- 10 July 2019
- Transport / Logistics Services
There have been a number of dog bite incidents on postal delivery staff that could have resulted in fatalities this year according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
There have been almost 2,500 attacks from dogs, many of which have resulted in serious and permanent injury.
Royal Mail has urged dog owners to keep their animals away from letterboxes and doorways.
A total of 2,484 separate incidents were reported in 2018-19 – a 9% year-on-year rise – equating to nearly 50 attacks per week.
One postwoman, Tina O’Toole was attacked in Warrington and needed hospital treatment, a skin graft and physiotherapy. She said, “I’d just ask customers, please don’t have your dog loose in the garden when we are on our rounds.”
The postal operator has said that even normally placid animals can attack if they feel their territory is being threatened.
Dave Joyce of the Communication Workers Union said: “Dog-owning customers are failing in their responsibility to postal workers by simply securing their dogs before opening the door.
“Worryingly there were a number of very serious dog attacks on postal workers in both Royal Mail delivery and Parcelforce delivery over this past year, some of which could easily have ended in fatalities if it wasn’t for the intervention of the owners and good Samaritans
“Taking simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned.
“Put the dog away in a secure room before opening the door to collect and sign for deliveries.”
Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week runs from Monday until Saturday, with a special postmark applied to all stamped items during the week.
Royal Mail is profiled in European Parcels Market Insight Report 2019