Did you know that over 8,000 people every year are bitten by snakes in the United States?
The unfortunate truth is, outdoor workers pose an even greater risk for snake bites. The risk isn’t limited to venomous bites either–serious workplace injury can result from a seemingly ‘harmless’, non-venom bite which may cause an allergic reaction or infection if left untreated.
How will you keep your employees safe during snake bite season?
By using our guide as the basis for your next toolbox talk! Teach them to treat a snake bite before it occurs and promote a healthy workforce culture for all. Here’s what you need to know to keep your workers out of venom’s way.
How to Recognize a Snake Bite
The greatest danger of a snake bite is two-fold: when you’re bitten, you may not actually be aware you’ve been bitten by a snake. Once you recognize you’re bitten, you may not be able to treat it right away. A snake bite requires you to act as soon as possible. The more you know the symptoms of a snake bite, the quicker you can act.
Symptoms may differ based on the type of venom that’s circulating through the person’s body but generally include:
Fang marks in the skin
Severe pain (localized)
Bruising and/or redness
Nausea and/or vomiting
Tingling or numbness (especially in the mouth)
You now know how to recognize that you’ve got bitten by a snake –how do you treat it so you don’t have to turn it into a costly 911 emergency? Follow our guide below!
Snake Bite Symptoms: From 411 to 911
While waiting for help follow these steps (especially if you’re in a remote location that forces you to wait longer than a normal emergency response time):
If you’re working outdoors and you experience snake bite symptoms, act immediately by treating any bite as a venomous bite. If you can’t call 911 yourself, a co-worker should call on your behalf.
Move away from danger.
Immediately remove yourself from a nearby snake. If you’re a witness to someone bitten by a snake, help keep them still as movement can cause the venom to spread.
Cover the wound.
Because a bite can cause swelling, it’s important to remove any clothing around the affected area, as well as jewelry. Cover the localized wound with sterile cloth until help has arrived.
Whether you’ve been bitten by a venomous or non-venomous snake, never play the part of the hero. Never try to trap or kill the snake, or try to ‘cut and suck’ the venom out yourself. Make sure you are lying still and resting until help has arrived, and give as much detail about your incident to emergency personnel as possible.
Encountering a snake bite is serious—acting on it quickly is essential.
Worried about health risks your employees may face when working outdoors?
At Axiom Medical, we have the solution.
From incident case management to occupational health, we offer employers a one-stop employee health solution. We know the risks your employees face, and we offer customized services that supports them throughout every step of their employee journey. Learn how we can help you to best manage a healthy and happy workforce.
Holly is an ER nurse by trade, but loves content marketing. She was born outside the box and believes everything is better with “sprinkles and sparkles”. She is passionate about impacting lives and uses marketing as her platform for sharing practical solutions to address real life occupational health challenges.
Find out more about our Injury Case Management services or our Occupational Health Programs.