Snakes alive! TSDS at Work

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Tasmanian organisations are taking advantage of the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) to train their employees in a wide variety of courses.

Technical Forest Services (TFS) is an organisation that provides various services to the forest growing and management sector of the Tasmanian Forest Industry. TFS staff are required to be continuously in the forest completing various tasks throughout the year.

As an employer, TFS has a duty of care to its employees to ensure they have the appropriate training to help manage risk while they work autonomously across the state. One of the risks employees face are encounters with snakes. There are three types of venomous snakes found in Tasmania:

  • the tiger snake,
  • the lowland copperhead snake and
  • the White-lipped snake.

These snakes inhabit all forest and agricultural areas. It was identified that all ground-based staff would benefit from a snake awareness and safety course specifically designed for people working in and around snake habitats. As such, TFS applied for funding through the TSDS program and were approved to have their staff attend the course.

The course was very hands-on, as demonstrated by the photos, and covered the topics including;

  • snakebite specific first aid
  • snake habitats
  • snake movement and aggression triggers
  • snake containment (if required).

The TSDS program funded this course based on its benefit to the industry.

“We have been able to work more comfortably in our outdoor environment knowing what actions to take around snakes,” said Marc Nunan of TFS. Marc found the training beneficial by “confirming any previously held knowledge about snakes and identifying new processes about handling and interacting with snakes.”

The TSDS program aims to enable current, new and potential forestry employees to undertake training and skills development to match their vocational skills to changing job requirements arising from the restructuring of the forestry industry. The program also allows for the recognition of existing skills in the industry and workforce development planning.

If you have any questions regarding TSDS please contact Project Manager Eva James on 03 6331 6077 or

Guidelines and application documentation is available on the ForestWorks website via the link below.