" DISCLAIMER: The ILO does not take responsibility for content presented on this web portal that is presented in any language other than English, which is the language used for the initial production and peer-review of original content. Certain statistics have not been updated since the production of the 4th edition of the Encyclopaedia (1998)."

Monday, 28 March 2011 19:58

Street Cleaning

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Adapted from 3rd edition, Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety.

Prevention of dirt-borne disease, prevention of damage to vehicles by harmful objects and the joy of viewing a neat, attractive city are all benefits derived from clean streets. Herded animals or animal-drawn vehicles, which in earlier times caused unsanitary conditions, have generally ceased to be a problem; however, the expansion in world population with the resultant upsurge in waste generated, the increase in the number and size of factories, the growth in the number of vehicles and newspapers and the introduction of disposable containers and products have all contributed to the amount of street refuse and added to the street-cleaning problem.

Organization and Processes

Municipal authorities recognizing the threat to health posed by dirty streets have sought to minimise the danger by organizing street cleaning sections in the public works departments. In these sections, a superintendent responsible for scheduling frequency of cleaning various districts will have forepeople responsible for specific cleaning operations.

Normally, business districts will be swept daily while arterial roads and residential areas will be swept weekly. Frequency will depend upon rain or snowfall, topography and the education of the populace toward prevention of litter.

The superintendent will also decide the most effective means of achieving clean streets. These could be hand sweeping by one worker or a group, hose flushing or machine sweeping or flushing. Generally a combination of methods, depending on the availability of equipment, type of dirt encountered and other factors will be used. In areas of heavy snowfall, special snow-clearing equipment may be used on occasion.

Hand sweeping is generally done in the daytime and confined to cleaning of gutters or spot cleaning of pavements or adjacent areas. The equipment used consists of brooms, scrapers and shovels. One sweeper generally patrols a specified route and cleans about 9 km of curb per shift under favourable conditions; however, this may be reduced in congested business districts.

Dirt collected by one-person sweeping is placed in a cart which he or she pushes ahead and dumps in boxes placed at intervals along his or her route; these boxes are emptied periodically into refuse trucks. In group sweeping, dirt is swept into piles along the gutters and loaded directly into trucks. Normally a group of 8 sweepers will have 2 workers assigned as loaders. Group sweeping is particularly effective for massive clean-up jobs such as after storms, parades or other special events.

Advantages of hand sweeping are: it is easily adjusted to meet changing cleaning loads; it can be used in areas inaccessible to machines; it can be conducted in heavy traffic with minimum interference with vehicle movement; it can be done in freezing weather and it can be used on pavements where surface conditions do not permit machine cleaning. Disadvantages are: the work is dangerous in traffic; it raises dust; dirt piled in gutters may be dispersed by wind or traffic if not collected promptly; and hand sweeping may be costly in labour-expensive areas.

Hose flushing is not considered an economical operation today; however, it is effective where there is a large amount of dirt or mud adhering to the pavement surfaces, where there are large numbers of parked vehicles or in market areas. It is generally done at night by a two-person crew, one of whom handles the hose nozzle and directs the stream and the other connects hose to the hydrant. Equipment consists of hoses, hose nozzles and hydrant wrenches.

Machine sweepers consist of motorized chassis mounted with brushes, conveyors, sprinklers and storage bins. They are generally used in late evening or early morning hours in business districts and during the day in residential areas. Cleaning action is confined to the gutters and adjacent areas where most dirt accumulates.

The machine is operated by one worker and can be expected to clean approximately 36 km of curb during an 8 hour shift. Factors affecting output are: number of times and distance which must be travelled to dump dirt or pick up sprinkling water; traffic density; and amount of dirt collected.

The advantages of machine sweepers are: they clean well, rapidly and raise no dust when sprinklers are used; they pick up the dirt as they clean; they can be used at night; and they are relatively economical. The disadvantages are: they cannot clean under parked cars or in off-pavement areas; they are not effective on rough, wet or muddy streets; the sprinkler cannot be used in freezing weather and dry sweeping raises dust; and they require skilled operators and maintenance personnel.

Flushing machines are essentially water tanks mounted on a motorized chassis which is fitted with a pump and nozzle to provide pressure and direct the stream of water against the pavement surface. The machine can be expected to clean about 36 km of 7 m wide pavement during an 8 hour shift.

