A Story Shared

Robert Rochester worked as a mail carrier at United States Postal Service. One day the 55 year old employee, was attacked by a German shepherd while he was on his routine work, dropping mails in the neighbourhoods of Stanton. Mauled and badly injured, Robert was helped on to his way to the hospital by a passer by motorist. Unfortunately, doctors were not able to save Robert Rochester and the employee lost his life failing to recover from the inflicted wounds.

An unfortunate incident but one which cannot be ignored!

Candidates applying for a postal service job are often found harbouring fears of potential on-job dog attacks. And, this reported incident further consolidates their fears. However, if you think the fears are unwarranted, especially as it could be a case being treated in isolation, then you are mistaken.

The Rise in Dog Attacks

In a recent press release issued by United States Postal Service, a total of 6,775 employees were attacked by dogs in the 2016 calendar year. This is the highest number of reported incidents in past three decades and a rise by 500 units when compared to that of last year. Los Angles heads the list with the number of reported incidents, closely followed by Houston, Cleveland and San Diego.

The Reason Behind the Rise

Although it is difficult to identify the real reason behind the increased reporting, but one unanimously agreed assumption is that mail carriers are being subjected to increased volume of mails that are to be delivered at homes. This is because with the boom in online shopping, more and more customers are opting for ecommerce solutions rather than storefront shopping. This means more online sales and therefore, more deliveries for a postal worker. Consequently, this exposes mail carriers to more incidents of dog attacks, hence, the rise behind the numbers.

This begs the question among the potential candidates applying for United States Postal Service jobs:

Does the organization offer education about dog attacks as part of its postal service job training module?

The Training Being Delivered

The USPS values the safety of its employees and is wary of the dog attacks that mail carriers are exposed to on-job. It has included the required education as part of its postal service job training module and is looking to reinforce its efforts even further. The current efforts revolve around training sessions conducted by animal behaviour experts and professional dog trainers. Some notable events include:    

  • A professional training session was organised by USPS at its Los Angeles County’s San Pedro office, where Allen Burnsworth, a renowned dog trainer conducted classes, educating postal workers on how to fend off dog attacks. Crucial strategies were discussed and tips were shared to equip the mail carriers with the knowledge on how to protect themselves in case of a dog attack.

  • Another training session was organized by USPS in Whittier where safety tips were demonstrated on how to deal with an aggressive dog. It included strategies on how to read the emotions of an aggressive dog and what mail carriers can do to calm them down.  

Dog attacks are becoming an increased nuisance for mail carriers. As such, USPS is taking aggressive steps to help their employees, educating them on how to cope under the circumstances. All candidates applying for a postal service job should be well assured.