Wildlife in the Workplace Safety Talk
There are many different types of hazards wildlife in a work area can create. From ticks to deer and every kind of insect or animal in between, each can pose some type of hazard to you at work. It is important to recognize the dangers these creatures can create in the workplace.
Dangers of Wildlife Statistics
There are a few common types of wildlife that are a major source of different injuries or illnesses in the United States. A few of them include ticks, mosquitos, stinging insects, snakes, and deer.
Here are some interesting facts on incidents involving these insects and animals:
- The Insurance Information Institute reports that over 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, and these accidents cause vehicle damage, injuries, and even fatalities at a cost in the neighborhood of $4.6 billion.
- Over 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease from tick bites each year in the United States, according to the CDC.
- According to UF Wildlife, approximately 7,000 to 8,000 individuals are bitten by poisonous snakes in the U.S. each year.
- According to NIOSH, thousands of people are stung by insects each year, and as many as 90–100 people in the United States die as a result of allergic reactions.
- Mosquitos are the deadliest creature worldwide. They kill around 725,000 people a year, according to Bill Gates’s website.
While these are some high-level statistics on major hazards and illnesses these creatures are responsible for, there are many other hazards to be considered for all wildlife.
Other Wildlife Hazards
Outside of poisonous or disease-carrying insects, there can be other hazards wildlife in the workplace poses. Distractions caused by the presence of animals or insects can become a hazard in itself. Whether it is a huge majestic elk in your construction area or the buzzing fly that keeps landing on your face in the cab of your crane, they both serve as a distraction from the task at hand.
Eliminating distractions is an important part of creating a safe work environment, and when there is wildlife in your work area, this can create problems. Another hazard is being startled or surprised by wildlife. For example, you are cleaning up scrap materials from your work area. You begin to move the material and find a six-foot-long black snake. This catches you by surprise. When you jump back, you strike your head off of a pipe, receiving a laceration that requires stitches.
It is important to not only consider the disease-carrying insects or the predators that could be around your work area but all types of wildlife. There are many unique hazards that can come with wildlife in the workplace. Find ways to mitigate the issues that these creatures can create for you at work.
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