Safely Walking on Snow and Ice
without slipping and falling
Walking and staying upright in a Winter Wonderland
Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings during the winter can lead to slipping and falling on snow and ice. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter months. No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter.
Tips for walking in snowy and icy conditions:
- Be Cautious - In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Be extra careful when getting into or out of vehicles; hold onto the vehicle for support.
- Put Your Best Foot Forward - Wear the right shoes, which means shoes with large treads or raised patterns. Non-slip rubber or neoprene are best. Avoid wearing boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. You might even consider getting some traction devices for your shoes. The steel coils on the bottom give some grip with ice and allow for better balance.
- Stay on the path - Walk in designated, cleared walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow banks and other frozen areas can be hazardous.
- Think like a penguin! - Point your feet out slightly like a penguin. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity. Bend slightly and walk flat footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
Keep your hands out of your pockets - Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.