Good weather for working outside also means good weather for ticks. Before you head outside for work or play, remember to first protect yourself from these menaces.
Some common diseases ticks transmit include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. In most cases these diseases are treatable if caught early, but each can leave you feeling ill and sluggish as you fight to recover.
Ticks are most commonly found in grassy or wooded areas, like yards, fields, or hiking trails. They are particularly common in high grass, where they sometimes perch on elevated blades to more easily attach to a passing human or animal. Many people falsely believe ticks are only a concern in the woods or areas of overgrowth. The reality is, most tick encounters happen right in our own yards – making this a concern for field employees and office workers alike.
Diseases caused by infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in a recent 13-year time span, according to the CDC. While public health agencies work to prevent the spread of these diseases, personal preventative techniques remain your best line of defense. Ticks are susceptible to permethrin and DEET. To deter ticks, treat your clothing and shoes with repellents containing permethrin. Wear long-sleeve shirts and tuck your pants into your boots or socks to reduce exposed skin. Spraying your skin with a repellent containing DEET will also help. Please use our toolbox talk on ticks to introduce the topic to your employees.
When you are done outside, perform a tick check, looking in constricted areas like waistbands and any hairy areas. If you encounter a tick, use a dedicated tick removal device to firmly pull the tick from the skin, making sure the tick’s head also is removed. If the head stays in the skin or any symptoms of infection develop, seek medical care immediately. Placing your clothing into a hot dryer for around 10 minutes will kill any stowaway ticks.
All employees who may come across ticks in the field should receive first aid training to administer basic first steps if someone has been bitten by a tick or other insect. RETTEW offers regular first aid and CPR training at our various offices, along with on-site training. Please see our course listing or contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 717.377.2374 to set up a customized session for your company.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s close to 600 services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at sites such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line thriving.