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NIH Bethesda Campus Winter Safety Advisory

The winter season is almost here, and that means snow can't be far behind.

The Office of Research Facilities (ORF), Division of Facilities Operations and Maintenance, is prepared to ensure safe access so that 'Snow Does Not Stop Science.' Their mission is for a safe and timely snow removal. The contractor operates heavy equipment to quickly remove snow from the Bethesda campus. While walking or driving near heavy equipment, please exercise caution and do not assume the operator can see or hear you, since the heavy equipment operators might have limited visibility due to the size of the equipment and driving snow.

On the same topic of safety, while most of the sidewalks will be free of snow and ice, melting and refreezing will most likely occur. Please exercise caution and consider wearing non-skid shoes.

Starting the last weeks of November, you will begin to notice orange, yellow, red and blue markers throughout the Bethesda campus. The NIH snow removal contractor uses these markers to minimize damage to the grass and other campus plants, help the crews avoid fire hydrants, and prevent collisions with other structures that could be covered by deep snow. Please help support our mission of safe and timely snow removal by keeping the markers in place. If the markers are removed, it increases the likelihood of mishaps that could injure an employee or snow removal crew member and cause property damage.

Snow Plan 2019-2020

In situations of ongoing or impending inclement weather, employees are encouraged to check the current operating status by downloading the OPM Alert mobile app (https://go.usa.gov/xpBsS) or visiting the OPM website (https://go.usa.gov/xpBH3). In the event a weather-related delay or closure is in place, consistent with tier-designations, non-emergency staff are encouraged to use flexibilities to remain off the roads and away from the NIH campus while clean-up efforts are underway. Please be mindful of heavy snow removal equipment and low visibility.

A snow removal informational flyer complete with a snow removal priority map for campus roadways and entrances and live traffic camera links can be found on the NIH Traffic website at: https://traffic.nih.gov/Documents/SnowPlan.pdf. Employees can determine which routes are safe inside and outside the campus. If you need special assistance during a snow event, please call the ORF Help Desk at (301)-435-8000.

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