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Snakes – Understanding work site hazards

  • What happened?

    Most snakes are not poisonous, but there are poisonous snakes on every continent.

    Common symptoms of snake bites: bite marks, pain, swelling and bruising.

    Less common symptoms: low heart rate, fainting, dizziness, fever, nausea, low blood pressure, vomiting, allergic reactions, poor vision, appearance of lymph nodes, edema (swelling caused by fluid) and seizures.

    Death can occur in the most serious cases .

    A green Mamba snake found near a metal pallet and bins, beside the work site.
  • Why did it happen?

    Untidy facilities hide snakes and other animals.

    Congested areas easily become untidy.

    Not wearing personal protective equipment when maintaining these areas.

    A worker wearing a yellow hard hat, using a litter picker to carry a cobra found on the site entrance.
  • What did they learn?

    Keep facilities tidy.

    Avoid hazardous locations like uncleared grass.

    Use the right personal protection equipment (high shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves).

    Do not put your hands where you cannot see (e.g. wood piles, rocks).

    Learn to recognise common species of snake.

    If bitten:

    • Seek medical attention immediately! Do not try to catch the snake!
    • Call the rescue service and keep calm.
    • Use a suction pump for small bites. Do not suck out the venom by mouth and do not incise wound.
    • Clean the wound but do not use alcohol or ether.
    • Bandage the affected limb loosely.  Do not use a tourniquet and remove objects that could block blood flow (bracelet, rings).
    • To relieve pain, apply an ice pack
    A cobra placed in a plastic cylinder container, found near the electrical cabinet on the work site.
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How can something like this happen here?

    Where on our site could snakes be hiding?

    What actions could we take?

    What are the common species of snake around here?

    What should we do if someone gets bitten?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 01/05/19 1021 Views 4 likes

Most snakes are not poisonous, but there are poisonous snakes on every continent. Common symptoms of snake bites: bite marks, pain, swelling and bruising.