge to the treatment systems is a component which requires greater attention. In spite of the introduction of mechanical systems for desludging there is a critical human element involved in this process and workers are still prone to physical injuries, skin infections, exposure to harmful gases, skin burns and other medical emergencies. An earlier study identified a broad set of measures for occupational safety1. This paper presents the next step of this study, where the feasibility of these measures has been identified and published2to understand the desludging process, corresponding safety concerns and explore possible course of action for addressing safety concerns.