When a young post woman from the CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch got up one morning in 2016 to complete her day's work for Royal Mail delivering mail to households in Bootle, she never dreamt that her new 6 week old job would put her in hospital that day!
Clair Kami is a young worker who now has a fear of not just dogs, but of all animals.
Her experience of being attacked by a 'staffy' dog, a breed of dog she really liked, when calling at an address that a couple with two children and one pet dog to deliver their mail, resulted in a an experience that has left her mentally scarred for a long time to come, not to mention a permanent scar on the leg that the dog bit into when it attacked her.
In Clair's case, the owner was apologetic and shocked because he never believed their pet dog was vicious. HE vowed to have the dog destroyed because of fear the same could happen to his two children.
Because of this incident and another near miss with another vicious dog, Clair is determined to ensure her colleagues are made aware of just how serious an attack from a dangerous and out of control dog can be.
She has also appealed to all dog owners to ensure their dogs are not loose in the house when a delivery person calls, and preferable has the dog in a separate room behind a closed door before answering the front door to a delivery man/woman.
Above is the video Clare made with her Branch for Dog Awareness Week, the first part of which was made by Clair just after she had done this interview recording for the Branch! In it, her CWU colleague and USR Paul Fitzimmons asks her about the incident and how it has affected her in the long-term.
It is an insight into the trauma suffered by post women and men who are at risk everyday that they deliver mail, packages and parcels to the millions of customers of Royal Mail and indeed other delivery companies. It is too, one that the public never get to hear and see when they read in their newspapers or watch on TV news that yet another postal delivery worker has been attacked by a dangerous dog.
As is the norm for CWU Health & Safety Rep, Paul and Area Safety Rep, Jamie McGovern immediate action was taken to support Clair and to advise both Royal Mail and the CWU's National Health, Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce of the incident.
This week saw Dave appearing at the House of Commons Select Committee into Dangerous Dogs Legislation changes, at which Dave referred to the evidence that his department has put together and updated last April, complete with harrowing photogrpahs of injuries caused by dog attacks.
Unionsafety is grateful to the Greater Mersey Amal Banch and to Clair for bringing her story to this website, so that others workers, including BT engineers; can be made aware of just how seriously affected an individual going about their legitimate work can be as a result of being attacked by a vicious and dangerous dog.
Clair hopes that dog owners too will see this article and her video and take action as a responsible dog owner to keep their pet under control and indoors when strangers call to their property.
She is also now determined to be a Branch advocate for Dangerous Dogs Awareness campaigns and one of her Branch's first female young worker to become a Union Safety Rep and to be trained on mental health awareness too.
Source: Clair Kami / Paul Fitrzimons / Jamie McGovern / unionsafety
Further reading: Dangerous Dogs Catalogue (April2018) available from this website's E-Library Database