Winter Weather Safety and Policies

Winter is here. Please be sure you are prepared in advance by becoming familiar with our inclement weather policy and winter safety tips.

March 14, 2017

Winter Safety 

  • In the event of inclement weather, please use the following safety tips: 
  •  Make sure you wear warm jackets, hats, gloves, and shoes or boots with rubber soles for traction. 
  •  Take small steps to keep your center of balance. 
  •  Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets. 
  •  Use handrails where available. 
  •  Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on the area. 
  •  Walk in designated walkways as taking shortcuts over snow piles and areas still covered in snow and ice can be hazardous. 
  •  Walk slowly. 
  •  Keep a shovel, ice scraper and an extra set of clothes in your vehicle throughout the winter season. 

Inclement Weather Policy 

As part of a hospital team, we have a responsibility to provide safe, high-quality care and services to our patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions. As part of our policy, all scheduled associates are expected to report to work. If you are not scheduled to work, but live nearby and would like to work, please be sure to contact the Nursing Supervisor at 410-350-7255. Please contact your leader to access the most recent Weather Emergency policy. 

Preparation 

In the event of unpleasant weather, please plan ahead to include transportation, child care, pet care, personal care items, a change of clothing, etc. Please note: extra scrubs will not be 

available. If you are considered essential personnel, be prepared to stay at the hospital, if necessary, to cover for those who are not able to make it in. Transportation to and from the hospital during severe weather is the responsibility of the associate. Please be sure to make arrangements before a storm to ensure you will arrive to work safely. 

Sleeping Arrangements 

In the event of unpleasant weather when the MedStar Harbor Hospital Weather Emergency Plan is implemented by the Administrator on Call (AOC), sleeping arrangements in the hospital may be offered on a first come, first served basis and are communicated ahead of time. You can also request sleeping arrangements in your department. Please be sure to consult with your supervisor. 

Grace Period 

A grace period is allowed when MedStar Harbor’s Weather Emergency Plan is implemented by the AOC. When the plan is in effect, associates arriving late for their shift due to the inclement weather conditions will be allowed a one-hour grace period from the start of their scheduled shift and will not be marked late. Associates arriving for work may use accrued PTO hours or personal day hours, with the leader's approval, for hours not worked. 

Associates will be paid for the hours they work but will not be paid for scheduled off-duty hours, even if they remain at the hospital. 

Communications 

During the event of a weather emergency, please be sure to check the Emergency Preparedness Communication Center on StarPort. Additionally, MedStar Harbor associates, and their loved ones, are advised to call the Emergency Communications Hotline, 410-350-2345, for important recorded updates. That number, as well as important information for each emergency preparedness code, can be found in the red trifolds located in every department.

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