Do’s and Don’t Around Snake Safety
As the weather warms up, so do the snakes. They will be seeking cool, dark and protected areas for shelter. The abundance of rubble, building materials, pipes and metal sheeting on building sites make it an attractive resting place for snakes. Especially if the site has been quite for a few days or weeks. Also keep in mind that unattended vehicles, especially with open doors, are an appealing lair for a snake.
If your site is near a swampy area or long grass, be on the look out for red bellied black snakes as they eat the frogs that frequent such places. You are also likely to find brown snakes in these areas too – as they dine on red bellied black snakes.
Generally, snakes are not aggressive and will move away if given the chance, however the following do’s and don’ts can help you mitigate the risk of a snake bite on your worksite.
- Be mindful that snakes may be in the area – move items with caution.
- If you see a snake, stay completely still and allow the snake to move away.
- Observe where the snake goes and alert the site manager and others.
- Use snake gaiters and thick gloves when working in areas where snakes may be.
- Have a snake bite kit on hand and make sure people know how to use it.
- If a snake is spotted, call a reliable snake catcher to come and remove the snake safely.
- Treat all snake bites as an emergency. Keep the bite victim calm and immobile and call 000 immediately for an ambulance.
- Do not approach or provoke a snake.
- Do not try to catch or kill a snake – this is how most snake bites occur.
- Do not try to remove a dead snake. 1) It may not be dead. 2) The biting reflexes in dead and decapitated snakes remain active for some hours after death – so they can still bite you.
- If someone is bitten, do not wash the bite area as doctors may use the residual venom to identify the snake.
- Do not try to suck out the venom or apply a tourniquet to the site – these methods have proven more harmful than beneficial.
The best protection against snake bites is heightened awareness. Being alert and practicing these tips will help keep you safe.
The Asquith Workforce Safety Team can conduct site visits to help you lift your workplace safety game. Contact us today on 1300 737 751 for information.