Two young men in overalls look at the camera. Behind them, screens flash in a control room. "We're going to quarantine for you," says one of the men. The other says: "I hope that somehow we can all solve the crisis together quickly and that it will never happen again afterwards."
Next film: The camera zooms through rooms that are now part of the isolation station. Emergency beds are tight. There is a lounge with sofas, fitness equipment, a row with narrow lockers.
The energy provider Wien Energie published the two videos a few days ago. They do not show a fictitious catastrophe scenario, but the company's security measures in times of the corona crisis.
At the beginning of last week, the energy supplier sent 53 of its employees into voluntary isolation - in the power plants themselves. The company set up residential containers there, converted conference rooms into dormitories, installed a kitchen and washing machines, and set up an additional power plant control system. Psychologists look after the employees in isolation. "The foreclosed employees are of particular importance," says the company. "They are the guarantee for the safe operation of all power plants and waste incineration plants, even if there is a major infection."
Six hours of work, 18 hours off
In Germany, too, energy providers have activated their pandemic plans. Energy supply is part of the critical infrastructure that needs special protection in the event of a pandemic. "As part of its crisis and emergency management, the industry has set up processes that also apply in the event of the corona pandemic," says Kerstin Andreae, chief executive of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management.
A decisive factor is that the specialists in the company remain operational - and healthy. "The pandemic plans can also provide precautionary measures for operational quarantine, especially for sensitive work areas such as control centers and power plant control rooms," says Andreae. In other words, employees can be barracked in Germany in the event of a crisis. The utilities themselves decide whether they will be implemented.
The Bamberg municipal utility decided to do this. Four volunteers in the control room have been in quarantine since Monday. You are now sleeping in the meeting room. "We have no specific reason for this," says Stadtwerke spokesman Jan Giersberg. "Prime Minister Söder has declared the disaster. We now want to take this additional security measure to protect the energy supply."
The employees in Bamberg work in shifts: six hours of work in the control room, 18 hours off for leisure and sleep. All this for a maximum of eight days at a time, after which four days of home leave are planned. The teams are changed after they have been tested again on Corona so that the employees do not get a warehouse bug.
Other German energy providers are also preparing to quarantine employees. The Essen-based energy group E.on has set up accommodations near the network control centers, in which employees can stay for long periods. E.on boss Johannes Teyssen spoke openly about the plans at the balance sheet press conference last week: "We have started to let groups of employees who are critical of the system live and work even under barrack-like solutions. That is an imposition. It is necessary. "