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The Importance of Dog Bite Prevention Training for Field Employees

By: Mitzi Robinson, President/Founder/Speaker, Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety 
Presenter 2021 VPPPA Conference Nashville

Oconomowoc Severely injured meter reader attacked by two Mastiffs! Was never told about the puppies in the yard.

This event took place with a meter reader working for a mid-western company. We spoke to the company many times in the past about the need for dog bite  reliable place to buy clomid online prevention training, however they continually had the same excuses: their dog bites were minimal and they had no history of serious attacks.That all quickly changed when Bulli Ray received a call that they needed training, NOW! The senior manager of field operations was relieved to speak to us and asked us to come to train immediately.

At the time, it was important to understand the incident that transpired in its entirety in order for Bulli Ray to reinforce the necessary field training with all of the company’s field employees. Prior to training, when the senior manager of field operations was asked to share details of the incident, she seemed hesitant and commented that all field personnel should have been alerted–yet ultimately went on to share the story.

The incident involved one of her inexperienced female field employees, who at the time was only on the job approximately six months when she was attacked by two Mastiffs! The female dog was over 150 pounds, while the male weighed in at 210 pounds. She was lucky that she was not killed. Following the attack, she spent several days in the hospital and lost large sections of her leg due to infection. Today, she continues to suffer from major nerve damage to her hand and is considered disabled.

On the day of the incident, the employee arrived at the location to read a meter. She made sure she paid attention to her surroundings. She watched for dogs constantly after having a few close calls previously in other yards. She has four large dogs of her own, so she felt very comfortable around dogs. This was her regular route, so she knew that there were two Mastiffs, but the owner always kept the dogs in the house. She also checked her handheld computer for any updates. She was familiar where the meter was located and headed to an enclosed back porch. The back porch was used primarily as a storage area. As she was making her way through all the contents on the porch and suddenly heard commotion behind her coming from inside the house.

Feeling uncomfortable with the sounds, she started to retreat making her way back, and that is when the door to the house flew open, with the two very large Mastiffs charging out! She manages to get to the back door as the dogs take their first steps towards her. The dogs also had to make their way through the storage to get her. She knows that she can’t make it to the truck and was trained to not run from dogs. She didn’t want to get caught in this storage filled room. She makes it out and tries to use an old desk in the yard as shelter. The dogs are charging, and one goes around the desk and grabs her arm while the second dog goes through the middle of the desk, where there would normally be a chair, and grabs her leg. She tries to move, but the weight of the two dogs was too powerful and they take her to the ground. She is now being pulled in different directions by each dog! She hears the owner screaming at the dogs and the woman pulls on the dog that has her arm. The dog releases and the owner heads towards the house with the dog. The other Mastiff releases her leg and follows the owner back to the house.

The owner is still screaming, not at the dogs now but at the meter reader, “How idiotic are you?”, “We alerted the company that we had a litter of puppies, why would you come into the yard?”, “Why would you come on the porch when the puppies are just three feet from the meter?”. 

At this time, the severely injured meter reader can’t get up and feels as though she unable to move. She’s crying because of the pain and is hoping for someone to help her, but the owner does not return. After some time, she pulls herself together, and limps to her truck to call for help.

Following the incident, an investigation was conducted. It was found that the customer did in fact call customer service to inform the company that they had a litter of puppies at their residence. The customer described the two large dogs, explaining how dangerous it would be for anyone to come into their yard. However,  the information never reached field operations.

Lessons Learned:

  • The employee did nothing wrong.
    • She was outmatched in an extremely dangerous situation.
  • The most dangerous time to enter a yard with dogs is when there are young puppies present. This information should have been documented to alert the employee on her handheld computer.
  • She had large sections of her leg removed due to infection.
    • Infection is one of the most dangerous side effects of a dog bite. 
    • All dogs carry bacteria in their mouths, but some dogs have much more than others depending on their environments. Females with puppies have more, as they constantly lick and clean their pups. Newborn puppies cannot defecate or urinate without being stimulated by their mothers licking. To keep them clean, the mother will consume feces and urine. This bacterium can then be passed on to their victim of a bite.
  • She also has major nerve damage to her hand and is considered disabled.
    • Another result of a large powerful dog.
  • Customer service and field operations must be on the same page.
    • The customer told company investigators that they called in the dangerous situation to the company. They felt no responsibility for the employee’s injuries.
  • Mailers should have been sent out telling their customers, spring is coming, who to notify if they have puppies.
  • When defending yourself use whatever is available, chairs, boxes, hoses, tools, or clothes. A dog will bite the first thing it comes to make sure it’s not you!  Keep the object moving so they want to grab and hold on. You want the dog to pull you to safety.
Bulli Ray Dog Stick

Final takeaway: Put something the dog can grab and hold on to, it could save your life one day!

Mitzi Robinson, Bulli Ray Enterprises, LLC, www.bulliray.com

Jacqueline "Jackie" Annis is an industrial hygienist with the Office of Partnerships and Recognition, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs in OSHA’s National Office.  Jackie’s primary responsibilities include developing and overseeing internal policies and procedures for the VPP, reviewing VPP on-site evaluation reports for process safety management information, serving as the National Office liaison for two of OSHA’s ten Regions, and facilitating the management of OSHA’s National Strategic Partnership Program.  She is an integral part of OSHA’s National Office team. 

She has served with the Agency for 36 years, including five years as a senior industrial hygienist in OSHA’s Office of Health Enforcement, Directorate of Enforcement Programs in the National Office and 17 years as a compliance safety and health officer in the Denver, CO Area Office.  Prior to her tenure at OSHA, Jackie worked as an industrial hygienist for the Department of the Navy in Alameda, California.  Jackie obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA in 1983.

Wayne Howard earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis and has spent 12 years with Shell (at Martinez) refinery, 3 years with the consulting firm Process Safety, 15 years with Valero (at Benicia), and the last 10 years in the Corporate Process Safety Department. He is the Valero representative to AFPM's Advancing Process Safety Initiative.

Nathan Obaugh, PE is a senior engineer in the Safety and Operational Excellence Group at NuStar Energy. Nathan has over 10 years of PSM and process design experience in the petrochemical, refining and midstream industries. At NuStar, Nathan oversees all elements of the corporate PSM program and works directly on hazard analysis, process safety studies, PSM/RMP audits and provides process engineering support to the operations and capital projects groups.

Jared Teter, PhD is a senior staff scientist with a background in physics and hazards analysis. He has extensive experience in subscale testing of energetic materials and has served as program manager for several large testing and risk management projects. He has applied engineering and risk management protocols while evaluating the risk associated with propellant and explosives manufacturing, combustible dust, and other hazardous material related processes.

Tim Belitz has a degree in Environmental Health/Industrial Hygiene from Old Dominion University and a Master’s from Duke University. He has over 25 years of Industrial Health Safety and Environmental Experience and is a Certified Safety Professional. He has many years focused on Contractor Management and Process Safety programs.

Rob Walker graduated from Virginia Tech in Microbiology and Chemical Engineering. Rob has almost 35 years of experience working in the chemical plant and refining industry. His passion for Process Safety and Mechanical Integrity began very early in his career. Rob began with his current company, Honeywell, back in 2011.

Prasad Joshi has B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Chemical Engineering from two universities in India. Prasad has over 30 years’ experience in the business. He began with Honeywell in May 2022 as Principal Maintenance Engineer. He has worked internationally in Asia and Europe.