Wednesday May 22, 2024

‘Provide safety gear to sanitation workers’

By Our Correspondent
March 28, 2020

LAHORE:The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has demanded the government provide sanitation workers, who are also on the frontline of the battle against the Coronavirus, with protective personal equipment to function safely and effectively.

According to a press release, the HRCP stated that no sanitation worker should be compelled to work without a face mask, disposable gloves, protective footwear, and hand sanitizer. Moreover, they should be granted free-of-cost medical care and paid sick leave in case they, or members of their family, fall ill. Sanitation workers already work in difficult conditions and often without adequate protective gear; they are now even more vulnerable to contagion. Waste management and disposal is an essential component of any public health strategy and, in these grim circumstances, all municipal bodies and private companies across Pakistan must prioritise their workers’ health and welfare, the Commission press release concluded.

directive: The Punjab government has directed all divisional commissioners and chief officers of local government to ensure safety of sanitation staff from Coronavirus across the province.

In this regard, Secretary Local Government & Community Development (LG&CD) Department Dr Ahmad Javed Qazi has written a letter to all Commissioners, Chief Officers of Local Governments and Managing Directors of Waste Management Companies here Friday. In the order, he directed all officers to ensure necessary and comprehensive measures regarding the personal health of sanitary workers who are performing the most arduous task of sanitation these days.

"Those sanitary workers who are performing duties at the Quarantine Centres and Isolation Centres must be provided with safety equipment" said Secretary LG&CD department in the letter issued to the officials concerned. All Administrators, MDs and chief officers must ensure proper safety of their sanitary staff. Sanitary workers must go inside the Quarantine and Isolation Centres with personal protection i.e. gowns, aprons, masks, shoe covers and gloves etc. Sanitary workers performing duty at other places should also have face masks and gloves at least. Moreover, no area should be left unattended particularly in connection with vulnerable sanitary workers.