NIOSH reminds employers, outdoor workers of venomous snake hazards

Heat, severe weather events can increase risk of encounters

Posted July 17, 2019

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) urges employers with outdoor workers to be aware of the potential for venomous snake encounters during the summer months and after severe weather events. Data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 2006-2015 show nearly 66,000 reported venomous snake exposures with 31 deaths. Encounters are most likely to occur in the South, Southwest, and West.

NIOSH recommends ensuring employees know how to identify and avoid venomous snakes, wear appropriate protective clothing and personal protective equipment, and know what to do if they are bitten.

Venomous snakes that are native to the U.S. include rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins (cottonmouth), and coral snakes.


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