Developing and implementing COVID safety measures

Right at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, BBT SE immediately took the evolution of the emergency situation very seriously and promptly reacted to it. In order to maintain and protect the health of employees on construction sites and in the office, comprehensive and urgent measures have been adopted, starting in spring 2020, to prevent infections. However, construction operations had to be temporarily suspended due to national provisions. Thanks to extensive prevention concepts and stricter safety measures, at a later stage construction works on site could resume.

“We were able to react very quickly and inform all employees of what to do and what to avoid in order to limit the risk of infection as much as possible. An in-house committee on COVID was established, which drafted guidelines to effectively contain new infections” reported Alessandro Ferrari, Safety Coordinator at BBT SE in Italy.

This committee also has the task of monitoring the compliance to the rules inside the company while constantly updating them. These include a wide range of measures which are jointly supported and implemented by BBT SE employees in close cooperation with the construction firms.

Erwin Reichel, Safety Coordinator at BBT SE in Austria further explains: “COVID safety measures at the Brenner Base Tunnel are mostly based on the issues of hygiene, social distancing and providing medical checks or examinations on a voluntary basis as a form of prevention. In this way, suspected cases can be quickly identified. Furthermore, in-house and external meetings are mostly held remotely and they are generally limited to what is strictly necessary.”

The company in charge of construction operations is in constant contact with public sector bodies in order to implement the necessary measures to tackle COVID. All employees are adequately provided with protection masks and offices, as well as transportation vehicles for staff, are sanitized multiple times a day. On construction sites, particular attention is paid to social distancing. The number of spots available at canteens as well as inside transportation vehicles has been reduced and miners are provided with single-bed accommodations.

BBT visitor and information centres are temporarily closed in both countries until the emergency situation improves.