Eastern Oregon University > Safety and Security > Safe Walking on Snow and Ice

Safe Walking on Snow and Ice

Plan ahead, give yourself sufficient time and plan your route. 

  • Traffic moves slowly in snowy conditions.
  • Give yourself extra time–don’t assume a clear path for driving and walking will be available.

Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice. 

  • Footwear made of rubber and neoprene composite provide better traction than plastic and leather soles.
  • Wear flat-soled shoes.  Avoid shoes with heels.
  • Products are available with abrasive soles or cleats that provide special traction for walking on snow and ice. [Remember to remove when entering buildings.]

Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles, climbing or descending stairs, entering or leaving buildings. 

  • Move slowly.
  • Remove snow/water from shoes when entering buildings.
  • Use handrails for support.
  • Try to keep your center of gravity over your support leg.
  • Use car for support.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets.

Walk on designated walkways as much as possible. 

  • Don’t take shortcuts over snow piles or areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible.
  • Look ahead when you walk. A sidewalk completely covered with ice may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
  • Don’t text or read while walking.

Walk safely on snow or ice.

  • Take short steps or shuffle for stability.
  • Bend slightly forward and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over your feet as much as possible.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets.
  • Be prepared to fall. If you fall, fall with sequential contacts at your thigh, hip and shoulder.  Avoid using outstretched arms to brace yourself.
  • Bend your back and head forward to avoid hitting your head against the ground