Dozens of postal workers attacked by dogs in Sheffield
A staggering 60 postal workers were attacked by dogs in Sheffield in the past year with a union official warning that some ‘could easily have ended in fatalities’.
Almost 2,500 workers were attacked in the last 12 months across the UK, with incidents ending in serious and permanent injuries.
One postwoman described how blood seeped through her trousers after she was bittenn on the leg while doing her rounds.
The Royal Mail warned ‘even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels it, or its territory, is being threatened’.
Communication Workers Union health and safety officer Dave Joyce 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.”
A total of 2,484 separate incidents were reporteed across the country in 2018-19 – a nine per cent year-on-year rise – equating to nearly 50 attacks per week.
In the last year, 82 per cent of attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the garden.
Royal Mail's Dog Awareness Week runs from Monday until Saturday, with a special postmark applied to all stamped items during the week.
It urged dog-owners to place pets in their back gardens or a farway room and keep them there when answering the door.
Royal Mail also asked owners to consider intalling a wire letter receptacle, claiming it will ‘protest post and postal workers’ fingers’.