Yesterday, Wednesday, 25 March 2020, EFESME had the opportunity to meet with its members to discuss the current global health situation, and to exchange views on how the different states and national lift associations are addressing the situation to protect their SMEs. From the very beginning, thanks to the participation of EFESME members from Italy, Spain, France, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and later Germany, it was possible to see how the situation is very different depending on the internal situation of the individual countries, and how, as a result, the national associations, the industry, and the lift market are facing differently these new working and living conditions. Taking due account of the fact that the situation is constantly and rapidly changing, the meeting and the experiences of the participants revealed points and criticalities common to all national realities:
- The importance of telework and remote training, but also the need to keep the economy as lively and active as possible, thinking about the future with cautious optimism.
- The importance of following hygiene rules imposed by governments, both on a personal level and in the workplace, to limit contagion and protect oneself and others.
- The need to know how to protect workers, to know the measures to be implemented, especially given the shortage of PPE throughout the continent. In this regard, the shared protocol presented by the Italian Government can be a valid instrument and an example to follow for other realities (official Italian version of the document and non-official English translation).
- The need for greater clarity as regards the obligations of SMEs with regard to maintenance and periodic inspections of installations; attitudes in this regard change from state to state, and it is difficult at present to obtain firm answers from the authorities.
- The need for greater clarity on the part of the authorities as to what is considered an "essential activity", and how to protect production chains to ensure the availability of the necessary spare parts.
- The first problems with the availability of spare parts, with some SMEs that have already started to report difficulties when it comes to finding parts to continue maintenance work.