Dog Awareness Week
Delivery driver, Kelli Bowskill, has been working for Royal Mail for four years.
Almost three years ago – after being with the business for just a year - she was bitten by a dog while out on her round, writes Zoe Walker.
The incident hasn’t deterred Kelli from doing the job that she loves. But it has left her wary and cautious.
‘It was an open plan driveway and I was minding my own business,’ Kelli says.
‘The customer was holding two dogs behind a gate shut with a wheelie bin. I wasn’t expecting anything.’
Kelli was bitten on the inside of her right knee and on her left calf.
‘I rang my manager and got back to the van and tried to clean myself up – because there was a lot of blood - and she came out,’ Kelli says.
‘I am a dog lover, but even now I worry about going near that type of dog.'
Kelli made a statement to the police and her knee was x-rayed due to the depth of the bite and a concern that a tooth may have become stuck in the wound.
Despite being bitten so early on in her career with the business, Kelli was not deterred from doing her job.
‘I love my job,’ Kelli says. ‘And the only thing that would upset me in my job would be to be bitten again.
‘With Royal Mail, when you do your training, they tell you to shake gates.
‘Now, I do try to make as much noise as possible – or I will whistle if I think there is a dog there. Or slam my van door.'
If there is a dog present , it will often then become alert, so that: 'I know that there is a dog somewhere,' Kelli says.
Kelli has moved onwards and upwards since being bitten. But says that being bitten by a dog does leave lasting effects.
‘The effects of being bitten are being more psychological than physical,’ says Kelli.
‘My delivery round now is a rural round with lots of farms where people have dogs that are not chained up and they come running up to you. You do hold your breath a little bit.’
Ian Pilmore, delivery line manager at Doncaster MPU, said: ‘Kelli is one of best members of staff with an excellent positive, can do attitude who follows Royal Mail processes by the book.
‘Thankfully, the injuries Kelli suffered were not life threatening, but it does just highlight the importance of dog awareness and the vital role it plays in keeping our people safe at work.’
- Dog Awareness Week runs until Sunday 11 July. Click here to visit Workplace to share hints and tips with colleagues about your experiences and how you deal with dogs on your round.