The advantages of flushing machines are: they can be used effectively on wet or muddy pavements; they clean rapidly, well and under parked cars without raising dust; and they can operate at night or in light traffic. The disadvantages are: they require additional cleaning to be effective where street, litter or sewer conditions are not favourable; they annoy pedestrians or vehicle operators who are splashed; they cannot be used in freezing weather; and they require skilled operators and maintenance personnel.

Hazards and Their Prevention

Street cleaning is a hazardous occupation due to the fact that it is conducted in traffic and is concerned with dirt and refuse, with the possibility of infection, cuts from broken glass, tins and so on. In crowded areas, hand sweepers may be exposed to a considerable amount of carbon monoxide and to a high level of noise.

Traffic hazards are protected against by training sweepers in ways of avoiding danger, such as arranging work against the traffic flow and providing them with highly visible clothing as well as attaching red flags or other warning devices to their carts. Machine sweepers and flushers are made visible by fitting them with flashing lights, waving flags and painting them distinctively.

Street cleaners, and in particular hand sweepers, are exposed to all the vagaries of weather and occasionally may have to work in very severe conditions. Illness, infection and handling accidents can in part be prevented by the use of PPE and in part by training. Mechanical equipment such as that used for snow cleaning should be operated only by trained workers.

There should be a conveniently accessible central point providing good washing facilities (including showers where practicable), a cloakroom with arrangements for changing and drying clothes, a messroom and a first-aid room. Periodical medical examination is desirable.

Environmental Concerns of Snow Disposal

Snow removal and disposal introduces a set of environmental concerns related to the potential deposition of debris, salts, oil, metals and particulates in local waterbodies. A particular danger exists from the concentration of particulates, such as lead, that originate in atmospheric emissions from industrialized areas and automobiles. The danger of melt-water runoff to aquatic organisms and the risk of soil and groundwater contamination has been countered by the adoption of safe handling practices that protect sensitive areas from exposure. Snow disposal guidelines have been adopted in several Canadian provinces (e.g., Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba).

 

Back

Read 3980 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:21

Contents

Preface
Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Education and Training Services
Emergency and Security Services
Entertainment and the Arts
Health Care Facilities and Services
Hotels and Restaurants
Office and Retail Trades
Personal and Community Services
Public and Government Services
Resources
Transport Industry and Warehousing
Part XVIII. Guides

Public and Government Services Additional Resources

Click the Button below to view additional resources for this topic.

button

Public and Government Services References

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). 1989. Guidelines for the Assessment of Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment. Cincinnati, OH: ACGIH.

Angerer, J, B Heinzow, DO Reimann, W Knorz, and G Lehnert. 1992. Internal exposure to organic substances in a municipal waste incinerator. Int Arch Occup Environ Health; 64(4):265-273.

Asante-Duah, DK, FK Saccomanno, and JH Shortreed. 1992. The hazardous waste trade: Can it be controlled? Environ Sci Technol 26:1684-1693.

Beede, DE and DE Bloom. 1995. The economics of municipal solid waste. World Bank Research Observer. 10(2):113-115.

Belin, L. 1985. Health problems caused by actinomycetes and moulds in the industrial environment. Allergy Suppl. 40:24-29.

Bisesi, M and D Kudlinski. 1996. Measurement of airborne gram-negative bacteria in selected areas of a sludge dewatering building. Presented at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, 20-24 May, Washington, DC.

Botros, BA, AK Soliman, M Darwish, S el Said, JC Morrill, and TG Ksiazek. 1989. Seroprevalence of murine typhus and fievre boutonneuse in certain human populations in Egypt. J Trop Med Hyg. 92(6):373-378.

Bourdouxhe, M, E Cloutier, and S Guertin. 1992. Étude des risques d’accidents dans la collecte des ordures ménagères. Montreal: Institut de recherche en santé de la sécurité du travail.

Bresnitz, EA, J Roseman, D Becker, and E Gracely. 1992. Morbidity among municipal waste incinerator workers. Am J Ind Med 22 (3):363-378.

Brophy, M. 1991. Confined space entry programs. Water Pollution Control Federation Safety and Health Bulletin (Spring):4.

