What Waste Collectors and Recyclers Need to Know about COVID-19

Printer friendly version pdf icon[4 pages]

waste collection workers wearing face cloth coverings and gloves

Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory sickness attributable to a virus known as SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms typically embrace cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle ache, sore throat, or new lack of style or scent. Our understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as we study extra about it, so test the CDC website for the newest data. The virus is believed to unfold primarily from person-to-person:

Recent research point out that the virus could be unfold by people who find themselves not exhibiting signs. It could also be potential that an individual can get COVID-19 by touching a floor or object that has the virus on it after which touching their very own mouth, nostril, or presumably their eyes. This will not be considered the principle manner the virus spreads, however we’re nonetheless studying extra about this virus. Older adults and folks of any age who’ve critical underlying medical circumstances could also be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

As a waste collector or recycler, how can I defend myself and gradual the unfold?

For waste collectors and recyclers, potential sources of publicity embrace having shut contact with a coworker or member of the general public with COVID-19, or by contacting surfaces touched or dealt with by an individual with COVID-19.

  • Notify your supervisor and keep house if having symptoms.
  • Follow CDC-recommended steps in case you are sick. You shouldn’t return to work till the factors to discontinue home isolation are met, in session with healthcare suppliers and state and native well being departments.
  • Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify your supervisor in case you are properly however have a sick member of the family at house with COVID-19.
  • Limit shut contact with others by sustaining a distance of not less than 6 toes when potential.
  • CDC recommends carrying fabric face coverings in public settings the place different social distancing measures are troublesome to keep up, particularly in areas of great community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings might forestall individuals who don’t know they’ve the virus from transmitting it to others. These face coverings should not surgical masks or respirators and should not acceptable substitutes for them in workplaces the place masks or respirators are beneficial or required.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of regularly touched surfaces, similar to steering wheels, door handles, levers, and management panels. Key occasions for cleansing embrace:
    • At the start and finish of each shift
    • After anybody else makes use of your automobile or workstation
  • Wear your regular private protecting tools (PPE) as you go about your day. This might embrace work gloves, eye safety (similar to security glasses), and a piece uniform or coveralls.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectantexternal icon to wash eye safety initially and finish of your shift.
  • Replace work gloves once they grow to be broken (for instance, if they’re ripped or torn).
    • Practice correct hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette. These are essential an infection management measures. Wash your fingers usually with cleaning soap and water for not less than 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing not less than 60% alcohol. Key occasions to wash fingers embrace:
      • Before and after work shifts and work breaks
      • After blowing your nostril, coughing, or sneezing
      • After utilizing the restroom
      • Before consuming or making ready meals
      • Before placing on, touching, or eradicating fabric face coverings
  • Avoid contact with physique fluids, if potential. Use gloves if you need to contact surfaces contaminated by physique fluids.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nostril, or mouth. Be further cautious when placing on or taking off PPE.
  • Stay updated in your firm’s present insurance policies on COVID-19. Follow the social distancing steerage supplied by your employer.

What steps ought to my employer take?

Employers ought to have a COVID-19 well being and security plan to guard staff, following CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. This plan needs to be shared with you and your coworkers. Employers ought to:

Reduce transmission amongst staff

Maintain a wholesome work surroundings

  • Institute measures to bodily separate and improve distance between staff and clients, similar to:
    • Rearrange workstations in order that staff can keep not less than 6 toes away from different staff.
    • Stagger shifts, begin occasions, and break occasions to scale back the variety of folks in work and break areas at one time.
    • Remove or rearrange chairs and tables, or add visible cue marks, in worker break rooms to assist social distancing practices between staff. Identify various areas to accommodate overflow quantity.
    • Communicate by means of use of textual content messaging, telephone, and e-mail and private cell phones to speak as an alternative of face-to-face contact.
    • Cancel or postpone in-person conferences and trainings each time potential. If you need to meet, unfold out to a distance of 6 toes or extra between attendees.
    • If potential, restrict waste collectors to at least one individual per truck.
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and correct hand hygiene practices on the entrance to the office and in different office areas the place they’re prone to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles to be used by staff.
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces throughout the facility or automobile. If the surfaces are visibly soiled, clear them previous to disinfecting. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, diluted family bleach options ready based on the producer’s label for disinfection, or alcohol options with not less than 70% alcohol, and guarantee merchandise are acceptable for the floor. Follow producer’s instructions to be used.
    • Clean and disinfect initially and finish of every shift, notably if instruments, workstations, or autos are shared amongst staff.
      • In amenities, these might embrace shared tools similar to cart handles, knives or different instruments, buttons, levers, and
      • In autos, these may embrace the steering wheel, gearshift, signaling levers, door handles, and seatbelt buckles.
    • Conduct frequent cleansing of worker break rooms, restrooms, and different widespread areas.
    • Require staff to wash out lockers nightly to facilitate in a single day deep cleansing processes.
  • Provide disposable disinfectant wipes in order that surfaces generally touched could be wiped down.
  • Follow all relevant employee security and well being federal rules and public well being company tips.

Maintain wholesome enterprise operations

  • Designate an individual who’s chargeable for responding to COVID-19 issues. Employees ought to know who this individual is and the way to contact them.
  • Consider utilizing a hotline for workers to voice issues anonymously.
  • Implement versatile worksites, similar to telework, for employees who can carry out their job capabilities remotely.
  • Implement versatile sick depart and supportive insurance policies and practices. Consider drafting non-punitive emergency sick depart insurance policies if sick depart will not be provided to some or all staff. Employers shouldn’t require a constructive COVID-19 check consequence or a healthcare supplier’s word for workers who’re sick to validate their sickness, qualify for sick depart, or to return to work.
  • Provide data on who to contact if staff grow to be sick. If an worker is confirmed to have COVID-19 an infection, employers ought to inform fellow staff of their potential publicity to COVID-19 within the office however preserve confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Explore various different methods to advertise hand washing if there’s issue sourcing hand sanitizer and waste collectors and recyclers can’t make the most of use public restrooms. For instance, present a big (5+ gallon) bucket with a lid and faucet that can be utilized to supply water for handwashing. Buckets ought to we cleaned with detergent between makes use of.
    • Maintain satisfactory provides of water, cleaning soap, and single use paper towels on the truck.
    • Place hand sanitizers in a number of places to encourage hand hygiene.

Where can I get extra data?

Stay knowledgeable. Talk to your employer, supervisor, or union consultant who’s chargeable for responding to COVID-19 issues. Utilize these sources for extra data on employee exposures to COVID-19:

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00