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Sewer Workers: Prepare, but Don't Panic

Posted by Olivia Singer on Mar 18, 2020

Sewer operators across the world are wondering how COVID-19 may impact their day-to-day operations, and what risks their employees face. While many in our economy have the option to work from home, sewers are considered essential services and sewer workers remain hard at work keeping our systems operational and well-maintained.

Sewer Worker Safety

Though the current crisis has raised some questions about whether workers are more exposed to the virus working around sewage, the Institute for Underground Infrastructure explains why sewer workers don’t need to panic, but should be careful.

Sewer workers should continue to operate as normal, according to the study, though it’s important to be reminded of several essential practices to minimize risk level, including sewer safety measures and health and hygiene habits. Workers should also take extra steps to avoid any unnecessary risks on the job. 

“It is important to inform and encourage employees to pay attention to their own behavior, to refresh their knowledge of occupational safety, to suspend work that is not immediately necessary and – very importantly – to carry out the required protective measures 100 percent according to the textbook,” according to the study. 

This includes wearing protective clothing at all times, avoiding eating, drinking or smoking in the work area, and washing hands and disinfecting surfaces frequently. In addition, standard CDC guidelines for mitigating Coronavirus impact must be followed. 

In times like this, sewer workers play an even more important role in the health of communities across the globe. And while based in Germany, the authors of this study highlight information relevant to all regions as we all face a common challenge. 

Read the study’s detailed recommendations: https://www.ikt-online.org/blog/coronavirus-in-sewers-dont-panic-but-be-careful/

Photo courtesy of Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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