21st July 2016
Please Note: This post references old data and may not be accurate any more.
You wouldn’t think that being a postman would be a dangerous job, would you? Well it turns out that it can be, as our latest data reveals that dog attacks on postmen and delivery drivers made up almost a third of personal injury claims last year!
The dog breed that was revealed to be the most responsible for attacks on delivery workers was German Shepherds, followed by Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Border Collies and Labradors.
The research coincides with a recent study from the Royal Mail which further revealed that there were 2,600 dog attacks against their staff last year, with attacks in Nottinghamshire being the most frequent.
Their research also confirmed that out of these 2,600 dog attacks, 36% of them occurred at the front door, with 35% of them taking place in the front garden.
In regards to the reasons behind why these attacks happened, our research showed that 54% of the attacks claimed upon were due to dogs not being kept securely. Some postal staff however weren’t fortunate enough to escape the grasp of securely kept pets, with 35% of them being attacked through the letter box.
The Royal Mail also claimed that dogs were more likely to be left unattended in the garden during school holidays and this notion was supported by the fact that there was a 10% rise in attacks during these periods.
Referring back to the analysis of our claims, some of the most horrific injuries we came across included puncture wounds, scarring, nerve damage and even amputation!
As a result of these horrible injuries, postal workers had to undergo a number of treatments including surgery, the insertion of pins and plates, nerve grafts and even psychological treatment for those most deeply affected.
These treatments could set the NHS back over £20,000, with a potential value of the claims involving customers being £384,778, but the actual true cost to the NHS would be considerably higher.
Dr Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist, said the best thing for posties to do was befriend the dogs and keep them happy by always carrying a bag of treats.
He said: “Once a post man befriends a dog, they will be friends for life.
To say that dogs can smell fear I am sure is very true. The way we move and the way we think is communicated to a dog.
Dogs are really good at picking up on people and they remember everything, so the best advice is to make friends with them rather than enemies.
More male postmen are attacked than women and that’s because men tend to become aggressive and defend themselves which can make things worse.
But it is good to remember that it is remarkable that more dogs do not bite more people as they have a pack mentality and their family becomes their pack so they are protective.”