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Critical infrastructure: energy and water management: concerns about staff shortages

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They want clear commitments from politicians: The Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries is preparing for possible staff shortages as a result of the Omicron wave.

In view of the increasing number of corona infections, the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) is demanding political commitments in the event of staff shortages.

The chairwoman of the BDEW executive board, Kerstin Andrae, gave the example of preferential childcare for employees in key positions. “The same applies to preferential integration into a vaccination campaign as soon as a vaccine adapted to Omicron is available, or preferential treatment for PCR tests,” she told the German Press Agency.

The energy and water industry is part of the so-called critical infrastructure, the failure of which could have serious consequences for life in Germany. According to BDEW information, around 200,400 people work in the energy industry and in the water industry
81,800 people. Emergency plans in the event of bottlenecks are constantly being adjusted, it said.

Uniform rules required

As a final step, it makes sense to release key personnel from the quarantine so that those affected can come to work, explained Andrae. “Such a so-called quarantine corridor would of course only apply to people who are able to work and who are in quarantine as contact persons or as infected people without symptoms.”

But it is also important that representatives of the industry are included in regional crisis teams, says Andrae. Clear, uniform regulations are also needed, which the health authorities can implement unbureaucratically. “One lesson from the first waves of the pandemic is that the inconsistency of specific local regulations is a major challenge for companies, especially if they operate in several federal states, districts or communities,” said Andrae.

Source From: Stern

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