According to leading Australian pest management company Flick Anticimex, the improper handling and storage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) can be an insect sting/bite risk and potentially lead to injury.
A recent incident in the construction industry has highlighted the importance of correct storage of PPE, after a construction worker was hospitalised due to an infected insect sting.
The construction worker had been on a break and left his PPE, including his gloves, on the ground of a public shopping centre in Western Australia. When putting his gloves back on to return to work, he felt a sting or bite on the knuckle of his right hand index finger. The injury became infected two days later requiring hospitalisation and surgery, and is thought to have been caused by a white tail spider or black house spider.
“Anyone who wears Personal Protective Equipment, particularly those working in the construction and mining industries, should ensure their equipment is stored in a protected location and above ground level when not in use,” says Ms Cathy Coco, National HSEQ Manager at Flick Anticimex.
“PPE should be stored off the floor, in a protected location such as a shed or office. Equipment should also be checked before putting it on, for example, by shaking out gloves.”
Regular pest inspections can reduce the risk of injuries caused by insects. Flick Anticimex recommends an annual pest inspection, particularly within high-risk work environments such as the mining industry.
“Spider control, like all pest control, needs to be a regular, consistent, process in order to prevent a minor, local infestation from developing into a widespread, established pest invasion,” says Mr Gary Stephenson, National Pest Technical Manager at Flick Anticimex.