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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2020-12/552 Updated – measures in Austria

Self-isolation Vienna Energy

Selbstisolierung Wien Energie

Country Austria , applies regionally

    • – AT1 OSTÖSTERREICH
Time period Open ended, started on 20 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Other
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

In order to ensure the power supply despite the corona virus, the energy provider Wien Energie uses isolation stations. 53 employees of Wien Energie volunteered to isolate themselves at company locations. They are spending several weeks there, cut off from the outside world, to prevent infection with all possibilities. All workers had been medically tested before isolation. These employees are to move in when no one else can. The tasks range from system control to maintenance and minor repairs. At the same time, operations at the locations continue as normal.

Content of measure

To make this isolation possible, residential containers were set up at power plants and waste incineration plants. In addition, provisional power plant controls were set up or conference rooms converted into dormitories, as Wien Energie wrote in the company blog. There is also a supply of food. In addition, they offer occupational psychological support.

Shift plans were adjusted according to emergency plans in the areas critical for the supply (e.g. power plants, waste incineration plants, control centers and waiting rooms). No workers who are not required for operations are allowed on the factory premises. As far as possible, work for other employees is to be provided in the home office. Precautions have been taken for possible quarantine cases. Certain areas of the plant, such as crane systems in the waste incineration plants, could be operated in part automatically.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

04 January 2022

Due to the significantly more contagious virus mutation Omicron which has become the predominant virus type in Austria in late 2021/early 2022, the municipal energy provider Wien Energie is once again isolating 50 employees in order to be able to maintain power supply even in the event of very high numbers of infections and/or quarantines of essential workers. The employees have volunteered and went into self-isolation at the beginning of January 2022. They are being PCR-tested daily for ten days and will remain working in isolation for four weeks.

Use of measure

So far, 53 employees of Wien Energie have themselves isolated at company grounds.

Contents

  • Health and safety

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Public support service providers
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

Company initiative.

Views and reactions

No views/reactions.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      D - Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply D35 Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 20 March 2020: Wien Energie isolates employees to ensure electricity supply (futurezone.at)
  • 21 March 2020: Isolation during Corona - Cut off from the Outside World Isolation during Corona – Cut off from the Outside World Isolation during Corona – Cut off from the Outside World (blog.wienenergie.at)
  • 17 April 2020: End of isolation Vienna Energy (industriemagazin.at)
  • 04 January 2022: Wien Energie isolates supply-critical employees (www.wienerzeitung.at)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Self-isolation Vienna Energy, measure AT-2020-12/552 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2020-12_552.html

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