WHAM! Just like that it is Spring, and it is a beautiful day to live in Georgia. There are so many wonderful things happening during this time of year; fields are getting prepared, seeds are getting planted, trees are blooming, grass is growing. As the weather turns warmer, we encounter new hazards that often get overlooked. Every year thousands of workers are injured due to contact with insects and animals. The vast majority of those injured were in agriculture production or landscaping. Attached you will an OSHA publication that can help start a safety talk about insects and animals.
Insects, spiders and ticks
- Wear long pants, socks and long-sleeved shirts to protect against stinging and biting insects.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Picaridin.
- Treat bites and stings using over-the-counter products that relive pain and reduce the risk of infection.
- Avoid fire ants. Severe reactions to their bites can cause chest pain, nausea, loss of breath, slurred speech or swelling that requires immediate medical attention.
Rodents and animals
- Both dead and live animals can spread diseases such as rat bite fever and rabies.
- Always avoid contact with rats and other wild or stray animals. If you cannot avoid contact, wear protective gloves and wash your hands frequently.
- Dispose of dead animals as soon as possible.
- If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical attention immediately.
- When moving debris, avoid placing your hands underneath objects whenever possible.
- Wear heavy gloves.
- Watch for snakes sunning on fallen tree limbs or other debris.
- If you see a moving snake, step back and allow it to pass. A snake’s striking distance is about one-half of the total length of the snake.
- Wear boots that are at least 10 inches high.
- If bitten, note the color and shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment.
- Keep bite victims calm and still to slow the spread of venom. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
For most of us, a minor bee sting is not a big deal, but what about the person next to you? It is estimated that 5% of Americans are allergic to insect stings or bites. Those allergic to insects, a sting or a bite can cause extreme swelling (which could be deadly in the wrong spot) at the injection site, pain and discomfort, difficulty breathing, and possible anaphylactic shock. What is scary is that not everyone knows if they are allergic or not. Do you know what to do if someone is allergic? Now is the time to discuss your safety plan and ensure everyone is on the same page.