Construction workers in Burnaby, British Columbia got more than they bargained for when they stumbled across a startling discovery while excavating a site. The workers discovered a den of more than 500 snakes on one Canadian construction site.
The workers were digging under some rocks to reinforce a dyke when they made the find proving how interesting everyday on a construction site can be.
The snakes were captured and moved to a sanctuary but experts believe they had been hibernating when the construction work disturbed them. They were waiting under the rocks for warmer weather when workers found them.
At least a dozen of the reptiles were injured during the construction work but they are now recovering. The snakes were lucky though, they have been taken to a Wildlife Rescue Centre in Vancouver where they can live out their days in peace but the incident is a reminder of just how different and sometimes risky life on a construction site can be.
The experts from the sanctuary were surprised at the number of snakes that were discovered. First there were 350 snakes discovered and later in the day another 150 were caught. By the end of the day, there were 518 snakes altogether. The snakes ranged from 3-4 inches to 3 feet long.
In Australia we are no strangers to wild animals, snakes and insects especially when we work in outdoor work environments however making such a find can be startling.
On its website, SafeWork SA has posted warnings to employers and outdoor workers to take the necessary precautions when working outdoors. Although the type of environment means that we can’t always control the critters and creatures that wander onto work sites, in most cases we are the ones intruding on their homes, but there are some steps contractors and builders can take to minimise the risk to workers.
We must ensure that any debris on the worksite is removed and not left lying around for pests to hide in/under.
We should also wear protection on our hands and arms when retrieving tools or objects from tall grass, bushes or plants.
If you do see a snake, do not aggravate it but allow it to move away on its own but do alert your co-workers of its presence.
Remember that snakes often hide among long blades of grass, leafs or debris. Many of these snakes are poisonous and deadly. Insect stings and toxic plants are also a risk that should be addressed. It is important that if these risks are identified, the employer has provided adequate means for addressing an emergency such as a snake bite.