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Safety Toolbox Talk "Snakes "

Introduction –
It is important that we all know what actions to take if we see a snake or are bitten. This applies both to our work and home. We can find more than 270 species of snakes in India. But from those
only about 60 species are venomous enough to harm humans or cause deaths. The snake species known as the “Big Four” are those responsible for the majority of snake bite incidents and for causing
the most human deaths in India. These venomous snakes include the following species:
- Common Krait
- Saw Scaled Viper
- Indian Cobra or Spectacled Cobra
- Russell’s Viper

Precautions -
1. Try to walk on cleared or paved paths so you can see where you put your feet and avoid stepping on a snake by
2. Use a torch in dark areas, especially during twilight hours and at night.
3. Wear closed shoes and long pants if you expect to be walking in grassy and overgrown areas.
4. Do not put your hands into crevices, drain openings, undergrowth, stored material items, etc. without checking (use strong leather gloves and a long stick if necessary).
What to do when you see a snake –
First thing, don't panic! Remember out of the 270 snake species in India the majority are non-venomous and completely harmless! Even if you have encountered a venomous snake, the snake is unlikely to attack or bite you unless provoked. If you move towards it or attempt
to pick it up, you may provoke an attack. However, standing still or slowly moving away gives the snake a chance to escape harmlessly.
Image result for snake hand gloves

Immediate Action –
The next thing you do will depend on where you are. If you are outdoors and it is very likely that no one else will encounter the animal, the best thing to do is to leave the animal alone. Stand still, change direction or walk away from the animal and it will disappear into bushes or a hole in the ground. If it looks like it is moving towards you stamp the ground to create ground vibrations. This
should be enough to drive it away. Remember that most snakes are as scared of you, or more scared than you are of them. Warn others and report it – If you are outdoors in a populated area where it is likely that the snake will encounter other people warn them to stay away and immediately contact security. Please remember to have someone watching the snake if you have to leave the area when calling them. This is so that the search and capture becomes easier when they arrive. Also a brief description of length, color and body patterns when you call can be extremely useful.

What to do if you are bitten by a Snake -
If someone is bitten by a snake, you won’t know if it’s a dry bite or a venomous bite – so to be safe, always treat any bite as a venomous bite.
Dry bites, whereby no venom is released, are painful and cause localized redness and swelling.
If the bite is venomous, other symptoms may include a stinging or burning sensation on the skin and feelings of nausea, dizziness, anxiousness and confusion. In severe cases, the bite may result in
paralysis or coma.
Actions for snake bite –
 Call for medical assistance and ambulance – DO NOT DELAY.
 Note the Snake's appearance if possible and be ready to describe
the snake to medical staff.
 Protect the Person while waiting for medical help:
• Have the person lie down with wound below the heart.
• Keep the person calm and at rest, remaining as still as
possible to keep venom from spreading.
• Cover the wound with loose, sterile bandage.
• Remove any jewelry from the area that was bitten.
• Remove shoes if the leg or foot was bitten.
Do not:
•Cut a bite wound
•Attempt to suck out venom
•Apply tourniquet, ice, or water

Saw-Scaled Viper
The Saw-Scaled Viper or Carpet Viper is considered one of the most aggressive snake species in the world and is commonly found in India. They belong to the vipers family and there are 5 subspecies
currently recognized. These are quite small snakes, their total length ranges from 30 cm (11 inches) to 65 cm (25 inches). It's the smallest of the Big Four snake species, but it has the fastest strike and it strikes to bite. The Saw-Scaled Viper also has a unique threat display, a “sizzling” warning sound produced by rubbing sections of their body together.
Image result for Saw-Scaled Viper

Russell’s Viper
The Russell's viper or Indian Russell's Viper (Daboia russelii) is a viper snake species commonly found in India. These snakes are responsible for the most snakebite incidents and deaths by
venomous snakes in Asia. There are 2 sub-species currently recognized, Russell's Viper and
Eastern Russell's Viper although this sometimes is treated as a separate species. The word 'Daboia' means "hidden" or "lurker" in Hindi. The Russell's vipers ambush their prey, its patterned skin
allows it to camouflage and merge with the background. The Russell's Viper produces a venom with a potent neurotoxin which affects the nervous system, causing paralysis and death if untreated.

Indian Cobra
The Indian Cobra (Naja naja) is a species of the genus Naja from family Elapidae found throughout the Indian subcontinent. The species is also known as the Spectacled Cobra, Asian cobra or Binocellate cobra. On the back of their large and quite impressive hood are two circular ocelli patterns connected by a curved line, resembling spectacles. The Indian Cobra average length is about 1.9 meters (6 feet). The species is protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972)

Common Krait
The Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus) snake species is an elapid found in the Indian subcontinent. It's also known as the blue krait or Indian krait. Their colors range from blue, black to brown or grey, with white stripes more prominent on the lower part of the body and an average length of 100 cm with a thin and round body. The Common Krait feeds mainly on other snakes, even other kraits,
but sometimes eats rodents, lizards, and frogs. Of the ‘Big Four’venomous snakes found in India, the Common Krait is the most venomous its venom is considered to be 15 times more toxic than
that of the Indian cobra.



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