A free workshop on safety around dogs for workers will take place on Monday, 8th July 2024, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the Large Seminar Room, School of Veterinary Science, Waterhouse Buildings, University of Liverpool.

Hospital admissions for dog bites have been on the rise across England, with Merseyside recording the highest incidence. Workers visiting homes for deliveries or services are at risk of being bitten by family pets. Extensive research conducted by the University of Liverpool highlights dog-related workplace injuries and their prevention. Data from the Health and Safety Executive, Royal Mail, and dog shelters have been crucial in this research.

Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership

Established in 2016, the Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership initially assisted Royal Mail with their dog bite prevention policies. It has since expanded to include stakeholders such as Merseyside Police, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, animal charities, and local authorities. The partnership’s website, www.merseydogsafe.co.uk, provides detailed research and serves as a hub for dog safety resources for professionals and the public.

The workshop is suitable for all organisations and workers who visit or enter homes with dogs. This includes community nurses, care workers, delivery personnel (mail, parcel, food), midwives, cleaners, and service providers such as plumbers, handymen, and housing providers.

Workshop Content

Training and Presentations:

  • The event will provide training on scientific evidence around dog behaviour, dog bites in the workplace, and their prevention.
  • Topics will cover laws relating to dogs and the AVOID and ATLAS animal safety approaches used by Royal Mail.
  • Speakers will include representatives from the University of Liverpool, Royal Mail, Merseyside Police, Dogs Trust, and PDSA.

Dog Assisted Virtual Reality (DAVE):

  • Participants will experience Dog Assisted Virtual Reality (DAVE), developed with funding from Dogs Trust and the University of Liverpool. This tool simulates interactions with an aggressive virtual reality dog to inform about behavioural signs of potential aggression.

Drafting Workplace Guidance:

  • Participants will spend time discussing and drafting workplace guidelines for preventing dog bites in their specific contexts.

Resources and Support:

  • The Dogs Trust Community Team will be present to provide resources and discuss potential interventions for support in various cases.

This workshop offers a comprehensive approach to enhancing safety around dogs for workers entering homes, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to prevent dog-related injuries.