Snow, ice… and other reasons to be cheerful!

CERN’s roads, car parks, pavements and pedestrian areas cover an area of 60 hectares in total. The EN-HE Group is responsible for clearing snow from and salting the roads and car parks. The GS-IS Group, through its contracts for the cleaning and maintenance of green spaces, is responsible for clearing the snow from, salting and sanding the pavements, pedestrian routes and entrances to buildings, and for replenishing the bins of silica sand*, which will be used in place of salt in the bins from now on.


In the event of heavy snowfall, general snow-clearing operations are initiated by the CERN Control Centre (CCC), from 3 a.m. for roads and car parks and from 4 a.m. for pavements, pedestrian routes and building entrances in preparation for clearing to begin at 3.45 a.m. and 4.30 a.m. respectively. One-off operations during the day may be initiated by the Fire Brigade, site managers, the security guards or the CMS control room. Bins of silica sand are also provided so that individuals can sand the areas around entrances themselves if necessary. Make use of these bins and inform the Service Desk (77777) so that any further action that may be required can be taken. Finally, to ensure that the bins are fit for use at all times, remember and remind others that they are not rubbish bins!

At weekends and on public holidays, the procedure is the same but the times differ: operations are initiated at 7 a.m. for roads and at 8 a.m. for pavements, pedestrian routes and building entrances. During the day at weekends, the priority is to clear the snow from the areas around the Globe, the Main Building, the Route de l'Europe and Building 33.

If you need to arrange for snow clearing on working days, call 72201 in the case of roads and car parks, or 77777 in the case of pavements, pedestrian routes and building entrances and they will forward your query to the relevant service.

Advice for avoiding accidents: Wear weather-appropriate footwear. When walking around the site, use routes that have been cleared of snow and salted or sanded whenever possible. Avoid cutting across areas that are icy or from which the snow has not been cleared. Take care as some surfaces can rapidly become very slippery and crossing from one type of surface to another can be hazardous. Be careful when getting out of your vehicle and when exiting a building.

And remember: safety is everyone's responsibility!

We remain available for any further questions or suggestions.

*Salt does not work on already-formed ice in temperatures below -5°C. Silica sand is more environmentally friendly and retains its non-slip properties at any temperature.

Handling Engineering Group - EN Department
Integrated Services Group - GS Department