Find the pdf of the Press Release here
On Monday, 16th March, EFESME attended the mono-thematic videoconference organized by its Spanish member, FEPYMA – Federación Española de Asociaciones de Pequeñas y Medianas Empresas de Ascensores, to talk about the COVID-19 emergency and the measures to be taken in our sector to deal with it.
Mr José María Compagni, FEPYMA coordinator and its representative in EFESME, moderated the event to shed light on many very important issues, giving the participants, more than a hundred, the opportunity to present their opinions and their current difficulties.
The meeting was articulated in four different sections, each of which has been crucial in understanding the situation of the lift sector in Spain in the light of the current serious situation, and how SMEs are reacting to the emergency. A panel was also dedicated to Italy, which was the first to resort to extraordinary measures to deal with the crisis.
The participants discussed the content of the Royal Decree 463/2020 (here in Spanish), i.e. the prohibition to move except for reasons of work and/or extreme necessity, and the closure of many public buildings. This has direct consequences in the lift sector, as it prevents important services, such as maintenance of the plants, from being carried out.
Particular attention has been given to the Italian situation, regarding which Mr Luca Incoronato, Director of ANACAM, the Italian Lift Association and EFESME founding member, gave an important overview that can serve as an example to the Spanish reality. The importance of telework and protective measures have been repeatedly stressed, as well as the need for governments to intervene to stem the economic consequences of the current crisis.
A number of activities that our SMEs carry out on a daily basis have been analysed to see how they can continue to carry them out in an emergency. Installation, preventive maintenance, repairs, rescuing trapped people, and periodic inspections were the most important topics discussed in this panel.
The participants agreed that only those minimal activities considered essential for the operation and safety of the lift systems should be carried out, it being understood that any intervention must be carried out in full safety for the technician and the customer, respecting the safety distances and using the means of protection.
Once again, it is hoped for rapid action by the authorities, so that they clarify aspects, including legal ones, relating to the work of SMEs, such as whether or not to carry out periodic checks and, if so, which ones.
The need to be able to use protective equipment has been analysed in more detail in the third part of the videoconference. It is essential to have protective masks and disinfectant gel, just as it is necessary to receive support from the various governments in order to face the crisis.
Mr Compagni also highlighted how good communication, both internal to SMEs and external to customers, is one of the fundamental pillars to face and overcome the crisis together: in this regard, FEPYMA has developed a decalogue of advices.
The participants in the meeting, while having different views on how to deal with the different aspects of the COVID19 crisis in our sector, nevertheless agreed that it would not be possible to completely close the activities. Minimum services, especially with regard to rescuing people and intervening on faulty installations, must continue, certainly taking into account all health precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
The obligations of SMEs to existing contracts were also discussed, as well as the need for the authorities to take action to make the issue clearer for workers.
EFESME welcomes the good initiative organized by FEPYMA, and has already taken further steps to organise more meetings with its other members to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 in the various European in the various European countries whose lift associations are part of EFESME, to face together this great emergency.