If Jefferson Lab experiences a delayed opening or closure due to severe winter weather, there are several ways for staff, users and subcontractors to get current information on the lab's status.
For updated, recorded messages, call the main telephone number, (757) 269-7100, or call the JLab Status Line, (757) 234-6236. You may also visit the JLab website (www.jlab.org/) where weather closing or delay information will be posted as a banner message.
If timing warrants, your home phone (the number you've listed in the Employee Self Service System) number will receive a pre-recorded message, giving you the latest information about the lab's status. If you have access to your JLab email account, check your In Box for a Site Wide Alert message. If you have a JLab pager, check it for a weather alert/status notice.
In the event of a large or very severe weather event that disrupts electrical power/systems at JLab, knocking out these notification systems, visit JLab's Emergency Site Status webpage at http://status.jlab.org . This webpage is only used when all local communication modes are unavailable.
JLab closing or delay information is also given to the three local network TV stations (WTKR Ch. 3 (CBS), WAVY Ch. 10 (NBC) and WVEC Ch. 13 (ABC), and several local radio stations; but JLab cannot guarantee that the information will be posted or reported accurately.
If after checking these sources, you are still uncertain about going to work or you feel it would be unsafe for you to be on the road, contact your supervisor.
If your supervisor has specifically informed you that you are designated as "essential personnel" for a weather-related event, be alert for special instructions that would affect you. All others – employees, users and subcontractors – are subject to closure status instructions and should not report to JLab before the time specified. In these cases, JLab’s security service is under instructions to advise all but previously designated essential staff that the lab is closed.
The lab's procedures for winter storms are posted in the ES&H Manual, Appendix 3510-T4 under the heading "Winter Storms." Additional severe weather information is located at http://www.jlab.org/intralab/emergency/weather/severe.html along with suggestions for walking safely in icy conditions.
The lab's Administrative Manual (section 207.08.D.2) contains the policy regarding taking leave due to a weather emergency. One paragraph in the section states: "Employees, who, on their own, decide that weather conditions preclude their attendance or requires their early departure, may take vacation leave provided they obtain the advance approval of their supervisor."
If weather conditions deteriorate during normal work hours and the decision is made to close the lab, a Site Wide Alert notice will go out over JLab email and pagers and the early closing will be posted to the JLab InSight Front Page.
Should the lab have a delayed opening due to ice or snow, do not arrive prior to the designated start time, as additional traffic hampers the clearing of roads and parking lots.
Stay Safe During, After Severe Winter Weather
Nearly two-thirds of JLab's past slip and fall mishaps occurred on snow, ice, or wet surfaces near entrances or on parking lots. Here are some tips to help you prevent falls:
-- Wear shoes or boots that provide good traction. Rough or rippled pattern rubber soles are generally best. Smooth leather is the least desirable. Lugged rubber patterns fall in between. Slipover grip accessories are very effective on icy surfaces. Consider keeping a pair of ice-gripping, slip-over-the-shoe accessories in your car – just in case.
-- Give yourself plenty of time. Take short steps with your feet pointed slightly outward (think of how a duck walks). This will help keep your center of balance under you and provide a stable base for support.
-- Be extremely careful getting out of your vehicle. If possible, swing your legs around and place both feet on the pavement before you attempt to stand. Steady yourself on the doorframe until you have gained your balance and have firm footing. Avoid reaching beyond your center of balance to take hold of the door, as this may cause a fall.
-- Don't take shortcuts. Always use sidewalks and the cleared, designated paths in parking lots. Never walk between parked cars; there may be untreated ice and snow. Be especially careful when stepping to different levels – down or up steps or from curbs. Don't step on curbs. And remember, grassy slopes can be as dangerous as snowy steps.
-- Pay attention to the walking surface; it may be significantly slicker in spots. When walking after sunset or in shaded areas, be alert for black ice – a thin, almost invisible ice film. It can form from melted snow and ice water refreezing overnight. It also can occur when above-freezing air contacts frozen ground surfaces.
-- Carry only those items necessary. Carrying heavy or bulky packages affects your balance and center of gravity.
You can find more information about winter weather precautions for home and travel at Ready Virginia – Winter Weather: http://www.readyvirginia.gov/stayinformed/winter.cfm .
JLab Snow Removal
Snow-removal procedures place priority on clearing the entrances most directly connected by pavement to the parking areas. For some buildings, this may not be the most frequently used entrance. Additional entrances will be cleared when all priority routes have been treated. Employees need to park in the areas already cleared and use the cleared paths even if it is not their usual or the most direct route.
Facilities and Logistics Management has placed buckets of sand at many of the buildings for tenants to use as "self-service" to spread on ice while awaiting thorough removal. Please don't use these buckets for cigarette butts. For more information, refer to the Snow Removal Plan on the Emergency Management Severe Weather page: http://www.jlab.org/fm/snow_removal.pdf
Please remember that everyone at JLab is personally responsible to take necessary precautions and to pay attention to the hazards created by severe weather conditions. Employees are urged to report unsafe conditions by calling Facilities and Logistics Management at ext. 7400.