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Black Widows In The Workplace

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Leyton Ezzell

   The reputation of the Black Widow spider is well-known and infamous among many groups of people, but even outside workplace environments can harbor the danger that Black Widows bring to anybody. 

   OSHA, The Occupational Safety and Health Organization, has an outline on how to spot and avoid Black Widows and, if someone were to get bitten, how to deal with the bitten area properly.

How to identify a black widow:

  1. Black Widow is shiny black, with a red hourglass mark on the underside of admin.
  2. The abdomen can range in size and color, ranging from an hourglass shape to a small deck
  3. Female Black Widows can be up to a ½ long

The habitat of the widow can differ on if it is inside or outside:

Outside – piles of wood and rubble, underneath stones, inside hollow stumps, sheds, garages 

Inside – Basements, Cupboards, sheds.

Bite symptoms:

  1. It can be painful or could go unnoticed 
  2. A bite will cause swelling, and pain will travel to the abdomen or back
  3. Sever cramping at the bite site
  4. Symptoms include nausea, perspiration, tremors, labored breathing, bite pain that will last 8-12 hours

Protection from bites is relatively simple:

  1. Search all clothing articles 
  2. Wear long sleeves
  3. Use insect repellents 

 

Treatment is also relatively simple:

  1. Clean the bitten area and apply ice
  2. Elevate and immobilize extremity
  3. Capture the spider if possible
  4. Seek medical attention