A cross-sectional study to assess the health profile of street sweepers and sanitary workers in a zone of Greater Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu, India

Joy Patricia Pushparani, Chitra A., Kalpana J.


Background: Sweepers and sanitary workers are getting exposed to hazardous dust during their work. The health profile of the sanitary workers and utilization of health services are not clearly known. This study aimed to assess the health profile and associated risk factors among street sweepers and sanitary workers.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study was conducted among 73 street sweepers and sanitary workers in a zone of Greater Chennai Corporation by multistage sampling method, during November 2016 to December 2016 using a semi structured questionnaire.

Results: Among the respondents 67.1% were females, 2/3rd of them belonged to the age group of 30-40 years. Majority of them (82.2%) had reported to have musculoskeletal problems followed by respiratory problems (61.6%), ophthalmic problems (53.4%), skin problems (38.4%), mental health problems (39.7%). Most of the respondents had multiple problems. Musculoskeletal problems were more common among the female workers (p=0.002). Health problems like headache, fatigue, giddiness were more common among the workers who worked for >5 years (p=0.006). The utilization of health services was better among those workers who had formal school education (p=0.042).

Conclusions: This study concludes majority of them have musculoskeletal problems followed by respiratory problems and ophthalmic problems. Usage of personal protective equipments and utilization of health services by the sweepers and sanitary workers were poor. Hence steps have to be taken to improve the health status by subjecting them to periodic screening and sensitization programs on usage of PPE.


Health profile, Sanitary workers, Sweepers

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