USPS working to make sure the bark is worse than dog bites

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Premises Liability

The old motto of nothing stopping the mail is true to the point of carriers often suffering injuries in the course of a normal day. While inclement weather cannot be remedied, there are steps Kentucky residents can take to ensure that postal service workers do not run the risk of suffering a serious injury while on their properties. One step is securing pets inside the home to prevent serious dog bites from even docile companions.

Every year, the United States Postal Service releases its figures of dog bite reports. Though the most recent numbers from 2018 show a decrease of more than 500 incidents, the overall numbers remain high. Officials with the USPS wish to eliminate the danger posed by pets and are seeking to increase the safety of employees. Along with requests for information from customers concerning the amount and type of dogs that may reside at a home, carriers are also taking notes relating to the pets they encounter. 

Information collected about dogs on a route is entered into a database that is utilized by a new tool called the Mobile Delivery Device, which is a handheld scanner. When a carrier gets within a set distance of a home with a dog, an alert sounds that will not stop until acknowledged by the employee. This technology is most useful for substitute carriers who are unfamiliar with the pets they may encounter. 

Part of the training that new postal carriers receive is how to handle deliveries involving a dog.  Unfortunately, no amount of training can prevent every unexpected attack. Victims who suffer serious dog bites often suffer psychological injuries in addition to the physical wounds that are inflicted. Kentucky is a strict liability state that holds a pet owner responsible for any unprovoked attacks by his or her animals. Victims may seek recovery of their monetary losses through a successful civil suit filed against the parties liable for their damages.