Winter in the Palouse
During the winter months in Moscow, be cautious of snowy and icy conditions that can cause falls and other accidents, be prepared for winter so you can avoid these types of accidents.
Parking and Transportation Services has a snow removal and ice control plan that addresses priorities for snow removal and ice control on campus. The goal of the plan is to meet the transportation and mobility needs of the campus community, while working with available resources to maximize safety and ensure daily university operations continue to function successfully.
Winter Walking Tips
Walking through parking lots or in between buildings during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Below are several tips on how to stay safe when walking in icy conditions. University Housing also suggests purchasing traction pullovers for your shoes to avoid falls.
Remember that no matter how well snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you may still encounter slippery surfaces when walking outside during the winter. Keep these important safety tips in mind (taken from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Occupational Health website):
Choose Appropriate Clothing
- During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.
- Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.
- Wear a bright scarf, hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.
- Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what's going on around you.
- During the day, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.
- Whatever you wear, make sure it doesn't block your vision or make it hard for you to hear traffic.
Walk Carefully Over Ice
- In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.
- Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
- If you must walk in the street, walk against the flow of traffic, as close to the curb as you can.
- Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous. Try to avoid straying from the beaten path.
- 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.
- Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other load—your sense of balance will be off.
- If you must carry a load, try not to carry too much; leave your hands and arms free to balance yourself.
- 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.
- Watch where you are stepping and go slowly !! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.
- When walking on steps, always use the handrails and plant your feet firmly on each step.
- Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
- Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.
Be Careful Near Traffic
- Before stepping off the curb, make sure all cars and trucks have come to a complete stop. Motorists sometimes underestimate the time it takes to stop, often unintentionally sliding into the crosswalk.
- Due to poor road conditions, motorists may not be able to stop or slow down for pedestrians. Avoid crossing in areas where driver visibility is low—the cross traffic may not be able to stop in time.
- Be on the lookout for vehicles sliding in your direction.
- Vehicles should yield to snow removal equipment in streets and parking lots.
- Walking over slippery floor can be just as dangerous as walking over ice! Keep these tips in mind if you are entering a building:
- Remove as much snow and water from your boots as you can. Water from melting ice on the floor can lead to slippery conditions.
- Notice that floors and stairs may be wet and slippery—walk carefully especially by outer doors.
- If You Should Fall, try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. Wearing thick clothing can help prevent injury to the bony parts of your body.
- Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You'll injure yourself less if you are relaxed.
All decorations are required by fire codes to be non-combustible. Any decoration made of combustible material must be treated with a U.L. listed fire retardant. Do not place decorations on doors leading to building corridors or within the corridor itself.
All decorative lighting should be U.L. listed and non-heat producing. You should be able to hold a bulb between your fingers without discomfort for an indefinite time period.
Do not run extension cords from one room to another, and never string cords across doorways and walkways.
Do not string cords together. If your decorative lighting is too far from an outlet for one extension cord to reach, move the decorations closer or do not use them.
- Trees should be less than 5 feet in height and placed in common areas only (reception areas, meeting rooms, break rooms). Trees must never be placed near exit doors, exit aisles, or in corridors.
- Trees are required to be treated with flame retardant.
- A tag must be affixed to the tree when purchased stating the date of sale, type of fire retardant used for treatment, the name of the person who applied the treatment, and the name of the person affixing the tag.
- A support device shall be used that holds the tree in a stable, upright position.
- Support devices shall be of a type that:
- Does not damage or require the removal of tree stem base
- Holds the tree securely and is of adequate size to avoid tipping over of the tree. The base should be a minimum of 6 inches in diameter for a 1 foot tree, and 2 additional inches width for every foot over 1. Wider bases are recommended.
- The base must be capable of holding a minimum half gallon of water, covering the stem at least 2 inches.
- Use hot tap water for the initial watering. The stand must never be allowed to become dry of water. If the stand becomes dry, the tree should be removed from the building.
- Trees can be checked for dryness by the following method: Stand in front of a branch and grasp it near the trunk with a reasonably firm pressure, and pull your hand toward you, allowing the branch to slip through your grasp. If needles fall off readily, the tree does not have adequate moisture content, and should be removed from the building.
- Decorate trees with non-combustible ornaments only. Never use paper, cloth or cardboard decorations.
- Tree lights must be non-heat producing type (mini-lights) that are U.L. listed.
- Trees should be placed in areas away from sources of ignition. Never place a tree near heaters, heat producing appliances, lighting fixtures, televisions, or computers.
- Do not use electric lights on metal trees: light them with companion spotlights only.
- Remove trees promptly after the holidays.