RM/CWU National Dog Awareness Week 2021 – Monday 7 July – Saturday 10 July 2021:
Headline Statistics- 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years & 1000 dog bites through the letterbox in the last 5 years:
As the nation prepares to return to a normal life without Covid-Secure lockdown restrictions, CWU Reps should use the forthcoming ‘RM/CWU Dog Awareness Week’ to ensure that the message to members is reinforced that they must stay vigilant at all times, be aware of dangerous dog risks!
Launching the 2021 Royal Mail/CWU National Dog Awareness Week – here are the headline messages and shocking statistics:
- The Headline Message for Dog Awareness Week 5 – 11 July is ‘Dog Attacks Remain a Major Safety Hazard and Concern For Postmen and Women across the UK’.
- There are now 12 Million Dogs in the Country with a huge increase in dogs purchased by new owners, locked down during the pandemic. Many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialised. Many of these new owners now regret buying a dog and many of these new dogs could be a risk to postal workers.
- The Key Objectives are to remind both the Public to be aware of their responsibilities and to remind Postal Workers to be vigilant, keep safe and take no risks.
- The scale of the problem across the UK should never be underestimated!
- There have been 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years – over 80% take place at the front door or on the garden footpath or drive – some result in life changing injuries!
- 1000 dog bites have occurred through the letterbox in the last 5 years alone – many with devastating effects – many resulting in lost fingers!
Reps should be campaigning hard to reinforce the message to members to follow the Safe Systems of Work and the “AVOID”principles at all times:
“AVOID” and Stay Safe.
- Avoid interacting with any dogs. Over 80% of dog attacks happen at a customer’s door or in their garden so take no risks and never put your fingers through a letterbox. Never accept a dog owner’s assurances – always ask owners to restrain their dogs and step away.
- Value yourself – It could happen to you – don’t think it can’t!
- Observe – Check your Walk Log and mark your frame with yellow dots.
- Inform – Report all new dogs to your Manager. Report all incidents involving dogs no matter how minor*.
- Defend – Use your delivery equipment (pouch or trolley) to form a barrier and defend yourself if necessary.
(*IMPORTANT: All Dog Attacks Must Be Reported to the Manager, Police and Royal Mail Security Helpdesk – This is the only way to stop future dog attacks happening).
And Get The Message To Customers – Which Is:
Please Help Us Prevent Dog Attacks On Postal Workers By:
- SECURE YOUR DOG in another room before the postman or postwoman arrives and before opening the front door to collect items of mail and parcels.
- NEVER OPEN THE DOOR when your dog is behind you. Never allow young children to open the door whilst a dog is running lose in the house.
- OCCUPY YOUR DOG with food or a toy while mail is being delivered.
- INVEST in a letter cage or external delivery box, to stop bites through the letterbox.
- ENSURE YOUR DOG has a collar, tag, and an up-to-date microchip – the law requires both!
UK Dog Population Dramatic Increase Research!
Recently published research and data has reported the proportion of UK people buying or adopting dogs has increased dramatically in 2020/21, during the pandemic with the population of dogs in the UK now over 12 million.
The worrying indications from this recent research are that over half of these animals have been isolated and not socialised, never having left their home and never having met other humans outside their own households. Many of these new dog owners now regret buying a dog and now want rid of them. More than a third (33%) of people who bought a dog during lockdown fear their dogs will bite a stranger after lockdown ends as these dogs meet new people for the first time.
As we in the CWU know well – without responsible dog owners and without proper socialisation and training, these dogs can have serious behavioural problems, such as nervous behaviour, bad temperament, aggression and the risk of attacking people and postal workers is very real. There could therefore be major consequences for CWU members/Postal Workers making deliveries to homes and companies with these potentially aggressive dogs in the hands of irresponsible owners failing to control them – time will tell.
Members should be reminded to be vigilant at all times, take no risks and avoid any contact and interaction with dogs.
Dog Awareness Week WTLLs/Huddles
See attached three WTLLs which will be used during Dog Awareness Week. These will be:
- One WTLL specifically for the Delivery Office workforce.
- One WTLL aimed at non-delivery office workers.
- One designed for Parcelforce workers.
Dog Awareness Week Resources
See attached RMG SHE Process for ordering stocks of the following:
‘Do You Have A Dog’ Post Cards
Dalmatian postcard which is designed to be posted to all households in an area as part of Dog Awareness week to ask customers to ensure their dogs are kept secure and under control when the postman/woman calls.
‘Dog Behind The Letter Box’ Cards
This is the red coloured Alsatian Card/Leaflet which is used to identify to the postman/woman where a known dog resides. The Card/Leaflet is placed in the frame when prepping and can then be put with bundles as a reminder when going out on the round.
Plastic red coloured peg for posting mail through letter boxes in order to avoid dog bites through the letter box.
