Sandia LabNews

New inclement weather notification process is simple, straightforward, standardized


Sandian walking through snow
Should overnight winter weather conditions make parking lots unsafe, Sandia’s Emergency Operations Center will deliver a workforce message about the delay, including a specific time to report to work. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Sandia has changed its procedures for inclement weather work delays, which now are set for universal, hour-specific start times for all members of the workforce.

The new approach will help all of us be safer as we drive, park, and walk into work," says Brian Bielecki, director of Security and Emergency Management Center 4200, "and it gives us clear, simple, and standardized communications about what to do, when to do it, and how to account for charging time."

Should overnight winter weather conditions make parking lots unsafe until they are cleared, Sandia Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will deliver a workforce message about the delay, including a specific time to report to work, and other details including how to charge time for the delay.

Under typical snowy conditions, messages will be sent no later than 5 a.m. the day of the delay, and will include a stipulated start time dependent on the severity of the storm – usually around 9 a.m.

Messages will be delivered in all the familiar ways, starting with Sandia email, so employees can choose which sources they prefer to monitor. Sources include:

  • Sandia email
  • Sandia Bulletin Board (Dial 845-6789 and follow the menu choices.)
  • Radio Sandia, 1640 AM
  • Alert banners on Sandia’s external homepage, www.sandia.gov, and internal Sandia TechWeb
  • News coverage through local television and radio stations
  • Sandia Facebook, facebook.com/SandiaLabs, and
  • Sandia Twitter, twitter.com/SandiaLabs

"This new protocol allows Sandia response crews to be more efficient in their early morning clean up of parking lots because they’ll be vacant and easier to clear and prepare," Brian says.

The fixed start time approach to delays was implemented at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) a few years ago and has proven to be efficient for LANL’s similar large number of personnel. LANL employees enter through even fewer access points and they experience a much higher number of inclement weather days than Sandia.

The new arrival time protocol has been coordinated with Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) so that gates will be fully staffed at universal access times following a delay.

Delayed arrival times at Sandia apply to the entire Sandia population, except for inclement weather response teams. This includes all off-site employees, such as those reporting for work at Innovation Parkway Office Center (IPOC), the International Programs Building (IPB), and other Sandia facilities off KAFB.

Contractors must also delay their arrival time to Sandia, but cannot bill time that is not worked and cannot use the inclement weather charging code.

Sandia bases its inclement weather decisions on conditions within Sandia/KAFB.

A sample of a pre-approved Inclement Weather Work Delayed Start Time message follows:

"Due to hazardous weather conditions, Sandia Labs will open at ___ a.m. (today/tomorrow) for all employees. Check for schedule updates due to worsening weather conditions. Updated information will be posted as needed. Follow any contingency plans previously developed for weather delays, including any telecommuting work arrangements made with your manager. Information regarding road conditions can be found at www.nmroads.com."

Time Charging

  • Do not use the inclement weather TRC-270 if you were scheduled to be off work for vacation or travel, or if you worked your normally scheduled hours for the day.
  • Charge TRC-270 for any work time you missed due to the delayed start time. For example, if you normally start at 8 a.m., and Sandia delayed opening until 9 a.m., you would charge one hour of time to TRC-270.
  • By contract, staff augmentation contract associates who are impacted may not bill project(s)/task(s)for hours not worked."

Other inclement weather messages may include alerts at other times of day, such as weather warnings, early workforce releases, and Sandia closure notices.

Other Inclement Weather Considerations

When at work, as weather deteriorates, pay attention to email notices and keep in mind proactive winter precautions from Security and Emergency Management:

Emergency, Safety & Health

  • Do not overload yourself with hand-carried items while walking. High winds combined with the inability to use your hands and arms to balance make you prone to falling.
  • Be aware that the wind may stir up debris causing ear, nose, throat, and eye vulnerabilities. You should consider eye protection and respiratory guards/masks to mitigate any airborne debris hazards.
  • Be mindful of doors blowing open in windy conditions.
  • If it should snow or become icy, be aware of slipping hazards. Sandia annually averages 2-3 slips in parking lots as the result of slippery surfaces and inadequate footwear.
  • Assist others if you recognize they may be compromising their safety or the safety of others. Let’s look out for one another.
  • Situational awareness is paramount when an unrecognized hazard surfaces. Situational awareness provides reaction time and space to recover from incidents that could result in injury.

Security

  • High winds may prevent security area (i.e. Limited Area, Property Protection Area, etc.) entry/exit points from securing properly. When entering or exiting a security area, please ensure that those entry/exit points are properly secured to prevent the compromise of classified, critical infrastructure, and personnel.
  • Report any facility issues that could lead to a compromise in security at: TELECON 844-4571.