On the Job – How Are Plants and Animals Hazardous?



The quick answer to the question, how are plants hazardous is that they can cause rashes, illness, even death if you find out too late that you are severely allergic to them.  Obviously, working outdoors puts you (and your co-workers in danger of encountering hazardous plants. If you are not knowledgeable on the ways to ensure you don’t encounter such hazardous plants without being prepared you need to be  – because, let’s face it – you may not have a choice in the matter!

Everyone who works in the outdoors during the summer heat –young or old – is at risk.

Number one way to prevent accidental encounter on your steel building construction site, is easy. If you have not yet received your WHMIS or equivalent training, get it.

Outdoor work may expose you to

  • Poison Ivy – The sap of the plant contains an oily resin that causes an irritating inflammation of the skin in most people. All parts of the plant, including the roots, contain this poisonous resin. Most people develop symptoms 24 to 48 hours after contact. The extent of a reaction depends on the individual’s sensitivity and the amount of sap in contact with the skin.
  • Poison oak – The big problem with poison oak is that it is hard to identify and poisonous all year round and some people’s immune system is extremely sensitive to the oil.
  • Deadly Nightshade – also known as belladonna, this is one of the most toxic plants in the world. Because it is so dangerous, it is sometimes considered a weed. It grows dark black berries that are attractive because they’re tasty and look delicious. But every part of the plant is toxic, so even brushing it away or pulling it out of the ground with unprotected hands that you then wipe your face or mouth with can be deadly.

To prevent these problemsget the proper training!

  • Learn to recognize and avoid poisonous plants
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Get prompt medical/first aid treatment for any problems

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