Jan. 8, 2021

Practise safe winter walking

Winter is here. So are these tips to help you stay on your feet
Two people walk in the snow on main campus
Snow and ice on campus

Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injuries at the university, particularly in winter. Here are 13 tips to help you stay on your feet during these cooler months:

  1. 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.
  2. Walk in designated areas. Avoid using short cuts and self-made paths as these may be very icy and slippery. Stay on the cleared sidewalks, even if it takes extra time.
  3. Avoid carrying loads that obstruct your view, especially on stairways. Consider wearing a backpack.
  4. 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.
  5. Allow yourself additional time to get where you're going.
  6. Take small steps to keep your centre of balance under you.
  7. Walk slowly and never run on icy ground.
  8. Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets.
  9. Use handrails from start to finish.
  10. Keep your eyes on where you are going.
  11. Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on them.
  12. Step, don't jump, from vehicles and equipment.
  13. Don't text and walk at the same time.

Grounds crews do their best to clear snow and ice as quickly as possible, but you may find some areas are slippery as you make your way across campus.

You can help — report it

Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors can report snow-covered or icy sidewalks and roadways to the Facilities Customer Care Centre by phone (403-220-7555), by email (myfacilities@ucalgary.ca) or by submitting a service request online. Calgary Transit is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the CTrain station stairs and platform. Submit snow clearing requests online or via 311.

If you see someone fall, be sure to call Campus Security at 403-220-5333 to report any injuries or 911 in cases of emergency. It is also important to report any near misses or injury incidents in the Online Accident Reporting System (OARS).

Visit the Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention Program website for details.