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Norfolk Naval Shipyard employees say conditions too dangerous to work

Posted at 8:46 PM, Feb 18, 2015

Norfolk, Va. - Dangerously icy sidewalks and un-plowed parking lots -- that's what some Norfolk Naval Shipyard workers had to say about their working conditions.

The shipyard was the only Naval installation in Hampton Roads open to all employees, but did they jump the gun?

"The shipyard is not safe."

"Snow and ice cover the parking lot"

"Someone fallen and hurt."

These are all comments on the Norfolk Naval Shipyard's Facebook page, posted after Shipyard Commander, Captain Scott Brown said it was safe enough for all employees to come to work Wednesday:

"The safety, security, health, and well-being for all people on this installation is center in my mind. That is why I'm pressing so hard to get this cleaned up and make it safe. No other installation in the Region has even come close. We are head and shoulders ahead, and that is why we will open before everyone else. We have poured dollars and sweat into prepping our yard for the safe arrival of our people. I have personally toured all areas. I feel that it is safe, in general. It is not perfect, and it won't be for some time. Some areas still need work. Our people are smart and I am empowering everyone to make safe decisions.

We have a very important mission! With our efforts today and tonight, we will make our shipyard safe, and we will safely get back to executing our vital mission."

For Wednesday, February 18, 2015, a two-hour delay of administrative leave is authorized for first shift only non-essential personnel. Essential personnel should report on time. Remember, the two-hour delay is determined by the start of an individual's shift--i.e., if your shift starts at 0600, you should report no later than 0800. Liberal leave is authorized for non-essential personnel. You must follow normal leave processes. If liberal leave is taken for the entire day, you will be charged annual leave for the entire day. All normal rush hour gates will be open to accommodate the later arrival times. Please exercise caution both traveling to and within the shipyard. Second shift employees should report on time.

For those working at Naval Station Norfolk, for Wednesday, February 18, 2015, only mission essential personnel should report.”We have a very important mission! With our efforts today and tonight, we will make our shipyard safe, and we will safely get back to executing our vital mission."For Wednesday, February 18, 2015, a two-hour delay of administrative leave is authorized for first shift only non-essential personnel. Essential personnel should report on time. Remember, the two hour delay is determined by the start of an individual's shift--i.e., if your shift starts at 0600, you should report no later than 0800. Liberal leave is authorized for non-essential personnel. You must follow normal leave processes. If liberal leave is taken for the entire day, you will be charged annual leave for the entire day. All normal rush hour gates will be open to accommodate the later arrival times. Please exercise caution both traveling to and within the shipyard. Second shift employees should report on time."

For those working at Naval Station Norfolk, for Wednesday, February 18, 2015, only mission essential personnel should report.

The shipyard was the only Navy installation in Hampton Roads to open to nonessential personnel.

A spokesperson for the shipyard said there have been no reports of anyone falling today. Still, if workers thought it wasn't safe to drive, they could take liberal leave.

"The only really place that is full of snow is the sidewalks because you know they have to plow snow from the roads onto the sidewalks, but that's really it," says Isaiah Hystad, a sailor who lives on the yard.

NewsChannel 3 drove around the yard. We did see some lots that were not plowed, but others were nearly completely clear.

“Last night, I was out at about 9:30 and they were still working on the roads," Hystad says.

Shipyard officials say they will continue to plow lots, remove excess snow and spread salt on icy patches.