Today our Safety Officer, Mike Hessell was on an Assessment at Laidley west of Brisbane and encountered six Redback spiders, that he could see. The picture to the left shows the largest of the spiders present.
Mike advised that if he did not do a thorough inspection prior to moving into the work area he could have easily put his hand on one of the venomous arachnids.
Redback spiders are found commonly throughout Australia, especially in drier and built up areas. The spiders are shiny black in colour with a distinctive red stripe running along the length of their body. The venom from these spiders contains excitatory neurotoxins and they stimulate the nervous system. In most cases, Redback spider bites cause severe, localised pain that may last for several days. In some cases, the localised pain can develop into more general symptoms, including sweating, nausea, weakness, chest pain and abdominal pain (Source: NSW Health)
HOW TO AVOID REDBACK SPIDER BITES
To avoid Redback spider bites:
1. Look for evidence of spider activity before commencing work
2. Avoid putting your hands into places you can’t see
3. If unsure wear gloves and a long sleeved shirt
ACTION IF BITTEN BY A REDBACK SPIDER
1. Wash the bitten area with soap and keep it clean.
2. Apply cold compresses and ice packs to reduce pain.
3. Pressure bandages should not be applied as they make the pain worse.
4. Call the Ambrose Building Safety Officer or your Building Supervisor and notify them you have been bitten
5. Develop a plan to seek immediate medical attention