Prevent winter slips, trips and falls–get your free pair of Spikies

by Michelle Saport  |   

What are they and what do they do: Spikies are slip-on foot traction devices for use on icy surfaces and have more than proven their value in past years at UAA. Many winter slip, trips and fall (STF) injuries have been prevented and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs have been avoided due to Spiky use. These injuries might have been severe, caused extreme pain and discomfort to valuable employees, and may have cost many lost workdays. Fortunately, we will never know.

Who qualifies: Free Spikies are for all UAA employees (regular, temporary, part-time and student employees) and for students living on-campus. Other UA employees, assigned to or near the UAA main campus, are also invited to receive free Spikies. Sorry... the offer does not extend to all students, contractors and community members. If only our budget allowed us to be so generous.

How to get them: New employees are given a pair of free Spikies by Human Resource Services in the University Lake Building during orientation. They can also be picked up at: Parking Services in the ULB Annex; the WolfCard Office in the University Center; at the library circulation desk, just inside the main UAA/APU Consortium Library entrance; the Maintenance Dispatch Counter in Gordon W. Hartlieb Hall; in the business office at the Health Sciences Building; in the Bookstore offices (upstairs); in the Advancement offices in the Administrative/Humanities Building; and in Rasmuson Hall, Room 301. If the Spikies that you received in a prior year are still serviceable, please don't pick up an additional pair as quantities are limited. Spiky distribution is currently ongoing and employees are encouraged to pick up their free pair since outdoor conditions have become icy. Please do not ask for personal deliveries and please do not send Spikies through intercampus mail.

UAA community campuses: UAA community campuses and extensions should coordinate their orders through a single representative and send a note to Environmental Health and Safety at: ehsrms@uaa.alaska.edu. Make sure to include the needed sizes (SM-M fit women's size 5-9 and men's size 3-7; L-XL fit women's sizes 10+ and men's sizes 8-14). The Spikies will then be mailed to the coordinator. Other questions can be directed to the email address above or by calling (907) 786-1300.

Additional slip and fall prevention steps:

  1. During icy conditions, slow down, shuffle your feet and keep center of mass above your feet.
  2. Plan more time for travel.
  3. Most slips occur when you are getting out of your vehicle or upon leaving a building, when your feet are warm and a water layer forms under your feet. When getting out of your vehicle, place both feet on the ground before standing. When leaving a building, stand outside the entrance for about ten seconds. This will allow your shoes to cool down and improve traction.
  4. Most vehicles are equipped with handholds that can be used to assist in exiting your vehicle.
  5. Be sure to remove your Spikes before walking on hard surfaces in buildings; metal spikes on hard surfaces can be slippery.
  6. Pay attention to where you walk and avoid slippery areas whenever possible.
  7. Do not take shortcuts through unmaintained areas (even though others may be doing it).
  8. All UAA buildings have sand buckets stationed at the main entrances. Feel free to shake some sand on icy spots if others haven't gotten to it yet.
  9. Slippery conditions are most prevalent near dawn and dusk because of re-freezing and sand sinking below the new ice layer. It's important to be extra vigilant during those times.

Remember... Safety is everybody's business!

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