While COVID-19 has shut down much of the economy, not everyone has been sent home. Essential workers remain in action across the country, from medical personnel to police and firefighters to the cashiers at grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. All told, nearly 49 million Americans have been deemed, essential workers. 

Sanitation workers fall into this category. The industry employs about 2,404,400 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 7% expected increase through 2028. 

So how can we keep them safe? These sanitation workers face the frontlines of the outbreak to keep the rest of us safe. What steps can all of us take to minimize the risk of infection among this important group of essential workers? Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

Keep Your Distance 

Remember: regular social-distancing restrictions apply. To help keep sanitation workers safe from the coronavirus, respect the six-foot buffer that most states have adopted as a guideline. If you want to thank the workers for their service, leave them a note, rather than trying to thank them in person.

Make Sure Garbage Is Secured 

You don’t have to scrub every piece of trash you throw away to keep the virus away from sanitation workers. However, it helps if the garbage stays contained.  

Tighten the drawstrings on garbage bags, and make sure that they don’t have holes or leaks. If you see that a bag has ripped, put a fresh bag around the torn one. Meanwhile, check that the lids are secured on your outdoor trash cans and that they are placed in the proper location for pick up.

Wipe Down Surfaces

Janitors and other sanitation workers are responsible for wiping down surfaces that could potentially host COVID-19. Rather than have a sanitation worker do this just at the end of the day, wipe down surfaces regularly to clean these surfaces clean for everyone.  

Provide Workers With Proper Protective Equipment 

Although we are experiencing a shortage of certain equipment and chemicals, it is necessary for sanitation workers to have the equipment to protect themselves. Make sure your workers have gloves and masks to keep themselves safe when they are working to keep the rest of your facility clean.   

In Need of Sanitation Workers?  

The coronavirus has brought safety concerns to the forefront. However, the topic should remain prominent once the risk of COVID-19 lifts. Matching businesses with competent, experienced employees ensure that every operation has the highest possible safety profile, no matter the circumstances. This task is much easier when you work with a strong staffing agency, like SmartTalent. 

Contact SmartTalent today to find out how a commitment to safety should be a key consideration in every job search.