Unit Plasma Screens & RMTV Screen Shots
See attached copies of seven daily ‘screen shots’ which will be shown on a one per day basis during Dog Awareness Week.
Dog Awareness Week 2021 Internal Poster – “AVOID a dog attack by following the five steps”
Each Unit will receive two printed copies of the ‘Internal AVOID’ Dog Awareness Week poster which will either be the English (Inc. N.I.), Scottish or Welsh versions. The only difference in the country posters is the Royal Mail Cruciform which varies from country to country. The aim of the internal poster is to emphasise the five-point Dog Attack AVOID principles to every member (see above), presenting the well-known “AVOID” dog awareness message in a different looking poster. The poster refers to reported significant increase in dog ownership across the UK during the pandemic lockdown and aims to alert the outdoor delivery workforce to the fact that these dogs may not have been trained or socialised with people and therefore they pose a potential threat of attack and dog bites!
Dog Awareness Week 2021 External Poster – “33 Postmen and Women bitten every week – 5 key requests to customers”
Each Unit will receive four printed copies of the ‘External’ Dog Awareness Week poster which will either be the English (inc. N.I.), Scottish or Welsh versions. Additionally, there will be a Welsh Language version poster of which Welsh Units will receive four printed copies. The aim of the external poster is to capture the attention of the reader, focusing on the personal impact that a dog attack can have by showing the faces of 33 postmen and women which is the current number of postmen and women bitten every week. The request of the public is the same as we have campaigned for the last 7 years with 5 key requests highlighted (see above).
It total there will be 16,000 posters distributed to all Royal Mail Delivery and other Units. A message will be sent to all non-delivery units, requesting that they share any unused posters with their local delivery unit. Royal Mail state that it is far cheaper and easier to send posters to all Units than trying to manage different volumes and internal/external posters to different parts of the business. The posters will be hosted on the Royal Mail SharePoint so that any Units that want additional posters will be able to download and print off additional copies required. Posters will be arriving in units from around the 29th June ready to display in time for Dog Awareness Week commencing Monday 5 July 2021.
- Dog Awareness Week 2021 Internal Poster
- Dog Awareness Week 2021 External Poster
- Seven, daily Screen Shots.
- Three WTLLs/Huddles
- Mail Shot ‘Have You Got A Dog’ Postcard
- Frames/Bundles ‘Dog Behind The Letterbox Card
- Using a Posting Peg Leaflet/Images
Ordering Process For The Above items For Dog Awareness WeekThe Message for Customers is:
Ø Be considerate and a responsible dog owner and work with Royal Mail and your local Postman or Postwoman.
Ø Postal Workers have been heroes during the pandemic – keeping the postal service going and keeping the country connected.
Ø Put the dog in another secure room before opening the door to collect the mail and parcels.
Ø Don’t let children open the door, the dog can push past them and attack the postman with the child having little chance of controlling the dog.
Ø Don’t let the dog roam free in the garden when the mail is being delivered – if you must do this then fit a postbox on the perimeter gate or fence.
Ø If your dog attacks or snatches the mail when it comes through the door fit a letterbox cage to protect the postman’s fingers and protect your mail.
Ø Finally – ensure your dog is microchipped and wears a collar and tag – it’s a legal requirement and you can be fined up to £5000 if you don’t.
The Message to Delivery Staff is:
Ø Firstly, take no risks – zero tolerance is the Policy of Royal Mail and the CWU and we will pursue the prosecution of any owner who’s dog attacks and injures a Postal Worker.
Ø The Dog population has increased to 12 million during the pandemic and many of the dogs are with new owners and haven’t been socialised and could pose a risk – we don’t yet know where they all are.
Ø Never assume a dog won’t bite.
Ø Never take the word of an owner that the dog won’t bite either.
Ø Step back when delivering a parcel or packet.
Ø At the Delivery Office make sure that all Dog Hazards are on the Walk Risk Assessment Platform (WRAP) and that the Walk Log is up to date and check it!
Ø Mark the Preparation Sorting Frame with Yellow Dots indicating the addresses where there are dogs.
Ø Mark the mail with a ‘D’ to remind you of addresses with dogs that could be a problem whilst you are on the delivery round.
St. Bede’s Primary School Rotherham – Supporting Dog Awareness Week and Raising Awareness
Two pupils Ida and Paris have made this great little 5-minute dog awareness video to highlight the risks our superb postmen and women face every day with dog hazards. If all dog owners can follow the simple steps in the video, dog attacks on the posties will reduce. Well done girls and the local postman – Luke and his mother the St Bede’s Head Teacher Amanda Wassell. Our thanks to ASR Andrew Kipling, Ida, Paris, Luke and Amanda. Link to Video:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wnEzSWgL68
See The Dog Awareness Week Interview With National Health, Safety & Environment Officer Dave Joyce on the CWU Website.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer