Safety of sewerage cleaners is a big question since recently once again some cleaners lost their lives on duty. State government has become alert and has issued strict directives for the safety of cleaners. It may be noted that a number of times cleaners have lost their lives in the process of cleaning septic tanks because of suffocation and lack of proper equipments.
The local urban bodies have been directed to follow the standards of safety strictly. As per the standards, the relevant departments have been asked to prohibit the cleaners from entering the tanks without equipments. For this, the departments are supposed to provide all the necessary equipments and that the tanks must be cleaned twice a year.
The standards set for the purpose of safety are as follows:
Prior to monsoons, the tanks must be inspected and cleaned. A supervisor must be present at the site during the cleaning process and all must have equipments. Cleaning must be done when the level of sewerage is comparatively low. Gas detectors, gas masks and lamp detectors must be made available at the time of cleaning. To make the public aware of the cleaning process, sign boards indicating “Work in Progress” must be used 15 metres away from the site. These boards must be easily visible from a distance. The connecting man-holes of the area must be kept open 1 hour prior to the work to allow poisonous gases to escape. No labour must be allowed to peep into the man-holes.