At the weekend we came across the video below which might be useful for toolbox talks to remind your staff who could be exposed to these risks. Also take a look at our previous blog on risks from ticks here.
As a reminder here’s a list of some of the people which might be particularly at risk from ticks and Lyme disease;
- Landscape architects
- Environmental professionals
- Highways specialists
- Structural engineers
- Ground workers
- Arboriculture workers
- Forestry workers
- Farm workers
- plus foragers, hikers, mountain bikers and so on
Lyme disease and ticks – video; how ticks dig in
Perhaps the most important element of protecting your self is removing a tick correctly, we’ve summarised this below but you can also see this link for more information and to purchase a specialist tool if your staff are working in high risk areas; http://www.bada-uk.org/defence/removal/indextickremoval.php
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull upwards with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may leave the mouth parts embedded or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids.
- Remove any embedded mouth parts with tweezers or a sterilised needle.
- Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick, because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain infective organisms.
- Do not handle the tick with bare hands, because infective agents may enter through breaks in the skin, or through mucous membranes (if you touch eyes, nostrils or mouth).
- After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.
- Save the tick for identification in case you become ill within several weeks. Write the date of the bite in pencil on a piece of paper and put it with the tick in a sealed plastic bag and store it in a freezer.
- DO NOT use petroleum jelly, any liquid solutions, or freeze / burn the tick, as this will stimulate it to regurgitate its stomach contents, increasing the chances of infection.
Ensure that your staff are aware of the potential risk and know what to do. Not all ticks will carry the disease but these simple precautions (and a pair of special tweezers) can help protect your staff from harm.