CUMMING, Ga. (CBS46) -- Sanitation workers fear they are being put at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus due to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Sanitation workers around the country, and here in Georgia, say they’re not getting basic PPE during the pandemic. Greg Dowis, a Republic Services employee, is working hard keeping his community clean…but possibly at a cost.
“I’ve got a job to do, if we’re not out here doing our job…diseases and viruses, with all the trash on the ground, it can become worse,” Dowis said. “It’s disgusting."
Dowis, along with other Republic Services employees, tell CBS46's Melissa Stern they’re concerned about the lack of cleanliness and personal protective equipment being provided.
“A lot of us ended up having to bring our own, I brought anti-bacterial wipes from home,” said Dowis.
Specifically, a lack of wipes, face shields, and deep cleanings of their trucks.
“With this virus going around, I think they could step it up, they should at least give us all containers of anti-bacterial wipes for our trucks so we can wipe them down, they can do a better job than what they’re doing,” added Dowis.
Dowis said they’ve raised concerns with management about their health and safety… but says the response hasn’t been enough.
“We have some sludge boxes from sewage plants, and there’s one where if you open the door, it will spray on you, we’re talking human waste during a virus, and they won’t even give us the proper suits,” said Dowis.
A spokesperson for Republic Services sent CBS46’s Melissa Stern this statement:
At Republic Services, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, and any assertions to the contrary are categorically untrue. As always, we provide all employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for their roles. We have also made disposable and reusable masks available to all employees. We have enhanced our protocols to help keep our facilities and equipment clean and safe, and to help ensure the wellbeing of employees. We will continue to closely follow all guidance from the CDC, OSHA and local health authorities.
But Dowis and some other employees CBS46’s Melissa Stern spoke to off camera said it’s just not cutting it.
“They have some, but not enough for everybody,” Dowis added, “I really hope they step up and do the right thing.”