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Bid to cut number of dog attacks on postal workers
Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union are appealing to dog owners in Swansea and South West Wales to help keep animals under control when the postman calls during the school holidays
More than 30 postmen and women were attacked across the SA postcode area by dogs from April 2011 to April 2012, down 19% on the previous year, and we are committed to driving this down further
The number of attacks usually peak during the school holidays
Royal Mail has already spent more than £100,000 on awareness campaigns and equipment to help postmen and women reduce risk of injury
90,000 ‘posting pegs’ also issued by the company, this is a device used to put letters through the letterbox and protect the fingers of postmen and women
Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are appealing to dog owners in the SA postcode areas, covering Swansea and South West Wales,, to work with us to help keep animals under control during the school holidays this summer when postmen and women call to deliver mail.
While the number of attacks in the SA postcode areas (list at end of release) has fallen by 19 per cent since 2010, it still remains unacceptably high. A total of 33 attacks took place between April 2011 to April 2012. Postmen and women face increased danger during school holidays when parents and children are at home with dogs sometimes allowed unsupervised in the garden or out onto the streets without restraints. These attacks usually increase during the prolonged summer school holidays.
Royal Mail and the CWU are asking customers in the SA postcode area to keep their dogs under control and are issuing top tips in an attempt to reduce the number of dog attacks.
Royal Mail and the CWU are working together to raise awareness of the reality of dog attacks through targeted campaigns and the CWU led Bite Back campaign. However, the number of attacks remains unacceptably high.
Our main aim is to always prevent attacks. If we feel that there is a risk from a dog, or any other animal, at an individual address, we are committed to working with the customer to agree simple steps to ensure we can deliver the mail safely.
We regularly communicate with our people about the dangers of dog attacks and provide advice to our postmen and women on techniques to minimise harm in the event of an attack.
More than £100,000 has been spent on awareness campaigns and equipment to help our postmen and women reduce the risk of injury
90,000 posting pegs have been issued by the company, to our people; these devices helps postmen and women put letters through the letter box whilst protecting their fingers
In the autumn, we will be trialling customer leaflets in raising customer awareness to the risks of dog attacks in Central Reading, Huddersfield, Lymington, Morpeth, North Tyneside and Truro.
Donald Brydon, Chairman of Royal Mail Group launched an independent inquiry into dog attacks on postal workers led by Sir Gordon Langley, with the objective of making recommendations to address them.
Senol Ali, Health and Safety Director for Royal Mail in Swansea said: "Clearly most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.
"We would like to express our thanks to our customers in the SA postcode area for working with us to help reduce the number of attacks by 19 per cent since 2010, now we want to reduce this number further as there are still too many attacks taking place.
"Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers and we regularly provide advice to our people to help minimise the risk of an attack and have spent over £100,000 on awareness campaigns and equipment to help reduce the risk of injury.
"However, even just being threatened by an unrestrained pet is a frightening situation for our delivery staff and we would appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.”
Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer, said: "The age old image of the dog attacking the postman is not a laughing matter. Thousands of our members are bitten every year and hundreds suffer debilitating injuries every year which leave them with physical and psychological scarring, some with life changing disabilities and all in the course of doing their job.
"There are so many things that dog owners can do to reduce the likelihood of an attack taking place so we strongly urge all dog owners to look at these top tips. Prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to dog attacks so we hope that all dog owners will take a moment to check where their pet is, especially over the summer holidays when attacks increase.”