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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-2020-15/544 – measures in Austria

Good practice: Snowblowers to blow disinfectants

Good practice: Schneekanonen für Desinfektionsmittel

Country Austria , applies regionally

    • – AT33 Tirol
Time period Open ended, started on 06 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/innovation
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 28 April 2021)

Background information

According to a decree decree by the Ministry of Health from 31 March, from 6 April 2020 onward, surfaces and devices that are regularly touched by customers must be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

This inspired the Tyrolean based waste disposal company DAKA to use snow cannons (snow blowers which are used for producing snow in ski resorts) for disinfecting large areas like train stations or production halls. In addition, the company uses mobile nebulizers spraying disinfectants e.g. in old people's homes.

Content of measure

The waste disposal company DAKA in Hopfgarten wants to use the snow cannon to disinfect larger areas and rooms in the future. Use in production halls, stadiums, train stations, airfields or event halls is conceivable. For smaller areas and spaces, the company also works with mobile nebulizers. So far, a snow cannon has been adapted accordingly. It should already be in use next week. There are five of the mobile nebulizers, some of which are already being used, for example in old people's homes.

On 31 March, a decree by the Ministry of Health created the basis for this unorthodox measure, said the DAKA. According to this, from 6 April surfaces and devices that are regularly touched by customers must be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. 'Of course, manual wiping is the best method', DAKA project manager Matthias Zitterbart admitted in an interview, but this is 'very expensive'.Swiveling snow cannons loaded with hydrogen peroxide with a throw of up to fifty meters are said to bring relief. 'It can be used to disinfect large areas within a very short time', emphasized Zitterbart. For example, dosing tanks and high-pressure pumps had to be integrated into the snow cannon.

The mobile nebulizers are used for smaller areas, including offices or pharmacies. 'The second smallest devices work autonomously'. said the DAKA project manager. The room was accessible again ninety minutes after the disinfection process. The smallest device is also suitable for reaching corners and niches. Car interiors can also be disinfected.

Use of measure

The adapted snow cannon is expected to be in use from mid-April onwards.

Contents

  • Health and safety
  • Solidarity

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

N/A

Views and reactions

Unilateral company initiative.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      E - Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management And Remediation Activities E38 Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 10 April 2020: Tyrolean company wants to disinfect large areas with snow cannons (www.tt.com)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Good practice: Snowblowers to blow disinfectants, measure AT-2020-15/544 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2020-15_544.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.