|Poisonous Plants, Venomous Insects and
Like most incidents and injuries, prevention is important
the hazards from interaction with poisonous snakes, insects and plants.
each employee shall review the work activities planned to determine
exposure might exist for these particular hazards. Efforts should then
made to minimize situations which might result in a snakebite, insect
or contact with poisonous plants. To help minimize attraction
and insects, employees should also avoid wearing
clothes, perfumes, after shaves, etc. When scheduling work in a
known infested area, a
First Aid kit should be readily available. Inclusion of an Epi
and Benadryl should be considered.
- Employees shall wear work boots, long pants and long
when going into wooded areas and habitats conducive to snakes.
- Employees should be trained in how to identify venomous
snakes prior to being assigned field activities.
- Employees working in vegetative areas should be equipped
bush axe to clear underbrush and
- Employees should avoid reaching or stepping into and over
hidden and obscured areas.
- Employees should make as much noise as possible when
approaching a potential snake area. This alerts the snake to your
offers the snake time to leave
- If a snakebite occurs, the employee should:
- Remain as calm as possible.
- Move away from the snake.
- Apply a constricting bandage (not tourniquet) between
and heart. A finger should be able to pass under it. Apply ice to bite
area, if available.
- Allow a co-worker to transport him/her to closest
- Make every effort to identify the markings on the
snake. This information should be provided to treating
medical personnel to assist with treatment protocols.
- Elevate the bite area (if possible).
- Only under the following circumstances should
and mechanical suction be considered as treatment for a
- The victim is over 1.5 hours from medical
- The person administering first aid has received
in medical assistance, such as First Responder, EMT, etc. and has the
and proper First Aid approved equipment to do so.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- At the site, conduct a hazard review to determined the
location of any stinging insects (wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc.).
- Whenever possible, avoid areas where stinging insects might
- Schedule work in infested areas during the cool
- Avoid high smelling after shaves, colognes, etc., that may
- Be aware of known allergic reactions that you or a
have to insect stings.
- When a stinging insect nest is located, utilize appropriate
insecticide to alleviate the threat. (Available commercially or from
Wasp Spray DOT # 34-02250 and Flying Insect Spray DOT #
- If a sting does occur, any stinger should be removed with
or a fingernail. The area may then be treated with Sting Kill Swabs
(Available commercially or from DOT
# 34-01850) and/or Hydrocortisone (Available commercially or through
DOT # 34-02350).
Ticks and Chiggers
Ticks are especially important to note because of the
Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease.
To minimize exposure, employees should follow these guidelines:
- Wear appropriate clothing when working in wooded areas.
make it easier to spot ticks.
- Tape trouser legs closed around ankles or tuck trouser legs
- For ticks, use a tick repellent containing DEET or
commercially or from the NCDOT,
- Check yourself at least twice a day, paying particular
to the hair, neck and groin area.
- Use a tick removal tool to remove attached ticks and
chiggers. If no tool is
available, utilize tweezers. If no tweezers are available, use a piece
of paper to
protect your fingers while removing the tick.
- Do not use petroleum based liquids to remove the
tick. Grasp tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly and
up without twisting until tick releases. Ensure that you remove the
head from the skin. After tick removal, apply appropriate antibiotic to
the affected area .
- Notify your supervisor if a tick is found and request that
and condition (i.e., attached) be noted on the DENR tick
summary log for future reference. (If possible, retain tick
it in a container for later identification of the tick type by the
Division of Environmental Health's Public Health Pest Management Branch
- Call the NCDENR preferred provider if fever, chills,
muscle aches develop within 3-20 days after exposure. In some cases, a
rash may develop on the wrists and ankles 1-3 days after the fever
- Use repellent.
Most NCDENR employee's have exposure to at least three
poisonous plants: poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. Reactions
from mild (very little or none) to severe (rash and blisters).
who have no reaction may not have become sensitized, but once they are,
future exposures can result in an allergic reaction.
To avoid problems with poisonous plants, employees should:
- Avoid working in severely infested areas, if at all
to recognize the various types of plants.)
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and work gloves. If
performing clearing activities by hand (e.g., bush axes,
etc.) or power tools, use eye goggles/safety glasses to prevent
plants from entering your eyes.
- Use protective or other barrier creams where
- Use a Poison Ivy Wash (Available commercially or from the
on any skin that may have been exposed. In some cases, even 24 hours
exposure may help.
- Avoid working around burn piles that could have
plants. Inhalation of smoke with poisonous plant oils can be extremely
- Be sure that any clothes or shoes that may have been
a thorough washing. Residual oils on clothing could cause a reaction
- Avoid rubbing your eyes if you have been in contact with
- If a severe reaction develops, contact your NCDENR
for possible treatment. (If you do not know the name of your preferred
provider, contact your Workers' Compensation coordinator, or Safety
- Be aware of any previous allergic reactions to these plants
extra precaution to avoid exposure.