Vasco: Municipal workers, in absence of safety gear while doing menial outdoor work, face problems including health issues. The workers carry out cleaning of drains, gutters, nullahs, garbage lifting from point to point, but without using safety gear like face mask, gloves, shoes and jackets.
They start their work at 7 am and continue till to 1.30 pm to 2 pm, working almost for 7 hours in a day. However, working without safety gear, invites all kinds of health issues.
Some municipal workers said they have to work without any safety gear because they have no other option. Several workers from housing board colonies at New Vaddem have died after developing health-related problems. The authorities should provide the workers all necessary safety gear and also ensure that workers make use of them, is the opinion of conscious citizens.
“We don’t get a job after the death of the lone breadwinner in the house. We even face difficulty in getting the death gratuity, family pension or pension to the widower,” said a kin of the municipal worker, whose husband succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital. He had a fall injury while at work, it was stated.
Although, the workers hesitate to speak about their issues openly fearing action or loss of job, it is a fact that the authorities fail to provide them safety gear, which are essential for the wellbeing of the workers.
Meanwhile, when contacted Mormugao municipal officials, they disclosed that the municipal authorities are making provisions of safety gear for all workers who are deployed for cleaning
work. “Usually, these workers avoid wearing the safety gear when they are working. They prefer to work without any gear. We even tried to make them understand about health problems, but they are hesitant to work with hand gloves, masks and shoes,” stated a municipal official.