Unequal criteria in companies in regulating the use of masks

Unequal criteria in companies in regulating the use of masks

Workers in an office / Paolo Ariza

Most large companies undertake not to introduce changes yet, pending further analysis of the new legislation

Lucas Irigoyen

Many Basques who went into their usual bar yesterday morning to drink coffee without a mask, had to put it back on when they got to their office. And it is that most of the large companies have chosen to wait and analyze the situation well before changing the criteria for using this protection system. The result: while in many companies and small and medium-sized enterprises the mask has completely disappeared, in others it is still expected that the prevention services of each company will clarify which jobs require it for safety.

And it is precisely that the decree published by the BOE leaves the application of a philosophy that seeks to change the obligation of the mask for “responsible use” in the hands of companies and mutual societies. A nuance that is generating differences. This has been highlighted in the companies that have taken measures, even in the case of companies belonging to the same sector. This was the case with food. Eroski opted for a conservative movement and decided not to make any changes until at least 2 May.

Sources of the Elorrio cooperative underlined that it is a “principle of prudence” with which they want to wait to see how the data on the pandemic evolve in these first days after the Easter holiday period. El Corte Inglés acted in a different way, yesterday morning withdrawn the obligation of the mask to its staff. The measure, however, has several caveats. For example, when the worker’s task involves contact with the customer – measurement, make-up … – or the distance is less than one and a half meters. In this decision, commercial criteria and the impact it could have on customers who meet shop staff without masks are important.

BBVA revokes the obligation

Differences were also recorded in the banking sector. Thus, BBVA has followed in Iberdrola’s footsteps by eliminating the mandatory use of the mask, except for some “recommendations” to keep it when there is “continuous contact with customers”, in the case of “vulnerable” people or when respiratory symptoms occur ” compatible “occur with covid”. Kutxabank, on the other hand, will generally “maintain the obligation” of the mask in the workplace, its use being particularly necessary when attending meetings, in shared or small spaces and in transit areas such as corridors and stairways.

Kutxabank maintains the use of a mask in the workforce and BBVA eliminates the requirement

The case of the sector is the one that mostly focuses the corporate decision to delay the new protocols by several days. This happens in companies like Michelin, where they point out that it will still take several days to apply the changes, as it will happen in Gestamp or CAF. Arcelor Mittal, for its part, yesterday decided to eliminate the obligation to use the mask in outdoor spaces, but maintains the obligation in closed areas. Mercedes also continues with the mandatory use of this protective measure in its workshops and offices until a more detailed analysis of the situation is completed. Although in the Vitoria plant, some unions said yesterday that they are undertaking some relaxation of this measure.