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Protecting Against Snake Bites

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

Snake bite
Snake bite

Protecting Against Snake Bites

Approximately 7,000–8,000 people per year receive venomous snake bites in the United States, and about 5 of those people die. Most snake bites occur between April and October when the weather is still warm. Autumn is breeding and hatching season. Male snakes are generally more aggressive and newly hatched babies are on high alert and are considered aggressive as well.

To protect workers against snake bites they should do the following: wear work boots that are a minimum of 10 inches high, wear appropriate work gloves (thick and heavy), and use caution when moving debris. If an employee sees a snake they should step back and allow it to proceed. Be aware that a snake’s striking distance is about half its length.

Signs or Symptoms of a Snake Bite

**Signs and symptoms related to a snake bite may differ depending on the kind of snake

- 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 (in extreme cases, breathing may stop altogether)

- Disturbed vision

- Increased salivation and sweating

- Numbness or tingling around your face and/or limbs

If an Employee is Bitten by a Snake:

- Dial 911 or call local Emergency Medical Services

- Note the color and shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment

- Keep bite victims still and calm to slow the spread of venom in case the snake is poisonous

- Inform your supervisor

- Do not cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom

First Aid
First Aid

Apply first aid:

- Lay the person down so that the bite is below the level of the heart

- Wash the bite with soap and water

- Cover the bite with clean and dry dressing

More Information:

Costello Safety Consulting
Costello Safety Consulting

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