Bites and Stings in the Workplace

Australia is home to to over 140 species of snakes and over 2000 species of spiders. Of these, many are venomous. Our country is home to the largest number of venomous snakes and spiders in the world. The most venomous is the Inland Taipan and a single bite can give enough venom to kill 100 men.

Luckily deaths from snake bites are rare and deaths from spiders even rarer. This is largely due to the access to antivenom, quick first aid and the fact that the species usually like to keep to themselves.

There are a number of workplaces and professions that increase the risk of spider and snake injuries.  These include any that are preformed in the outdoors – especially in rural areas. Gardeners, landscapers, construction workers and more. After workplaces such as constructions sites have been left vacant over the hot Christmas period, snakes are more likely to find hiding places to call home within.

To minimise risk in your workplace you should reduce clutter that could provide shelter for the snakes and spiders. Making sure that the work site does not attract mice and insects will also mean that a predators wont be drawn by its food source.

Increasing awareness is one of the best prevention tactics. Make your staff aware of the increased risk when returning to a site that has been vacant. Snakes wont be looking for them, so they should look out for the snakes. PPE like gloves should be used when lifting stored materials and rubbish.

If a snake is seen in or near our workplace, stop activity in the vicinity until the hazard has been removed. Do not attempt to remove, attack or provoke the snake in any way. Snakes almost always only strike when provoked. Call your local council for information on what you need to do to have the snake removed.

In the event of a snake bite (or a bite or sting from other animals) it is important to have the right first aid equipment on hand and someone who has been trained to administer the correct first aid. Our bites and stings kit contains the bandages, dressings, splint and instructions needed for snake bites, spider bites and stings.

Apply a bandage around the affected limb. Our bites and stings kit contains a bandage that tells you when the correct pressure has been applied. Keep the limb as still as possible and apply a splint. Transport the victim to medical help as soon as possible by calling 000. Contrary to what some people believe, you should not cut or attempt to suck the venom out of the wound. You also should not apply an arterial tourniquet.

If you would like more information about our bites and stings kit or any of our other products and services, call 1800 992 135. Alternatively, use our contact form.