Snakes Harmful and HarmlessTM


A Darlot Gold Mine worker getting the opportunity to familiarise himself with safe capture techniques using triangular hoopbag and hook during one of Brian Bush’s Occupational Health & Safety Special Element (snake management/handling) Courses.

In December, 1997 a 33 year old male worker at a minesite near Leonora died after multiple bites from a Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis) and in November, 1999 another worker at the Broome rifle club, a 35 year old male, died after a bite from the same species, along with a 60 year old female in Carnarvon in January 2009. In 2006 near Renmark, South Australia an adult male died after receiving a bite from a brownsnake (Pseudonaja spp.) and in January 2007 at Whalan, NSW, a sixteen year old boy died after a bite from an Eastern brown snake (P. textilis). The most recent death in WA was a 43 year old male bitten on toe by 42cm Western brown snake at Gingin on 26 November 2010. All Australian regions have two or more snakes capable of inflicting a potentially fatal bite.

I have initiated special lectures for business staff and employees where their activities may bring them into contact with snakes, or where snake removal is an integral part of their work.

The OBJECTIVES of these are:

1. To provide training and awareness in snake behaviour and other Occupational Health and Safety aspects to increase employees knowledge so as to minimise the likelihood of snakebite.

2. To be trained in emergency first aid in the event of snakebite.

3. To identify the place snakes hold in the environment.

My METHODS are a sixty-minute verbal presentation using displays, live exhibits, course participation and questions to obtain the above objectives.


1. Employees will be trained in how to respond to snake sightings, public inquiries and snakebite.

2. Employees will not place themselves at unnecessary risk where snakes are involved.

3. Employees who may experience anxiety when thinking of snakes or in close proximity of snakes will have this reduced.

4. (On request only) Successful participants will have caught several highly defensive, dangerous snakes and have an introductory knowledge of safe techniques for catching (for relocation) venomous snakes. Duration. A certificate is issued to all successful participants to accompany their Reg. 17 application for a Reptile Removalist's Licence.

NOTE! Not all people are psychologically suited for this element of the training, as it requires trainees to bag several defensive venomous snakes.

The cost (metro only) is $xxx a single session or $xxx each for 2 or more standard sessions, with participants per session best limited to less than 50, or $xxx per special element* course with 6/session.

In country areas add $0.xx/kilometre for return trip - eg Bunbury add $xx; Laverton add $xxx.

Isolated area (Goldfields, Pilbara, Kimberley, etc) on site training $xxx per day (maximum 2 sessions/day).

Prices are available by contacting Brian or Judy on (08) 9295 3007 or E-mail

I have presented Snake Awareness Training to numerous special interest groups, shires, ie Town of Kwinana (Depot and Administration), Canning, Armadale, Melville etc and to the Kings Park employees, as well as the Australian Special Air Service on dual exercise with USA Green Berets, plus many regional State Emergency Service units and mining personnel, both on-site and off-site, for various mining companies.

Click here to order your respective copies of "Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of the WA Pilbara & Goldfields." or, "Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of the WA Kimberly." or, "Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia." - Important resources for regional workers, residents and medical professionals living in, or visiting these areas.

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