Brown, JE, D Masood, JI Couser, and R Patterson. 1995. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis from residential composting: residential composter’s lung. Ann Allergy, Asthma & Immunol 74:45-47.

Clark, CS, R Rylander, and L Larsson. 1983. Levels of gram-negative bacteria, aspergillus fumigatus, dust and endotoxin at compost plants. Appl Environ Microbiol 45:1501-1505.

Cobb, K and J Rosenfield. 1991. Municipal Compost Management Home Study Program. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Waste Management Institute.

Cointreau-Levine, SJ. 1994. Private Sector Participation in MSW Services in Developing Countries: The Formal Sector, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Colombi, A. 1991. Health risks for waste disposal industry workers (in Italian). Med Lav 82(4):299-313.

Coughlin, SS. 1996. Environmental justice: The role of epidemiology in protecting unempowered communities from environmental hazards. Sci Total Environ 184:67-76.

Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). 1993. International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Geneva: CIOMS.

Cray, C. 1991. Waste Management Inc.: An Encyclopedia of Environmental Crimes and Other
Misdeeds, 3rd (revised) edition. Chicago, IL: Greenpeace USA.

Crook, B, P Bardos, and J Lacey. 1988. Domestic waste composting plants as source of airborne microorganisms. In Aerosols: Their Generation, Behavior and Application, edited by WD Griffiths. London: Aerosol Society.

Desbaumes, P. 1968. Study of risks inherent in industries treating refuse and sewage (in French). Rev Med Suisse Romande 88(2):131-136.

Ducel, G, JJ Pitteloud, C Rufener-Press, M Bahy, and P Rey. 1976. The importance of bacterial exposure in sanitation employees when collecting refuse (in French). Soz Praventivmed 21(4):136-138.

Dutch Occupational Health Association. 1989. Protocol Onderzoeksmethoden Micro-biologische Binnenlucht- verontreinigingen [Research Methods in Biological Indoor Air Pollution]. Working Group Report. The Hague, The Netherlands: Dutch Occupational Health Association.

Emery, R, D Sprau, YJ Lao, and W Pryor. 1992. Release of bacterial aerosols during infectious waste compaction: An initial hazard evaluation for healthcare workers. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 53(5):339-345.

Gellin, GA and MR Zavon. 1970. Occupational dermatoses of solid waste workers. Arch Environ Health 20(4):510-515.

Greenpeace. 1993. We’ve Been Had! Montreal’s Plastics Dumped Overseas. Greenpeace International Toxic Trade Report. Washington, DC: Greenpeace Public Information.

—. 1994a. The Waste Invasion of Asia: A Greenpeace Inventory. Greenpeace Toxic Trade Report. Washington, DC: Greenpeace Public Information.

—. 1994b. Incineration. Greenpeace Inventory of Toxic Technologies. Washington, DC: Greenpeace Public Information.

Gustavsson, P. 1989. Mortality among workers at a municipal waste incinerator. Am J Ind Med 15(3):245-253.

Heida, H, F Bartman, and SC van der Zee. 1975. Occupational exposure and indoor air quality monitoring in a composting facility. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 56(1): 39-43.

Johanning, E, E Olmsted, and C Yang. 1995. Medical issues related to municipal waste composting. Presented at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, 22-26 May, Kansas City, KS.

Knop W. 1975. Work safety in incinerator plants (in German) Zentralbl Arbeitsmed 25(1):15-19.

Kramer, MN, VP Kurup, and JN Fink. 1989. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis from a contaminated dump site. Am Rev Respir Dis 140:1086-1088.

Lacey, J, PAM Williamson, P King, and RP Barbos. 1990. Airborne Microorganisms Associated with Domestic Waste Composting. Stevenage, UK: Warren Spring Laboratory.

Lundholm, M and R Rylander. 1980. Occupational symptoms among compost workers. J Occup Med 22(4):256-257.

Malkin, R, P Brandt-Rauf, J Graziano, and M Parides. 1992. Blood lead levels in incinerator workers. Environ Res 59(1):265-270.

Malmros, P and P Jonsson. 1994. Wastes management: Planning for recycling workers’ safety. Waste Management & Resource Recovery 1:107-112.

