Snow and Ice Removal
Campus roadways, parking lots, sidewalks and walkways are kept free of ice and snow as best possible as resources and weather conditions dictate. All reasonable efforts will be made to keep roadways, parking lots, and walkways in acceptable condition for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Winter Weather Brings to Light Seasonal Safety Issues
Facilities Management is busy keeping the outdoor walkways and parking lots free of ice and snow to prevent slips and falls. Slips and falls are a major cause of injury not only on the UBC campus but in all parts of the city.
During periods of snowfall, Facilities Management craftspersons sweep snow from walkways and parking lots while depositing ice melt and sand. Areas are prioritized according to high traffic areas, terrain (e.g. stairs, inclines, etc.), and areas with a past history of incidents/accidents.
These procedures help manage much of the hazards brought on by ice and snow, but it is impossible to cover all areas. The Facilities Management and Health, Safety and Environment departments would like to highlight strategies that pedestrians can use to help prevent falling during slippery conditions. We have all heard of winterizing our cars and our driving habits, but what about winterizing our walking habits? Here are a few tips to help you stay upright during the winter season.
Adjust your gait
Shorten your stride length to keep your centre of gravity supported. Also, walk with your knees slightly bent, as locking your knees reduces your ability to adjust to a slip. When turning avoid sharp turns.
Take slow, deliberate steps and be on the lookout for icy spots. Place your whole foot down at once, shifting your weight slowly to this foot before stepping with the other foot.
Balance your load
Consider donning 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 when you do slip. You need your arms free to help you recover your balance if you start to slide. Do not walk with your hands in your pockets for this very same reason.
Wear appropriate footwear
Footwear with a thick rubber or non-slip sole is recommended. Avoid wearing heels and footwear with minimal tread.
Entering/exiting your vehicle
Take care when stepping into/out of your car as you are usually off balance and on only one foot. This increases your chance of slipping. Consider carrying a bag of sand in your vehicle that you can sprinkle on the ground before exiting the vehicle.
Snow covered curbs
Exercise caution around snow covered curbs on paths and roadways.
Entering / exiting buildings
Entrance ways may be slippery, exercise caution and report any missing floor mats to Facilities.
Snow removal equipment
Our winter equipment is fully operational during early morning & daytime hours whenever a snowfall occurs. We are requesting staff and students be aware of moving equipment and be cognisant of the potential risk for pedestrians walking in front of and/or behind operating equipment.