German associations act on Covid safety measures
By Leila Steed25 January 2021
Germany’s three main construction associations have agreed additional measures to protect workers during the “worsening” pandemic.
The three - Zentralverband Deutsches Baugewerbe (ZDB), Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (HDB), and Industriegewerkschaft Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) - said they will work to facilitate regular Covid testing and the supply of one million FFP2 facemasks to site workers across the country.
Robert Feiger, Chairman of IG BAU, said, “Due to the deteriorating pandemic situation, we believe it is necessary for our employees to have sufficient FFP2 masks available.
“During the winter weeks, more renovations and interior fittings take place. Many works are thus relocated to closed rooms. In addition, there is the danger of working outdoors due to the cold and various virus mutations. All of this leads to an increased risk of contagion.”
The masks will be provided by Germany’s statutory construction health insurance organisation BG BAU.
They also called on the country’s politicians to involve BG BAU’s medical and occupational health services to help in the country’s vaccination programme. BG BAU already carries out around 500,000 preventive examinations a year. According to the associations, this could be further utilised as a “building block” to help increase both the number of vaccinations and the speed at which they are delivered.
In a joint statement, the associations said, “The construction industry has come through the Corona pandemic well so far. We owe this to our entrepreneurs, but above all to the employees who are on duty every day on construction sites. In doing so, we have largely prevented short-time working and unemployment and even created more jobs. The construction industry has thus become an important pillar of the German economy.”