Malmros, P, T Sigsgaard and B Bach. 1992. Occupational health problems due to garbage sorting. Waste Management & Research 10:227-234.

Mara, DD. 1974. Bacteriology for Sanitary Engineers. London: Churchill Livingstone.

Maxey, MN. 1978. Hazards of solid waste management: bioethical problems, principles, and priorities. Environ Health Perspect 27:223-230.

Millner, PD, SA Olenchock, E Epstein, R Rylander, J Haines, and J Walker. 1994. Bioaerosols associated with composting facilities. Compost Science and Utilization 2:3-55.

Mozzon, D, DA Brown, and JW Smith. 1987. Occupational exposure to airborne dust, respirable quartz and metals arising from refuse handling, burning and landfilling. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 48(2):111-116.

Nersting, L, P Malmros, T Sigsgaard, and C Petersen. 1990. Biological health risk associated with resource recovery, sorting of recycle waste and composting. Grana 30:454-457.

Paull, JM and FS Rosenthal. 1987. Heat strain and heat stress for workers wearing protective suits at a hazardous waste site. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 48(5):458-463.

Puckett, J and C Fogel 1994. A Victory for Environment and Justice: The Basel Ban and How It Happened. Washington, DC: Greenpeace Public Information.

Rahkonen, P, M Ettala, and I Loikkanen. 1987. Working conditions and hygiene at sanitary landfills in Finland. Ann Occup Hyg 31(4A):505-513.

Robazzi, ML, E Gir, TM Moriya, and J Pessuto. 1994. The trash collection service: Occupational risks versus damages to health (in Portuguese). Rev Esc Enferm USP 28(2):177-190.

Rosas, I, C Calderon, E Salinas, and J Lacey. 1996. Airborne microorganisms in a domestic waste transfer station. In Aerobiology, edited by M Muilenberg and H Burge. New York: Lewis Publishers.

Rummel-Bulska, I. 1993. The Basel Convention: A global approach for the management of hazardous wastes. Paper presented at the Pacific Basin Conference on Hazardous Waste, University of Hawaii, November.

Salvato, JA. 1992. Environmental Engineering and Sanitation. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Schilling, CJ, IP Tams, RS Schilling, A Nevitt, CE Rossiter, and B Wilkinson. 1988. A survey into the respiratory effects of prolonged exposure to pulverised fuel ash. Br J Ind Med 45(12):810-817.

Shrivastava, DK, SS Kapre, K Cho, and YJ Cho. 1994. Acute lung disease after exposure to fly ash. Chest 106(1):309-311.

Sigsgaard, T, A Abel, L Donbk, and P Malmros. 1994. Lung function changes among recycling workers exposed to organic dust. Am J Ind Med 25:69-72.

Sigsgaard, T, B Bach, and P Malmros. 1990. Respiratory impairment among workers in a garbage-handling plant. Am J Ind Med 17(1):92-93.

Smith, RP. 1986. Toxic responses of the blood. In Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology, edited by CD Klaassen, MO Amdur, and J Doull. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Soskolne, C. 1997. International transport of hazardous waste: Legal and illegal trade in the context of professional ethics. Global Bioethics (September/October).

Spinaci, S, W Arossa, G Forconi, A Arizio, and E Concina. 1981. Prevalence of functional bronchial obstruction and identification of groups at risk in a population of industrial workers (in Italian). Med Lav 72(3):214-221.

Southam News. 1994. Export ban on toxic waste proposed. Edmonton Journal (9 March):A12.

van der Werf, P. 1996. Bioaerosols at a Canadian composting facility. Biocycle (September): 78-83.
Vir, AK. 1989. Toxic trade with Africa. Environ Sci Technol 23:23-25.

Weber, S, G Kullman, E Petsonk, WG Jones, S Olenchock, and W Sorensen. 1993. Organic dust exposures from compost handling: Case presentation and respiratory exposure assessment. Am J Ind Med 24:365-374.

Wilkenfeld, C, M Cohen, SL Lansman, M Courtney, MR Dische, D Pertsemlidis, and LR Krakoff. 1992. Heart transplantation for end-stage cardiomyopathy caused by an occult pheochromocytoma. J Heart Lung Transplant 11:363-366.