A cross sectional study on adoption of standard precautions among sanitary workers, Tamil Nadu

Archana Lakshmi, Christina Mary Paul, Thirunaaukarasu ., Gladius Jennifer


Background: Hospital waste is a potential reservoir of pathogenic micro-organism and requires appropriate, safe handling. Sanitary workers entail to do waste collection, handling, storage and disposal. Hence they have higher chances of exposure to numerous risk factors. The objective of the study was to assess the adoption of ‘standard precautions’ among sanitary workers pertaining to hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), prevention of needle stick/sharp injuries, handling of soiled linen and finding out the reasons for non-adoption.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done in two health care institutions in Chennai and Madurai, Tamil Nadu during January to May 2018. Institutional ethics committee approval was obtained. All sanitary workers willing to participate in the study were included. After getting informed consent, data was collected using structured questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS 20.0. Mean, frequency and percentages were calculated.

Results: Sanitary workers included in the study were 118. The overall hand hygiene was satisfactory among 35.6%. Only 62.7% were using gloves while handling waste. 54(45.8%) had NSI in last one year. Immersing soiled linen in hot water was done only by 15 (12.7%) before washing with disinfectant and autoclaving.

Conclusions: The adoption of ‘standard precautions’ among sanitary workers is inadequate due to lack of proper orientation.


Standard precautions, Sanitary workers, Needle stick injury

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