EHSO Home Page Safety Updates 
Tips For Walking Safely On Ice 

In winter months, slips and falls are some of the most frequently reported types of injuries.  Because of the potential increase in ice-related slip and fall accidents at UMD and around town, The UMD EHS offers these "Safe Walking Tip" to remind you of the hazards associated with walking on icy surfaces, and to provide hints on how to walk more safely.

Although UMD takes great care to remove snow and ice from parking lots and sidewalks around campus, you may still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking to and from parking lots, between buildings at work, around your home, or elsewhere.  It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of the dangers associated with walking on slippery surfaces and practice the following safe walking techniques.

CAUTION: Assume all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery or icy.

Minimize your risk of falling, Walk like a penguin!
  • Use Appropriate Shoes! Avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels.   Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene and with grooved soles are best.
  • Be careful when entering or exiting your vehicle; use the vehicle for support.
  • Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Do not take shortcuts over snow piles as it can be hazardous. 
  • Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice- covered sidewalk or driveway, may require extra precautions, look for traction.
  • Spread your feet and point them out slightly like a penguin! Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity and hence your base of support
  • Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over your foot as much as possible.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets.  Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your balance.
  • Extend your arms out slightly to your sides to safely to maintain balance.  Walk like a penguin!
  • Relax and take your time, watch where you are stepping, and go slowly
  • Take short steps for stability Do the penguin shuffle .
  • When falling,  avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body.
  • Relaxing your muscles when falling may reduce the severity of your injury

Text Source
walking safely on ice (Fermi National Laboratory <>)
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