Avoid slips, trips, and falls this winter with some simple tips

Winter is well and truly here, and with it comes cold weather and greater risk of slips, trips or falls. Practice safe winter walking to help you stay on your feet this winter. Safety & Risk Services invites you to follow these prevention tips:

Plan not to trip

  • Walk in designated areas. Avoid using short cuts and self-made paths as these may be very icy and slippery — stay on the cleared paths, even if it takes extra time.
  • Consider wearing a backpack. Backpacks keep your load closer to your centre of gravity. Carrying heavy items in your hands hinders your arms’ ability to provide balance if should slip. You will also need your arms free to help you recover your balance if you start to slide.
  • Wear appropriate winter footwear. Wear shoes with traction and avoid wearing high heels outdoors — switch to winter-appropriate footwear, even if you’re walking a short distance.
  • Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets. Wear gloves or mittens to stay warm and your hands can stay free to balance or catch yourself if you do start to tumble.
  • Allow additional time to get where you’re going.

Travel safely

  • Walk slowly and never run on icy ground. Take small steps to keep your center of balance under you.
  • Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on them.
  • On Ice? Do the penguin shuffle: point your feet outward like a penguin, take short, shuffle-like steps, keep your arms at your side and out of your pockets, concentrate on keeping your balance, watch where you are stepping and go slowly. Alberta Health Services has an easy video.
  • Use handrails where available.
  • Step — don’t jump — from vehicles and equipment.
  • Watch where you are going. Don’t text and walk at the same time.

Report slippery areas

Building Operations in Vancouver and Facilities Management in the Okanagan do their best to prevent ice and clear snow as quickly as possible, but you may find some areas are slippery as you make your way across campus. Find out how campus will be kept safe during extreme weather and how to report slippery conditions: