Venomous Snakes – Safety Topic

Venomous Snakes – Safety Topic

venomous-rattle-snakeWhen outside temperatures reach about 80 degrees, snakes come out of their burrows to start the mating process. Generally they are most active in the early evening, but can be seen at any time during the day. There are many types of venomous snakes in the United States, including: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths and coral snakes. They can be extremely dangerous to all outdoor workers.

Preventing Snake Bites

  • Do not try to handle any snake
  • Stay away from tall grass and piles of leaves when possible
  • Avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood
  • Wear boots and long pants when working outside
  • Wear leather gloves when handling brush and debris

Signs/Symptoms of a Venomous Snake Bite

  • A pair of puncture marks at the wound
  • Redness and swelling around the bite
  • Severe pain at the site of the bite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Labored breathing
  • Disturbed vision
  • Increased salivation and sweating
  • Numbness/tingling

First Aid

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible (dial 911)
  • Try to remember the shape/color of the snake
  • Keep calm and still to slow the spread of venom
  • Inform your supervisor.
  • Apply first aid if you cannot get to the hospital right away
    • Lay/sit with the bite below the level of the heart
    • Wash the bite with soap and water
    • Cover the bite with a clean,dry dressing

DO NOT Do Any of the Following

  • Pick up the snake or try to trap it
  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear, seek immediate medical attention
  • Do not apply a tourniquet
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife
  • Do not suck out the venom
  • Do not apply ice or immerse in water
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages

Think SAFE, Be SAFE, Work SAFE.