SAFE WINTER WALKING

By Liz Hill, fire, health and safety program manager for Environmental Health & Safety

As winter approaches and snow and ice cover the sidewalks and parking lots, it’s important to remember to walk safely around campus. Even as snow is removed from the parking lots, you can still encounter slippery surfaces, so please be aware of the dangers. Falls due to ice and snow are one of the most common injury causing incidents on campus.

WALK SMART by learning and implementing these suggestions:

Walk at a slower pace — Use a penguinlike gait in snow and ice. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.

Always stay on designated walkways — These walkways are cleared on campus, taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous.

Look for and avoid slippery surfaces — Assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy and approach with caution.

Know your limitations — Carrying large packages or other items that limit vision can lead to slips and trips.

Schedule extra time — Pay attention and don’t rush. Most accidents occur due to inattention or being in a hurry.

Make use of handrails — On stairs, outdoor walkways where available and public transportation.

Always look — For trip hazards or obstructions in the path of travel.

Remove — Snow or mud from shoes before entering any building.

Traction — Make sure your footwear is appropriate and has good traction. Avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. Boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.

Be seen

  • Wear visible clothing especially at night or during heavy snow.
  • Wait for vehicles to stop completely before crossing the road. Approaching vehicles may not be able to stop immediately due to road conditions.

If you fall, relax and try to fall as limply as possible. Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side and avoid using your arms.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911.

To report unsafe or dangerous areas, call the snow removal crews at 801-581-7221.