Skip To The Main Content
Glossary Updates
standard glossary image

Edits, Deletions or Additions to the Glossary

As a non-profit trade association, we value creating standards that are easily accessed, adopted and shared, and managed and improved over time. With this in mind, any industry participant or associated stakeholder can recommend edits, deletions or additions to the Glossary of Terms. As part of our commitment to transparency and quality, we undergo a quarterly review of the terms in the glossary, taking feedback from individuals in the industry and from staff as they work through other education and best practices projects. Review dates for 2015-16 include:

  • November 16, 2015
  • February 15, 2016
  • May 16, 2016
  • August 15, 2016
Results from each review are listed below.

Glossary Updates | November 2015

Results from the first quarterly review, starting in November 2015 and completed in February 2016, include the following Additions/Modifications/Moves:

ADD: Pickled Grit to the Chemical and Material Terms section, defined as ‘Grit/sand that has been treated with a deicer at the stockpile.’

ADD: Snow Response Plan
 to the Operations and Service section, defined as ‘A written service response plan for a site that outlines specific actions based on the Resource Allocation Projection and Site Engineering Plan. The plan may include contingencies tied to Level of Service (LOS) priorities, weather intensity and pre-/post-storm preparation.

ADD: Cake (verb) to the Chemical and Material Terms section, defined as ‘Forming of a crust or lump(s)/clumping in a solid deicer material. (e.g. ‘The salt was caking in the spreader.’). (Source:

ADD: Anticaking Agent to the Chemical and Material Terms section, defined as ‘An additive typically added to deicer material to prevent caking/clumping.’ (Source:

MODIFY: Sleet – add a synonym ‘Ice Pellets’ (Source:

MODIFY: Zero Tolerance from current definition of ‘A Level of Service that typically requires bare pavement or minimal accumulation at all times’ to the following:  Zero Tolerance: A general term used to describe a low tolerance for snow and ice accumulation levels on a site or Service Area. The descriptor alone does not designate a Level of Service (LOS). See Level of Service (LOS), Trigger Depth, Accumulation Threshold, and Completion Time(s) for definitions related to Level of Service outcomes.

MOVE: Zero Tolerance from the Contractual, Documentation and Legal Terms section to the Operations and Service section.

Notes related to review include:

  • Snow Response Plan: This term addition was recommended by SIMA staff as it is used a great deal. After reviewing education on the topic and seeking input from subject matter experts, it was clear that this term was used to describe an array of items tied to implementing service for snow. After a number of revisions, a version highlighting the critical elements of a Snow Response Plan was created, referencing other terms in the glossary.
  • Ice Pellets: After review from a weather subject matter expert and an industry consultant, it was determined that Ice Pellets as a term can be used interchangeably with the term Sleet, depending on geographic area, and that Ice Pellets were not a separate form of winter precipitation from Sleet. Because Sleet is the more commonly referenced term, Ice Pellets was added as a synonym to Sleet.
  • Cake/Caking: This term was added due to the many references to ‘clumping’ of deicing material for various reasons. Upon addition, it was internally recommended that anti-caking agent be added as well, to round-out the glossary and account for caking and the ‘agents’ that are often added to avoid caking of deicing materials.
  • Zero Tolerance: After initial reviews and publishing of the glossary, some direct questions about the term and its definition prompted its addition to the quarterly review process. Industry stakeholders, including a legal expert, insurance stakeholder, facilities management stakeholder, and multiple contractors were engaged in a direct review in conjunction with multiple SIMA staff. The finalized definition was created, with the following concepts driving the changes: 
    • Zero Tolerance is generally a term used in marketing, conversation and general descriptions, but typically not a ‘Level of Service’ in an RFP or contract in and of itself. Some industry professionals feel it should act as a descriptor of service outcomes, and some don’t feel the term is useful in that function. The term by itself is heavily influenced by the context of its use, including who is using it, and for what purposes (i.e. some contractors use it for marketing their own services, some facilities managers use it to describe a general need, etc.). It became clear that this term is a general term that attempts to describe a low tolerance for snow and ice accumulation levels as the core shared understanding.
    • The actual controls in place for any type of ‘zero tolerance’ site (or any other site for that matter) are housed in other terms already well-defined in the glossary, including ‘Level of Service’, ‘Trigger Depth’, ‘Accumulation Threshold’, and Completion Time, hence the definition was clarified with that in mind, referencing these key terms for clarity.
    • The term was moved from its location in the ‘Contractual, Documentation and Legal Terms’ section to the ‘Operations and Service Terms’ section, as it was clarified that it is not directly a legal term in the industry, but a descriptor used for more generalized purposes.

Glossary Updates | February 2016

No changes were made to the Glossary as a result of the February 2016 review.