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Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh

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Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh. / Sharior, Fazle; Alam, Mahbub-Ul; Zaqout, Mariam et al.
In: PLOS Water, Vol. 2, No. 1, e0000041, 26.01.2023.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Sharior, F, Alam, M-U, Zaqout, M, Cawood, S, Ferdous, S, Shoaib, DM, Tidwell, JB, Hasan, M, Hasan, M, Rahman, M, Farah, M, Rahman, MA, Ahmed, A & Ahmed, T 2023, 'Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh', PLOS Water, vol. 2, no. 1, e0000041. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041

APA

Sharior, F., Alam, M-U., Zaqout, M., Cawood, S., Ferdous, S., Shoaib, D. M., Tidwell, J. B., Hasan, M., Hasan, M., Rahman, M., Farah, M., Rahman, M. A., Ahmed, A., & Ahmed, T. (2023). Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh. PLOS Water, 2(1), Article e0000041. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041

Vancouver

Sharior F, Alam M-U, Zaqout M, Cawood S, Ferdous S, Shoaib DM et al. Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh. PLOS Water. 2023 Jan 26;2(1):e0000041. Epub 2023 Jan 26. doi: 10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041

Author

Sharior, Fazle ; Alam, Mahbub-Ul ; Zaqout, Mariam et al. / Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers : A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh. In: PLOS Water. 2023 ; Vol. 2, No. 1.

Bibtex

@article{a2d9629eaf3a4753a3c5720baae3a0e2,
title = "Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers: A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh",
abstract = "In Bangladesh, cities produce huge volumes of solid waste, sewage, and greywater with limited resources to manage it. Waste and sanitation workers, key players in managing waste, are continuously exposed to different health hazards in their work due to lack of occupational safety and basic protections. This vulnerability has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Focusing on workers{\textquoteright} experiences and everyday working realities, this study sought to assess the organizational capacity, gaps, and challenges of local waste management authorities during COVID-19. It also sought to deepen understanding of job arrangements, occupational safety, hygiene knowledge, and practices of these waste workers at their workplace. A qualitative study was conducted consisting of 61 key informant interviews with seven categories of local officials and 50 in-depth interviews with five categories of waste and sanitation workers in 10 cities of Bangladesh. An inductive content analysis approach was adopted. The results showed that COVID-19 had aggravated the existing waste management challenges and imposed severe health risks on waste workers. Respective conservancy departments lagged behind due to lack of safe cleaning methods and equipment, and limited funds for waste worker training, which ultimately led to poor occupational safety for workers. This vulnerable worker group lacked basic job facilities, received poor payment and insufficient protective equipment, and rarely had any health support from their employers. Also, they were not provided with an adequate understanding of occupational safety and health hygiene; and no appropriate handwashing facilities at their workplace to tackle infectious diseases like COVID-19. The study investigated this countercomplaint and discussed the current arrangements from the prespective of both city authorities and waste workers. The study recommended more automated waste collectors and compositors for the conservancy departments, increased active monitoring, work benefits, safety equipment for waste workers, and tailored training to eradicate work-related health hazards and injuries.",
author = "Fazle Sharior and Mahbub-Ul Alam and Mariam Zaqout and Sally Cawood and Sharika Ferdous and Shoaib, {Dewan Muhammad} and Tidwell, {James B} and Mehedi Hasan and Moushumi Hasan and Mahbubur Rahman and Makfie Farah and Rahman, {Md. Azizur} and Alauddin Ahmed and Tanvir Ahmed",
year = "2023",
month = jan,
day = "26",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
journal = "PLOS Water",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Occupational health and safety status of waste and sanitation workers

T2 - A qualitative exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic across Bangladesh

AU - Sharior, Fazle

AU - Alam, Mahbub-Ul

AU - Zaqout, Mariam

AU - Cawood, Sally

AU - Ferdous, Sharika

AU - Shoaib, Dewan Muhammad

AU - Tidwell, James B

AU - Hasan, Mehedi

AU - Hasan, Moushumi

AU - Rahman, Mahbubur

AU - Farah, Makfie

AU - Rahman, Md. Azizur

AU - Ahmed, Alauddin

AU - Ahmed, Tanvir

PY - 2023/1/26

Y1 - 2023/1/26

N2 - In Bangladesh, cities produce huge volumes of solid waste, sewage, and greywater with limited resources to manage it. Waste and sanitation workers, key players in managing waste, are continuously exposed to different health hazards in their work due to lack of occupational safety and basic protections. This vulnerability has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Focusing on workers’ experiences and everyday working realities, this study sought to assess the organizational capacity, gaps, and challenges of local waste management authorities during COVID-19. It also sought to deepen understanding of job arrangements, occupational safety, hygiene knowledge, and practices of these waste workers at their workplace. A qualitative study was conducted consisting of 61 key informant interviews with seven categories of local officials and 50 in-depth interviews with five categories of waste and sanitation workers in 10 cities of Bangladesh. An inductive content analysis approach was adopted. The results showed that COVID-19 had aggravated the existing waste management challenges and imposed severe health risks on waste workers. Respective conservancy departments lagged behind due to lack of safe cleaning methods and equipment, and limited funds for waste worker training, which ultimately led to poor occupational safety for workers. This vulnerable worker group lacked basic job facilities, received poor payment and insufficient protective equipment, and rarely had any health support from their employers. Also, they were not provided with an adequate understanding of occupational safety and health hygiene; and no appropriate handwashing facilities at their workplace to tackle infectious diseases like COVID-19. The study investigated this countercomplaint and discussed the current arrangements from the prespective of both city authorities and waste workers. The study recommended more automated waste collectors and compositors for the conservancy departments, increased active monitoring, work benefits, safety equipment for waste workers, and tailored training to eradicate work-related health hazards and injuries.

AB - In Bangladesh, cities produce huge volumes of solid waste, sewage, and greywater with limited resources to manage it. Waste and sanitation workers, key players in managing waste, are continuously exposed to different health hazards in their work due to lack of occupational safety and basic protections. This vulnerability has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Focusing on workers’ experiences and everyday working realities, this study sought to assess the organizational capacity, gaps, and challenges of local waste management authorities during COVID-19. It also sought to deepen understanding of job arrangements, occupational safety, hygiene knowledge, and practices of these waste workers at their workplace. A qualitative study was conducted consisting of 61 key informant interviews with seven categories of local officials and 50 in-depth interviews with five categories of waste and sanitation workers in 10 cities of Bangladesh. An inductive content analysis approach was adopted. The results showed that COVID-19 had aggravated the existing waste management challenges and imposed severe health risks on waste workers. Respective conservancy departments lagged behind due to lack of safe cleaning methods and equipment, and limited funds for waste worker training, which ultimately led to poor occupational safety for workers. This vulnerable worker group lacked basic job facilities, received poor payment and insufficient protective equipment, and rarely had any health support from their employers. Also, they were not provided with an adequate understanding of occupational safety and health hygiene; and no appropriate handwashing facilities at their workplace to tackle infectious diseases like COVID-19. The study investigated this countercomplaint and discussed the current arrangements from the prespective of both city authorities and waste workers. The study recommended more automated waste collectors and compositors for the conservancy departments, increased active monitoring, work benefits, safety equipment for waste workers, and tailored training to eradicate work-related health hazards and injuries.

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041

DO - 10.1371/journal.pwat.0000041

M3 - Journal article

VL - 2

JO - PLOS Water

JF - PLOS Water

IS - 1

M1 - e0000041

ER -