Launching the 2021 Royal Mail/CWU National Dog Awareness Week

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING POST FOR GUIDELINES TO KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE FROM DOG ATTACKS .

Headline Statistics- 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years & 1000 dog bites through the letterbox in the last 5 years:


As the nation prepares to return to a normal life without Covid-Secure lockdown restrictions, CWU Reps should use the forthcoming ‘RM/CWU Dog Awareness Week’ to ensure that the message to members is reinforced that they must stay vigilant at all times, be aware of dangerous dog risks!


Launching the 2021 Royal Mail/CWU National Dog Awareness Week – here are the headline messages and shocking statistics:


The Headline Message for Dog Awareness Week 5 – 11 July is ‘Dog Attacks Remain a Major Safety Hazard and Concern For Postmen and Women across the UK’.

There are now 12 Million Dogs in the Country with a huge increase in dogs purchased by new owners, locked down during the pandemic. Many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialised. Many of these new owners now regret buying a dog and many of these new dogs could be a risk to postal workers.

The Key Objectives are to remind both the Public to be aware of their responsibilities and to remind Postal Workers to be vigilant, keep safe and take no risks.

The scale of the problem across the UK should never be underestimated! There have been 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years – over 80% take place at the front door or on the garden footpath or drive – some result in life changing injuries!

1000 dog bites have occurred through the letterbox in the last 5 years alone – many with devastating effects – many resulting in lost fingers!

Reps should be campaigning hard to reinforce the message to members to follow the Safe Systems of Work and the “AVOID” principles at all times:


“AVOID” and Stay Safe.


Avoid interacting with any dogs. Over 80% of dog attacks happen at a customer’s door or in their garden so take no risks and never put your fingers through a letterbox. Never accept a dog owner’s assurances – always ask owners to restrain their dogs and step away. Value yourself – It could happen to you – don’t think it can’t!

Observe – Check your Walk Log and mark your frame with yellow dots.

Inform – Report all new dogs to your Manager. Report all incidents involving dogs no matter how minor*.

Defend – Use your delivery equipment (pouch or trolley) to form a barrier and defend yourself if necessary.

(*IMPORTANT: All Dog Attacks Must Be Reported to the Manager, Police and Royal Mail Security Helpdesk – This is the only way to stop future dog attacks happening).


And Get The Message To Customers – Which Is:


Please Help Us Prevent Dog Attacks On Postal Workers By:


SECURE YOUR DOG in another room before the postman or postwoman arrives and before opening the front door to collect items of mail and parcels.

NEVER OPEN THE DOOR when your dog is behind you. Never allow young children to open the door whilst a dog is running lose in the house.

OCCUPY YOUR DOG with food or a toy while mail is being delivered.

INVEST in a letter cage or external delivery box, to stop bites through the letterbox.

ENSURE YOUR DOG has a collar, tag, and an up-to-date microchip – the law requires both!


Launching the 2021 Royal Mail/CWU National Dog Awareness Week CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said:-



  • The Headline Message for Dog Awareness Week 5 – 11 July is “Dog Attacks Remain a Major Safety Hazard and Concern’ For Postmen and Women across the UK”.

  • There are now 12 Million Dogs in the Country with a huge increase in dogs purchased by new owners, locked down during the pandemic. Many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialised. Many of these new owners now regret buying a dog and many of these new dogs could be a risk to postal workers.

  • The Key Objectives are to remind both the Public to be aware of their responsibilities and to remind Postal Workers to be vigilant, keep safe and take no risks.

  • The scale of the problem across the UK should never be underestimated

  • There’s been 33,000 dog attacks on postmen and women in the last 10 years – over 80% take place at the front door or on the garden footpath or drive – some result in life changing injuries

  • 1000 dog bites have occurred through the letterbox in the last 5 years alone – many with devastating effects – many resulting in lost fingers!


The Message for customers is:-

  • Be considerate and a responsible dog owner and work with Royal Mail and your local Postman or Postwoman.

  • Postal Workers have been heroes during the pandemic – keeping the postal service going and keeping the country connected

  • Put the dog in another secure room before opening the door to the collect the mail and parcels.

  • Don’t let children open the door and the dog can push past them and attack the postman with the child having little chance of controlling the dog

  • Don’t let the dog roam free in the garden when the mail is being delivered – if you must do this then fit a postbox on the perimeter gate or fence.

  • If your dog attacks or snatches the mail when it comes through the door fit a letterbox cage to protect the postman’s fingers and protect your mail

  • Finally – ensure your dog is microchipped and wears a collar and tag – it’s a legal requirement and you can be fined up to £5000 if you don’t.


The message to Delivery Staff is:-


  • Firstly take no risks – Zero tolerance is the Policy of Royal Mail and the CWU and we will pursue the prosecution of any owner who’s dog attacks and injures a Postal Worker

  • The Dog population has increased to 12 Million during the pandemic and many of the dogs are with new owners and haven’t been socialised and could pose a risk – we don’t yet know where they all are.

  • Never assume a dog won’t bite

  • Never take the word of an owner that the dog won’t bite either

  • Step back when delivering a parcel or packet

  • At the Delivery Office make sure that all Dog Hazards are on the Walk Risk Assessment Platform(WRAP) and that the Walk Log is up to date and check it!

  • Mark the Preparation Sorting Frame with Yellow Dots indicating the addresses where there are dogs

  • Mark the mail with a ‘D’ to remind you of addresses with dogs that could be a problem whilst you are on the delivery round.

  • Report all incidents with dogs and all dog attacks, no matter how minor – serious attacks are in many cases preceded by minor incidents and near misses.


Please see related LTBs:

LTB 271/21 – Royal Mail – ‘Dog Attack Compensation Scheme’ and Claim Form

LTB 272/21 – Royal Mail Group Dog Attack Reporting Process

LTB 273/21 – RM/CWU National Dog Awareness Week 2021 – Monday 5th July – Saturday 10 July 2021


CWU: Dog Awareness Week – 5 – 10 July 2021

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