Evaluation of health safety of direct biomedical waste handlers in a Government Medical College, Himachal Pradesh

Rashmi Kashyap, Salig Ram Mazta


Background: Hospital waste management is a crucial environmental issue of public health concern due to hazardous and infectious character of the waste. Since the hospital staff is at risk of being infected by the hospital waste, therefore occupational health and safety should be recommended as a component of biomedical management plans with qualified personnel. Health safety of the waste handlers is an issue of prime concern.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted in Government Medical College, Nahan, Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh to evaluate the health safety of direct waste handlers. The information regarding the biomedical waste management awareness, practices and health safety was recorded from direct waste handlers. Semistructured questionnaire was used for interview.

Results: A total of 26 biomedical waste handlers were interviewed from August 31, 2017 to September 13, 2017. Gender composition showed 18 (69.2%) females and 8 (30.8%) males. Awareness regarding the risk associated with biomedical waste handling like exposure to infections like HIV, HBV, injury with sharp objects and Chemical burns etc. was present in 19 (73.0%) workers. Most 10 (38.4%) demanded the provision of personal protective equipments, training and vaccination.

Conclusions: Regular orientation and training programs should be organized for biomedical waste handlers and strict implementation of biomedical waste management guidelines should be in practice. Risk to the health of direct waste handlers in the form of exposure to infectious diseases needs to be considered by timely provision of vaccination.


Biomedical waste, Direct waste handlers, Health Safety

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