Snakeprotex™ Extreme Gaiters
Snakeprotex™ Extreme Gaiters

Snakeprotex™ Extreme Gaiters

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Protection from Snake Strikes

As a supplier to the parks & garden industry over a long period of time, we have often received requests for lower leg snake bite protection. As workplace safety requirements have increased people have become more concerned as to ensuring they have suitable protective apparel.

OHS policies affecting councils, landscape contractors and other businesses require adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees. Protection for outdoor workers from snake bites is an issue fast becoming a recognised critical need.

As this requirement for protection from snakes has been increasing for some time, we worked with our suppliers & manufacturers of protective clothing to develop and refine a world leading Snake Safe gaiter.

The Threat

Venomous snake species are a threat in many parts of the world. Many snakes have the capability to inflict a fatal bite. In Australia the common Eastern Brown Snake is the cause of most instances of snakebite.

Some victims of a bite from an Eastern Brown Snake do not even feel the bite — read about some little-known snake facts which underline the need for outdoor workers to wear suitable protection against snake strikes.

The Product

The result of over 12 months’ investigation, design and testing is SnakeProtex™. This is a pair of gaiters designed to protect the lower leg (knee to ankle). To ensure rigourous testing for the gaiter a professional herpetologist was engaged to carry out the necessary trials. The product proved itself well, leading to our claim that Snakeprotex™ will assist in protecting a person from snakebite if worn correctly. Snakeprotex is supplied with a diagram showing how to simply and correctly wear the gaiters.

Mapping Megan with SnakeProtex | Photo 1

Previous product version shown – read more about the team behind Mapping Megan.

Chew test of the original SnakeProtex Gaiters
Detail photo of a Venomous Snake's Fangs

The ‘Chew Test’

Five of the most common venomous Australian snakes were put in the vicinity of SnakeProtex™ and encouraged to bite the fabric which was fitted to a realistically sized dummy leg. The snakes used were: Eastern Brown Snake, Mulga Snake, Tiger Snake, Red-bellied Black Snake, and Southern Death Adder. None of the bites resulted in venom penetration through the garment. To quote from the test report provided by the herpetologist; “In all cases when a snake bit the gaiter on the model leg or bit the gaiter separately, no venom was detected on the inside of the gaiter, even when examined under magnification.”

More recent tests on the newer model used a much more difficult test to pass: a Taipan while being held by a person bit the garment. This is a much tougher test firstly because the Taipan has the longest fangs of any Australian snake. The snake was allowed to remain latched onto the garment for 30 seconds while its venom glands pumped continuously. This prolonged bite is referred to as a ‘chew’. It must be stressed that a bite of this nature is extremely unlikely in a real life attack: most snake bites are simply a short, sharp, open-mouthed ‘tap’. Large amounts of venom were visible on the surface after the bite but again, there was no venom penetration through to the inside of the garment.

SnakeProtex Extreme Construction Layers Diagram
SnakeProtex Extreme photo 5 at PAKEM Farm 4WD Training Park
SnakeProtex Extreme photo 3 at PAKEM Farm 4WD Training Park
Red Bellied Black Snake in the Reeds - Laratinga Wetlands, Mount Barker

Why is SnakeProtex™ Extreme So Good?

This product was designed for protection from Australian snakes and rigorously tested for performance. Alongside this critical need, the garment had to be tough enough to withstand the harsh Australian environment.

The Snakeprotex gaiters must be worn over suitable trousers and boots and definitely should not be worn with low cut shoes. The new Extreme model sports a range of fully adjustable features such as adjustable boot straps allowing for a better fit amongst a larger range of different work boots, and adjustable top leg straps allowing for a firmer, closer, and safer fit; SnakeProtex gaiters are now more versatile than ever.

A new press tab installed to clip over the zipper provides better security stopping the zip from moving whilst walking, working or adventuring outdoors. With its water repellent tendencies and now made from a higher denier external black fabric, SnakeProtex Extreme gaiters now offer you even better protection from snake strikes while looking like every day workwear and lasting the distance.

We cannot claim that the product is “snake-proof” – there are too many variables involved for us to claim this. Nor can we guarantee that a snake may not strike the body above the top of the garment, although it would be unlikely from most Australian snakes. SnakeProtex gaiters are designed to prevent a snake’s fangs penetrating through to the skin.

It should be noted that even when wearing this product, common sense should still apply and the wearer should still avoid contact with any venomous species. Most snakes will rarely strike at a human unless provoked or acidentally stepped on.

Extensive testing has shown that large specimens held in captivity were not able to penetrate this protection. On this basis, and with the support of a very experienced herpetologist, we are proud to release this unique outdoor safety product on the Australian market.

Photos and images used in this document may show slight variations in the product. This is a result of the rigorous testing and alterations which followed. We like to ensure that we supply the best protection available and the in-field success of this product will be constantly monitored. We will never release a product which has not passed the ‘chew test’ tested as mentioned earlier.

Testings were conducted by Adelaide Hills Snake Catchers, Geoff Coombe (Herpetologist) & Venom Supplies Australia. Extreme Sizing Chart with comparison to Previous Model