Lesson 2 Personal hygiene practices

There are some basic hygiene rules we need to remember during our work as MUCs.

  1. You should always handle bins and bags with gloves. Direct contact (without gloves) with bins or bags should be avoided.
  2. Frequent hand-washing and increased cleaning by the workers should not be neglected. Use disinfectants when you cannot wash your hands with soap.
  3. Bathing after work and before returning home can eliminate risks of contracting infectious agents and spreading them to other environments, including your home.
  4. Solid waste collection vehicles and carriers should be always be sanitized and disinfected after emptying.
  5. Because of COVID-19 pandemic conditions, social distancing practices should be promoted in any workplace environment.

Scenario- hygiene practice example

Now, let’s say that you want to grab some garbage bags, or tree branches, etc. that are outside of the bin. What are the dos and don’ts that we need to follow?
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers specifically before using your mobile phone, touching your eyes, nose and mouth, or eating or drinking anything (see details below)
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you use often, such as equipment handles, doorknobs, and steering wheels
  • Clean and disinfect objects you use often such as mobile phones, keys, wallets, and work passes
  • Increase the amount of fresh air (ex: open windows in the vehicles)
  • Use personal protective measures: wear your uniform, wear KN95 or FFP2 masks while working, and follow personal respiratory hygiene measures in general, wear gloves

It is crucial for everyone, and especially for MUCs, to wash their hands:

  • before and after using gloves
  • before eating
  • before drinking something
  • before smoking
  • before chewing gum
  • before using the phone
  • before taking medication
  • before fitting your contact lenses
  • before and after using the toilet

In general, it is important to remember that you need to wash your hands whenever you come in contact with contaminated material (even if you are wearing disposable gloves). To do so, you should take off your gloves, wash your hands and put on clean gloves again.

To avoid getting sick, wash your hands properly for at least 20 seconds.

  • Wet your hands with water.
  • Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands.
  • Rub your palms together.
  • Clean between the fingers and the back of your hands.
  • Clean dirty nails with a scrubbing brush, if one is available.
  • Rinse both sides of your hands, preferably under clean running water.
  • Dry off your hands with a clean towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the tap.

Photo: ecdc, found https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/poster-effective-hand-washing

Scenario- hygiene practice example

Now, let’s say that you experience a skin irritation and/or infection due to repeated use of hygiene products. What do you do?
  • Having a bath after work and always before returning to your home can protect you and your family from infectious germs.
  • Showering before leaving work should become your daily routine.

Did you know?

  • Wearing clothes or gloves that have been previously contaminated defeats good personal hygiene!
  • Skin ailments are more likely to occur if the insides of gloves or garments are contaminated. Certain chemicals, such as pesticides, may come into contact with the skin and be absorbed, especially after the skin becomes moist with sweat.
  • It is important to keep your coveralls and gloves clean daily, plus keep spares in the cab.
  • To ensure that hazardous contaminants are not taken home where family members may be exposed to them, laundering of protective clothing should be utilized in the working facilities when provided.
  • Otherwise, clean your working clothes separately from the other clothes and garments in your home.
  • Try to bathe or shower every day. Wash well, especially under your armpits and around your genitals and anus. Keeping clean will prevent skin irritations and remove bacteria that cause body odour.
  • Wash yourself with soap, shower gel or a hypoallergenic body wash.
  • If there is no tap water or it is scarce, clean yourself with a clean wet cloth or sponge

  • If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask. Put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
  • If you are not wearing a mask:
    • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Keep the windows of the garbage truck open to increase air flow.
  • Avoid using a fan without the window or door open, as this may spread the virus.