Venomous Spiders – Safety Topic

Venomous Spiders – Safety Topic

brown_recluseVenomous spiders found in the United States include: black widows, different recluse species and hobo spiders. They can all be dangerous to outdoor workers. Not usually aggressive, most bites occur because a spider is trapped or contacted unintentionally.

Preventing Bites

  • Inspect or shake out any clothing, shoes, gloves or equipment before use
  • Wear long sleeved shirts, and long pants, hats, gloves and boots when handling stacked or undisturbed piles of materials
  • Minimize the empty spaces between stacked materials
  • Remove and reduce debris and rubble from around outdoor work areas
  • Store apparel and outdoor equipment in tightly closed plastic bags or containers
  • Keep your tetanus boosters up to date (every 10 years). Spider bites can become infected with tetanus spores.

Symptoms of a Venomous Spider Bite

  • Itching or rash
  • Pain radiating from the site of the bite
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Reddish to purplish color or blister
  • Increased sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • High Blood Pressure

First Aid

Workers should take the following steps if bitten by a spider:

  • Stay calm. Identify the type of spider if possible to do so.
  • Wash the bite area with soap and water
  • Apply a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice to the bite area to reduce swelling
  • Elevate the bite area if possible
  • Do not attempt to remove venom
  • Immediately seek professional medical treatment
  • Notify your supervisor

Think SAFE, Be SAFE, Work SAFE.