BWSSB sanitation workers find it difficult to clean up after work.
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) sanitation workers in the city suffer skin infections due to fewer restrooms to clean themselves after work.
Mr. Lakshman M, a sanitation worker, does not have a place to wash after working for nearly seven hours cleaning drainages and manholes in the city. He said that the workers need restrooms to clean themselves immediately after work. “Most often, even after wearing safety equipment, we suffer skin infections. I had rashes on my body after I cleaned the drainage in a residential area. I have to spend nearly Rs. 500 to consult a doctor,” Mr. Lakshman said.
Several workers had to quit their jobs after they suffered skin infections due to working in unhygienic conditions. “It is difficult for the sanitation workers to clean themselves after work without having a proper restroom facility. We have demanded the board to construct restrooms where they will have facilities like hot water, disinfectants, etc. There have been instances where the workers had to leave their jobs due to the infection,” Mr. C Gangadiri, president of the BWSSB Sanitation Workers’ Union, said.
BWSSB will construct restrooms at the cost of Rs. 10 lakh each at the BWSSB service stations. At present, the board claimed to have constructed around 30 restrooms but considering the worker’s demand, they have decided to construct a few more. The board has started the construction work of five restrooms in the city and will construct nearly 12 more. “We have considered the workers demand to construct restrooms and we are in the process of constructing restrooms for them,” Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. B. M. Manjunath, said.
Doctors said that the workers need more than safety equipment to keep them safe from skin infections. “Sometimes, providing safety equipment to sanitation workers is not enough. There is a possibility of skin infections looking at the kind of work they do. Moreover, they work in unhygienic conditions every day so it is important to immediately clean after work to avoid any kind of infections,” Dr. Rajesh Lavatkar, said.