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A look behind the scenes of the coronavirus crisis management team

After three years of the pandemic, life is returning to normal again. A brief review of a turbulent period.

The coronavirus pandemic has clearly put the focus on the health of employees. The number one objective was to keep employees healthy and protect them from infection. This posed particular challenges for the company at a time when operations needed to be maintained.
In the three years or so since the start of the pandemic, the members of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding global coronavirus crisis management team have met well over a hundred times. The crisis management team is made up of members of the management board as well as those responsible from all business groups and relevant specialist departments, such as Human Resources, Facility Management, Industrial Safety, and Corporate Communications. Their mission: to develop hygiene concepts, keep the workforce informed, secure production chains, and steer the company through the pandemic with a steady hand. The crisis management team regularly provided information worldwide about the current situation, infection rates, hygiene measures, and health services.

Masks, self-tests, vaccinations

Several thousand infections have been reported at the sites of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding business groups. Visits to the dining rooms and canteens were divided into shifts; non-essential face-to-face meetings were replaced with digital formats. With disinfectants at central locations, free protective masks, and self-tests, employees were handed the essential tools for infection control. Facility Management distributed more than 600,000 masks and 300,000 self-tests at the sites in Germany alone. Added to this are the self-tests issued at the sites around the world, as well as PCR and antigen tests, each of which was carried out on site. At Germany’s largest company site in Oberderdingen, the medical service administered 1,021 COVID-19 vaccinations.

Unusual solutions

At E.G.O. Components (China) Co. Ltd. in Taicang, China, production was only possible under strict government quarantine regulations for some time. Colleagues spent their working and leisure time on the company premises. The company provided them with meals, toiletries, and sleeping facilities. The workforce at the BLANCO site in Shanghai was able to rely on special assistance during a tough lockdown: the company organized a delivery service that brought food to colleagues who had to stay in their homes for days.

Overall, we were able to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic very well.

Dr. Karlheinz Hörsting
CEO of the E.G.O.-Group and member of the management board of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding; responsible for the coronavirus crisis management team

Instructive years

“Overall, we were able to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic very well because everyone pulled together. “I’d like to thank all employees for this,” says Dr. Karlheinz Hörsting, responsible for the coronavirus crisis management team and member of the management board of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding, looking back on the last three years. “This was only possible because everyone pulled together. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks. We remain sensitive and have learned a lot from the last three years.

For example, the following still applies: anyone with symptoms of illness stays at home as a precaution.”

Even though the pandemic has been and is still to some extent associated with huge pressures, it has also driven positive changes: in many places, remote working is indispensable. At the same time, digitalization has experienced an enormous boost—after all, due to the contact bans, meetings could suddenly be held almost exclusively digitally. Fortunately, equipping the workstations with the necessary equipment and corresponding software solutions had already begun before the coronavirus pandemic.

Digital meetings are still being used more than before, even after the peak of the pandemic. Because there is no need to travel, the company saves time and costs, while the CO footprint is also reduced.

Sustainability Report 2023
as a PDF

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Focus on people

Worldwide, BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding and its business groups place employees and other stakeholder groups in the focus of social responsibility.

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