The lift in the time of Coronavirus
The Covid-19, started in China in January 2020, quickly spread around the world. The health crisis violently hit Europe, at first by causing a hard situation in Italy (which immediately took severe measures to face the issue) and then in other countries.
On issue 3/2020 of Elevatori Magazine you can read all the contributions from the main trade associations all over the world in the special issue dedicated to the Covid-19 emergency.
That’s who intervened:
Zhang Lexiang, Secretary General of the China Elevator Association
Donald Gelestino, Naec and Champion Elevator Corp. President
Nick Mellor, LEIA (Lift and Escalator Industry Association) Managing Director
Roberto Zappa, ELA (European Lift Association) president
Markus Pitscheider, Secretary General of OITAF, International Ropeway Transport Organization
Gianni Robertelli, Anica (Associazione Nazionale delle Industrie di Componenti per Ascensori) president
Angelo Fumagalli, Anie AssoAscensori president
Andrea Codebò, National President of the Anacam Association (Associazione Nazionale Imprese di Costruzione e Manutenzione Ascensori)
Francesco Burrelli, Anaci (Associazione Nazionale Amministratori Condominiali e Immobiliari) President
Nick Mellor, Managing Director LEIA (Lift and Escalator Industry Association), also sent the editorial staff of Elevatori Magazine a second commentary (in mid-April 2020), to update the first article published in the magazine’s issue 3/2020:
“I write this as we approach the peak in the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK. We have been watching Italy’s experience with interest as we have been following two weeks behind. We are encouraged that in Italy there is now a clear downwards trend in new cases and that removing some restrictions is being considered.
We have had severe movement restrictions for three weeks and many have been working from home for four weeks. Those doing essential work are learning social/physical distancing. The effect is to turn the numbers of COVID-19 ases and the number of fatalities each day – these should start to reduce in the coming days.
Many in our industry are maintaining lifts, escalators and moving walks, lifting platforms and stairlifts which are essential to the building and their users. We are learning what essential work we must do to keep equipment running safely, and what can be reduced to minimise social contact. We are learning how to support those who work in critical functions, in particular to those in our health care system and those who rely of their equipment.
Although Government guidance does not prohibit construction work, it is difficult while following social/physical distancing guidance. Some construction sites are working and some installations are proceeding, but much of the new equipment installation is stopped.
The UK Government has put schemes in place to support the jobs of those who cannot work and has loan schemes for companies. Inevitably, it takes time to set-up these schemes and for companies to receive the support. Even with these schemes in operation, we will need to start removing restrictions soon.
After this initial period of severe restrictions, we will need to find ways to work with COVID-19. Many whose work can be done remotely are learning new tools and new techniques. However, our industry is based on site and we will have to find ways to install and maintain equipment without transmitting COVID-19.
This will happen as we adapt and learn to work with the new realities. We learn always how resilient and adaptable are the people of our industry.”