Even after the ups and downs of 225 years in shipbuilding, the privately held Meyer called this coronavirus situation 'exceptional.'
Yet the pandemic will pass, the company said, and to keep the already foreseeable massive economic consequences 'bearable,' Meyer is continuing production for as long as possible.
Preventing staff cuts and taking responsibility for suppliers
'We do this as long as we can use our measures to ensure the health protection of employees during ongoing operations. The economic goals are securing the shipyard, preventing staff cuts and taking responsibility for our suppliers,' Meyer said in a blog post Thursday, accompanied by a video of Managing Partner Tim Meyer outlining the precautions.
Thousands of jobs
Meyer Werft is responsible for 3,625 jobs, more than 1,200 jobs in other Meyer Group companies in Papenburg and directly or indirectly responsible for around 7,000 employees in the Emsland and Leer districts, as well as for more than 14,400 jobs at suppliers in Germany and the EU.
Since February the management has been adapting on a daily basis to the dynamic corinavirus situation.
Two cases to date
So far, Meyer Werft has reported two coronavirus cases. The last person tested positive March 26 and had not been at the yard since March 11. He is in quarantine at home.
Since February, anyone entering the yard first needs to fill out a screening questionnaire. The visitor center is closed. In-person training and workshops were discontinued. Business trips are prohibited.
Coronavirus hotlines and help desks have been set up for employees and suppliers. Frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers is encouraged.
Everyone is to keep a 1.5-meter distance apart. To prevent groups from gathering, canteens and lounges were closed.
Staggered shifts, designated work zones
Work times were staggered to ensure distancing regulations at the gates to the yard.
A shift system in production areas was introduced to reduce the number of people in the yard.
The yard was divided into zones where people are assigned for their shifts. An additional first aid station was set up to save walking time and avoid the need to cross zones.
Security staff was doubled to ensure the measures are enforced.
Cruise ship production
In 2020, the Papenburg yard is scheduled to deliver P&O Cruises' Iona, which made its conveyance to the North Sea in mid-March, Saga Cruises' Spirit of Adventure and Royal Caribbean International's Odyssey of the Seas.