Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine July 2016)
A postal carrier was hospitalized on July 11, 2016, after two pit bull terriers attacked him while he was on his mail route in Laval, Quebec.
According to police spokesperson, Evelyn Boudreau, with Le Services de police de Laval (SPL), the mail carrier, who is in his 50s, approached a house with an open door and his route when the two dogs ran outside and bit him repeatedly.
Paul Vincelette, director of health and safety for Metropolitan Montreal with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, says the carrier had initially called to the owner of the home from the driveway, asking for the dogs to be held back. But the two dogs came out of the home and barked at the letter carrier.
One dog tried to bit the worker on the leg, while the other tried to bite the mail carrier’s neck. The carrier received 14 bites on the arm.
A neighbour tried to stop the attack but she went back into her house when the dogs came after her. The postal worker then jumped into his car away from the animals.
Police wrote four tickets for the dogs’ owner, totaling $700.00, for breaking Laval municipal by-laws. La ministere de l’Agriculture, des Pecheries et de l’Alimentation du Quebec, the provincial ministry for agriculture and fisheries, is required to investigate the incident, and charges of criminal negligence are still possible. SPL investigators obtained a warrant and seized the two dogs on the evening following the incident.
According to Vincelette, about 500 mail carriers in Canada are bitten by dogs while on the job every year.
We have all heard the saying, “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.” Still, the dogs, especially pit bulls, tend to cause a lot of damage and severely injure other dogs and other people.
In my estimation, the fines of $700.00 were a drop in the bucket and I do hope the letter carrier sued the dog owner. These dogs are weapons and the owner should have better controls in place to protect others.
There have been many instances of dogs like these that attack their own owners.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at www.hrsgroup.com.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “All accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO and Training Director