Exposure risk assessment of the municipal waste collection activities during COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract

An increasing amount of waste concurrently further extends the risk of exposure to hazardous material among waste collectors. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, municipal waste collectors are one of the most at-risk groups of SARS-Cov-2 exposure. Risk assessment included hazard identification, evaluation of existing control level at the workplace, estimation of likelihood and severity of hazard, risk determination, and control measure recommendations. Five waste collection activities were identified and reviewed. High-risk exposure includes collection of garbage, mechanical manipulation of compactor lorries and unloading of garbage at the disposal site. There is poor practice of personal hygiene and unestablished continuous monitoring of personal protective equipment supplies. The preventive measures in the waste collection industry are influenced by several factors. Until the preventive measures are adopted into practice and adapted according to each company’s requirements, biological agents continue to be risk factor to the health workers.

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Author Biographies

Azam Atil, Community and Family Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Department of Community Health, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Khamisah Awang Lukman, Community and Family Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Published
2020-11-26
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Section
Brief Reports
Keywords:
Exposure, risk assessment, waste collection activity
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How to Cite
Salvaraji, L., Jeffree, M. S., Avoi, R., Atil, A., Mohd AKhir, H., Shamsudin, S. B., & Awang Lukman, K. (2020). Exposure risk assessment of the municipal waste collection activities during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Public Health Research, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2020.1994