Utility Company Offers Employees Dog-Attack Avoidance Training
Dog attacks are common across the country, and people who deliver or visit houses as part of their jobs tend to be more frequent victims. K5 News, for example, recently reported that a UPS driver in Washington was mauled by four dogs while trying to deliver a package. Fortunately, the driver in that case was able to contact emergency services and is expected to recover, but it still highlights just how dangerous dogs can be to people in these lines of work.
Now, a New York utility service is taking the dog attack matter into its own hands by teaching employees how to react in these situations. According to Go Erie News, gas company National Fuel recently arranged for 35 employees to undergo a training exercise for dealing with dangerous dogs designed by Florida-based Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety.
Meter readers and customer service representatives received training at the session. They learned about dog behavior and procedures for working around dogs, and they were shown tactics they could use during an aggressive dog attack. Employees also took part in live simulations with trained dogs from Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety, which is owned and operated by Mitzi Robinson, a dog trainer and breeder with more than 20 years of experience.
National Fuel Safety Supervisor Joe Dworzanski said that many customers simply don’t realize the danger the utility company’s employees face when dogs are let loose while they are coming out to homes and businesses to read meters or perform other job-related tasks. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year, and according to the safety expert, National Fuel does not want its employees to become a part of that number (https://www.avma.org/public/Pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention.aspx).
Twenty-year-old meter reader Daniel Sheeley took part in the training session, working with a 2.5-year-old German shepherd named Minx. As part of an exercise, Sheeley was outfitted in a protective apron and mitten while Minx was instructed by the trainer to run at the young man and bite him. The young meter reader said he learned a lot at the training session. He said that while he has already come into contact with loose dogs, he has never been attacked. The employee was grateful for the opportunity to learn about how to handle aggressive animals just in case the need arises.
Robinson gave the employee group various tips on how to handle such situations, including the fact that you can’t depend on the customer to come to your rescue. The trainer also told the group that dogs judge people based on their submission and dominance, with stepping back indicating submission and stepping closer indicating dominance.
Dog bites can have serious consequences for victims. The AMVA also notes that close to one out of five people who are bitten by dogs need medical attention, and at least half of those victims are children. If a dog has injured you or someone you care about, speak to an attorney, like a dog bite lawyer Denver CO trusts, about your rights today.
Thanks to our friend and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into dog bite and personal injury law practice.