Businesses urged to sharpen up on snake bite safety


WITH the summer temperatures already having risen over 30 degrees, the presence of snakes across regional worksites including farms and properties, pose a higher risk of snake bite.

More than 3,000 snake bites are recorded in Australia each year, with up to 500 people requiring antivenom. With Australia being home to around 140 different species of snake, and approximately 100 of these being venomous, it’s crucial that we are educated and prepared if a snake strikes.

Brenniston First Aid & Workplace Safety director, Pia Abrahams is urging all business owners to take necessary precautions to minimise workplace hazards and provide workers with access to a suitable first aid kit.

“Most importantly, outdoor workers should be trained in snake bite first aid, known as the pressure immobilisation technique, and always carry an easily accessible snake bite first kit. First aid should be administered even when a bite appears minor or the patient has no symptoms,” Abrahams said.

“If a snake bite occurs, speed and immobilisation are vital to impede the spread of venom. Using a compression bandage and ensuring the patient is remaining as calm and still as possible will significantly increase their chance of surviving a life-threatening snake bite.”

Snakes may be more prevalent on agricultural, road transport, construction and land management worksites in warm weather.

They are typically found in cool, dark, protected areas such as under buildings and near sheds, around rubble and stored materials, in electrical switch boxes and long grass. It’s also not uncommon for snakes to enter unattended open vehicles.

If you or a work colleague is bitten by a snake, dial Triple Zero (000) immediately and then administer first aid for snake bite.