Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 08 – Serious Dog Attack:
Overview, Background, Description:
Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY22 008 following a recent serious dog attack on a postwoman/OPG member in Sheffield who received multiple horrific injuries in the attack. This incident was reported in LTB 147/22. In this case the very aggressive dog violently broke through a garden gate and into the street, where it launched a vicious and devastating attack on the member. Although in this case the postwoman could do little to avoid the attack the Safety Flash has been released to once again raise awareness and raise the profile of the need for the delivery workforce to be vigilant and follow dog risk controls and safe systems of work in order to reduce the risk of dog attacks.
The above was in fact the second recent serious dog attack in the Sheffield postcode area and in the other incident another postwoman/OPG member had a finger bitten off and a second finger damaged whilst pushing mail through a letterbox. The dog remained silent prior to the attack, giving no warning. The same dog had bitten a postman/OPG twelve months prior to this incident. The postwoman who was injured was covering the delivery round and was unaware and not informed that the address concerned had a ‘Delivery Suspension’ in place!
Police investigations and internal Royal Mail/CWU joint investigations are both underway. The CWU Area Health and Safety Representative is fully involved locally in the investigation and the CWU/HQ Health, Safety and Environment Department involved nationally. We are in close contact with our Branch ASR and in regular contact also with the Royal Mail Security Investigation team and Royal Mail Group Senior Lawyer and Legal Department, receiving regular updates.
As indicated in LTBs 134/22 and 150/22, a detailed staff WTLL Briefing on dog awareness was produced in consultation with the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department to be delivered to the Delivery Office workforce in preparation for the reinstatement of PDA ‘Signed-For’ deliveries, reminding and raising awareness of all delivery staff to be vigilant at all times and to always take the safe course of action regarding dogs. Take no risks and take no assurances from dog owners either!
There are 3000 dog attacks on postmen and women every year. Members need to be vigilant and aware of the risks that dogs pose and take no changes. Royal Mail and CWU agree that the safety of our delivery workforce is paramount, and dog awareness must be taken seriously.
- 3000 dog attacks on postmen and women every year!
- 1000 postmen and women have had a finger bitten off in the last 5 years – don’t put your fingers through the letter box!
- 3 children have been killed in dog attacks in recent months.
- 5 million households in the UK have acquired a pet during the 2-year pandemic according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association. That means the UK now has 17 million pet-owning homes – mostly dogs.
Raise Awareness – Be Vigilant
The aim of both attachments to this LTB is to raise awareness of the dog risk and to urge members on delivery to always stay vigilant in order to do what we can jointly to minimise the risk of dog attacks on members and to promote the staff dog awareness ‘AVOID’ acronym message. The ‘AVOID’ message, outlined in the attached briefing is crucially important at this time – the message is: ‘AVOID and Stay Safe’ – Managers and Workplace Coaches have been requested to ensure that staff are thoroughly briefed on the importance of using ‘AVOID’ and being dog aware. All CWU Reps should support getting the briefing message across to all members.
Key Messages, Learning Points and Activities – DOMs to take appropriate remedial action, brief and remind all delivery staff as follows:
- Ensure staff are being vigilant and aware that they should report all unsecure gates or properties where a dog resides to their manager, so that they can agree the necessary controls with customers to ensure the safety of delivery staff.
- Remind staff that they may need to be prepared to use their delivery equipment (pouch or trolley) to form a barrier to defend themselves if necessary.
- Remind staff to report all dog hazards to their manager, so that they can be assessed using the dog attack control matrix and appropriate action taken to reduce the risk.
- Ensure all delivery employees have had the Delivery SSOW communicated to them in the last 12 months.
- Ensure walk logs are reviewed, printed off (this will support the transfer of hazards into the new Outdoor Risk Assessment (ORA), and yellow dots are in place on frames for all known dog hazards.
- Visit the dog attack hazard intranet webpages for ideas and material to reduce dog attacks.
- Focus safety conversations on dog attacks, check that gates are in good condition and secure.
- Postmen and women/OPGs unfamiliar with delivery walks need to be made aware and informed of any hazards such as dangerous dogs or hazardous delivery points and the temporary controls that are in place and addresses where there are delivery suspensions.
- Ensure that all USO delivery exceptions and suspensions, along with alternative delivery arrangements are identified on the delivery frame through the use of the special instruction card.
- Significant dog hazards must recorded on the ‘Outdoor Risk Assessment/(WRAP) and must be identified by a yellow dot on the frame.
- The USO Sharepoint should be used to request letters to be sent to notify customers of any concerns that need addressing.
- Safety Flash FY22 008 – Dog Attack – Gate
- WTLL Dog Awareness Delivery Staff Briefing as RM re-instate ‘Signature Capture’ and embeds ‘Photo Capture on Delivery’
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer