Shoes with grip and other tips to prevent injury this winter

No matter how fashionable they may be, slides and sneakers are not the most appropriate footwear to be wearing this time of year.

The rainy, icy and snowy conditions commonly experienced from November to March make it difficult to safely navigate surfaces and increase the likelihood of injury from slipping, tripping and falling.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Dan Pozzobon says wearing footwear designed for outdoor winter conditions, such as boots and shoes with deep treads and low heels, is one way Brock community members can stay safe this winter.

“Sandals, slippers and smooth-soled footwear can be dangerous to wear when walking in wet and slippery conditions,” he says. “Many of us change our car tires in the winter so we have more grip, so why not our shoes?”

In addition to swapping Docksides for Docs this winter, Pozzobon offers several tips to help avoid injury:

  • Plan ahead by checking the weather forecast and creating extra travel time if snow is forecasted.
  • Take extra care when taking the first few steps getting in and out of a vehicle as ice can form and build up between parked vehicles more than in the aisles.
  • Don’t rush or travel too quickly for the walking surface conditions. Slow down and place each step carefully.
  • Pay attention to surroundings and avoid texting and walking.
  • Keep feet planted shoulder-width apart to increase stability.
  • Don’t take shortcuts through non-pedestrian/non-designated areas, such as snowbanks or unclear paths.
  • Avoid carrying large objects that reduce visibility and limit the ability to land safely in case of a fall.
  • Brush off debris from pant legs and footwear and shake off water from umbrellas and jackets before entering a building.
  • Wear appropriate winter footwear for outdoor conditions.

The University is also doing its part in helping to prevent slips, trips and falls. More than 160 floor mats are being placed at high-traffic entrances to buildings across campus to help absorb water and collect debris, and Brock’s custodial team will ramp up vacuuming and deep cleaning at entrances. Road salt will be used to help melt ice and provide traction on sidewalks and roads, while a specialized ice melt with a low melting temperature will be used at building entrances. Improvements to the Zone 1 parking lot over the summer have reduced excessive water pooling, meaning less opportunity to slip on a frozen patch of ice.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to report slippery and unsafe conditions on outdoor pedestrian surfaces to the Facilities Management Customer Service One Call Hotline at 905-688-5550 x3717, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of these hours, or if the University is closed, urgent slip and trip circumstances can be reported to Campus Security Services at 905-688-5550 x3200.

If an incident, injury, near miss or health and safety hazard is observed, report it to a person of authority such as an area supervisor or Brock employee. Circumstances should be reported through an injury/incident report.

Completed reports and questions can be directed to

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