Walk safely on wet, icy and slippery surfaces


Visit the UW Alert Blog and Snow Removal Progress Map (as appropriate) to check conditions before arriving on the Seattle campus.

Prevent slips, trips and falls while walking on campus in wet and icy weather.snow boots

  • Wear slip-resistant footwear that has good traction. Avoid shoes with smooth soles.
  • Take shorter steps at a slower pace on icy pavement.
  • Hold onto the handrails when using stairs.
  • Keep your hands free to catch yourself if you start to fall.
  • Use a cart and take the elevator when carrying large items.
  • Avoid walking while distracted; put away your mobile device.
  • Use caution when stepping off curbs and walking up or down steep slopes.
  • Don’t rush! Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
  • Wipe your feet on a mat when you enter a building to remove excess water.
  • Store wet coats and umbrellas away from walkways.

Use caution when walking in parking lots.

  • Avoid wearing headphones so you can hear cars approaching.
  • Watch for moving cars; a driver may not be able to see you.
  • Take special care when getting in and out of vehicles when the pavement is slippery or icy.

Consider your personal safety on dark winter days.

  • Use walkways with good lighting (or carry a flashlight).
  • Walk with other people as often as possible.
  • Stay focused and alert.

  • Request a safety escort if you need to walk in a dark or secluded area on the Bothell, Seattle or Tacoma campus.

Report unsafe conditions

Help us identify areas where accidents are likely to occur so we can take steps to keep our campus safe. Unsafe conditions can be reported anonymously on the EH&S website; you can upload photos and include a description.

Slips, trips and falls are among the most commonly reported accidents at the UW.

Slips, trips and falls tend to be more frequent in rainy or icy weather, in darkness, when walking on uneven surfaces, when there are items left on the floor, when we're hurrying and not paying attention to our surroundings. 

All accidents and injuries should be reported to the Environmental Health & Safety Department. Incidents involving University personnel must be reported within 24 hours; however, serious incidents resulting hospitalization or death must be reported within 8 hours.

Take care and be safe.