Snake aware­ness crit­i­cal as tem­per­a­tures rise

The Outpost - - Front Page - By Ron Van Why

As the tem­per­a­tures be­gin to rise, so be­gins the time of year that the crea­tures be­gin to stir.

Please be mind­ful while work­ing, hik­ing, sport­ing or walk­ing your pets in or around YPG.

As you all know, YPG is built in the mid­dle of their habi­tat. Snakes pose a sig­nif­i­cant dan­ger to work­ers at YPG, al­most as much as driv­ing in the YPG 500, but not quite. Snakes, both ven­omous and non­ven­omous, can be a ma­jor con­cern and it is im­por­tant to con­sider what steps you should take to pre­vent any type of in­jury or in­ci­dent.

Snake bites in the United States: the dif­fer­ent types of ven­omous snakes found in and around YPG in­clude rat­tlesnakes, cop­per­heads, cot­ton­mouths/wa­ter moc­casins, and co­ral snakes. It is es­ti­mated that 7,000 to 8,000 peo­ple are bit­ten each year in the United States. How­ever, due to ef­fec­tive anti-venom and med­i­cal treat­ment only an av­er­age of five peo­ple per year die as a re­sult of a bite.

Other haz­ards of snakes in the work­place: Not all snakes are ven­omous. How­ever, there are still haz­ards cre­ated by non-ven­omous snakes. One hazard is the sur­prise or fear that they can cre­ate. For ex­am­ple, you are mov­ing a piece of sheet metal, a piece of ply­wood, or some­thing stored out­side of your build­ing. You pull up or move the item and “BAM” you find a five­foot-long snake inches away from your hand. You jump back, trip over a pipe, and smack your head re­quir­ing stitches.

Safe­guards to pro­tect your­self from snakes: The main way to avoid a snake bite is to just leave them alone. If re­moval is nec­es­sary, con­tact a pro­fes­sional. Al­ways wear pro­tec­tive shoes or boots, long pants, and a long shirt when work­ing in ar­eas where snakes are nor­mally found. Cloth­ing will help re­duce the im­pact of a snake’s bite. Al­ways do a work area in­spec­tion prior to start­ing work. Look for signs of wildlife in your work area and al­ways be care­ful when mov­ing ma­te­ri­als out­doors where wildlife can live.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at the fol­low­ing links.

tps://www.azgfd.com/wildlife/ liv­ing­with/rat­tlesnakes

http://azpoi­son.com/venom/ rat­tlesnakes

As al­ways, if we can be of any as­sis­tance, please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact the YPG In­stal­la­tion Safety Of­fice at 328-2214, or stop by build­ing 2091 on the Walker Can­ton­ment Area.

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