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Snake awareness in the work environment

Employees involved in outdoor work need to factor in hazards such as snakes, ants, bees and wasps during their job safety analysis and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to properly manage such hazards, such as protective clothing, appropriate first aid knowledge and doing
visual checks.

For greater awareness of the presence of snakes and, importantly, of knowing what to do, how to react and stay calm in a snakebite emergency – and above all, how to administer life saving first aid – the District Council of Yankalilla sourced local licensed herpetologists to hold an information session.

The herpetologists are professionally trained in the safe catching, removal and relocation of snakes from the populated areas and releasing them in a safer area. They provided expert commentary and practical advice to make sure all staff left the ‘toolbox’ meeting confident that they could react calmly and correctly if ever they find themselves in a life-threatening situation.

The toolbox included interaction with live venomous and non-venomous snakes and advised the most effective treatment for a snakebite is conducted at the scene. This initial response is vital and can be the difference between life and death.

“The Snakeaway presentation was a very informative ‘hands on’ session which dispelled a few myths about snakes and how we should treat and respect them,” said Jo Cowan, Development Administration Officer.

Every opportunity should be taken to check any outside work site before work begins for hazards, including snakes.