Working in natural gas, electrical, water, power, chemical treatments, and other sectors in utilities means working long uncomfortable hours in unappealing working environments.
Work environments in utilities can range from rural facilities to construction sites to underground tunnels. Utility worker’s jobs often involve repair. Occurrences such as damages caused by storms, extreme weather, and accidents can mean peaks in demand when workers least expect it.
Due to challenging environments and hard to access locations when working on utilities, it means not always having access to running toilets. Portable waste bags offer a simple solution to help enhance working conditions. Here’s how portable waste bags are changing the utility sector for the better:
Help Companies Save Money and Increase Productivity
The utility industry imports and exports its product to some degree. Working in utilities means transporting natural gas, electricity, and freshwater where driving from the rural-based facilities to the city could mean many long hours on the road.
Stopping every so often to find a working bathroom costs time and money as the delivery of the products may miss a crucial deadline or mean paying workers overtime. By keeping portable waste bags on all transport vehicles, employees have a convenient portable toilet solution that reduces downtime and keeps them on schedule.
While the odor of human waste alone can make you feel nauseous, it’s the potential transmission of viral and bacterial infections we have to worry about most. According to UNICEF, one gram of feces contains 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, and 1,000 parasite cysts.
Human excreta is a vector for bacterial diseases such as E-coli, salmonella, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery otherwise known as infectious diarrhea. Fecally-transmitted viral infections include rotavirus and hepatitis A. You will not feel the impact of coming into contact with the fecal matter until symptoms of the disease hit you.
Salmonella infection symptoms can develop within eight to 72 hours after ingesting contaminated water or food. You may develop abdominal cramps, fever, or diarrhea. We know that people suffering from diarrhea have very loose, watery stools. If they can’t control their bowel movements while at work and the bathrooms are too far away, they may relieve themselves somewhere else on the job site. Even if they try to clean it up, trace amounts will remain and could potentially make a coworker sick. And the cycle continues.
Fecal-oral transmission becomes a reality at job sites when workers also eat in the same area where someone has practiced open defecation. If a coworker is peeing or pooping away from designated bathrooms and doesn’t wash their hands afterward (or use a sanitary hand wipe) they could go back to work and contaminate everything they touch.
Hepatitis A is another virus found in infected feces. It can be transmitted in even the tiniest amounts, easily contaminating food and water. If someone with trace amounts of fecal matter on their hands were to touch a tool that many others throughout the day will use, the Hepatitis A virus could spread. While not everyone will have symptoms, those who do experience negative symptoms may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, extreme lack of energy, or jaundice. It takes about 4 to 8 weeks to recover from Hepatitis A completely.
Exposed liquid and solid waste also attract flies and other insects, creating another oral-fecal route. The flies land on the feces, carrying disease-causing microbes with them and leaving them behind when they land on your hands or food. People end up unknowingly ingesting food with tiny, yet harmful, amounts of defecate matter.
The diseases that open defecation and human waste spread not only harms the health of your employees, but it also costs you money as productivity plummets whenever someone gets sick or refuses to work in an area that reeks of the stench of urine and feces.
Prevent Criminal Penalties and Convictions
People peeing in alleys, next to dumpsters, or behind a tree is more common than we care to admit. It happens in the city and on job sites. A job in utilities could mean being a solo operator is monitoring a small plant in a rural area or being one of the hundreds in one facility responsible for operating a massive system. You could feel the urge to go to the bathroom while on the road, at a construction site, or underground. All these scenarios mean minimal access to a running toilet.
In desperate times, people may turn to pee or pooping outside, thinking no one is looking. However, urinating in public is illegal and depending on the state and prosecutor, the act could classify as a public nuisance, disorderly conduct, or indecent exposure. Public urination and defecation could end up on public records and comes with a fine and in some cases, imprisonment.
Promote Employee Health and Safety
Human waste hosts a multitude of disease-causing germs. Hepatitis A is just one of those viral infections that you can catch when you eat food or drink water that is contaminated with human feces.
An employee who doesn’t find a sanitary means to pee or poop at the job site might defecate anywhere. If workers don’t give their hands a good wash or use an antimicrobial wipe, they could pass the disease to their coworkers. Employees infected with Hepatitis A could be out sick for anywhere between a few days to several months. When the infection hits them, they could have symptoms that range from fever to vomiting to diarrhea to jaundice.
Portable Waste Bags give workers a safe and sanitary on-site facility. Portable Waste Bags are deployable anywhere and require no particular installation or servicing. They also help prevent environmental risks and hazards caused by people who practice open defecation.
Brief Relief, the leader in personal lavatory systems, believes those who work in utilities are vital, contributing members of our communities. Our Liquid and Solid Waste Bag systems solve the problem that workers in services encounter when they find themselves with no access to a running toilet.