Managing Risk through Procedures
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Theoretical Approach
2.2. Description of Study Sites
2.3. Data Collection
2.4. Participant Recruitment
2.5. Data Analysis
2.6. Ethical Considerations
3.1. Participants Characteristics
3.2. Thematic Analysis
3.2.1. Surveillance of Dogs– Identifying Hazards
“He’ll lift his paw, he lies on his back, and it’s just him being him (…) I know that I can still touch him when he’s doing that (…) but if anybody else went in that kennel, they’d probably be like, “Shit, I’m not going anywhere near this dog,” because he’s showing every sign that he doesn’t want you to go and attach the lead”.Annie, Dog Shelter.
“The worse dogs are those that give no affection – you know, a dog that’s not being funny with you, but also not being nice. “What do you think!? Just give me something!””Alice, Dog Shelter.
“When you’re [delivering mail or parcels] (…) you risk assess in your mind every property that you go to. You’re listening out for any slight noise. You’re looking for any indication that there’s a dog. (…)”Ben, Delivery Company.
“Any animal that poses a threat while attempting to deliver or collect mail [or parcels]. Including:
Any dog or animal which: has attacked previously, (…) is restrained to avoid contact with delivery staff due to the likelihood (…) attack, (…) is roaming in its garden/ territory that presents a risk of attack (…), that shows aggression to other dogs or human, (…) that the delivery staff are uncomfortable with, (…) dogs behind letter boxes snapping at letters during delivery (…)”.Delivery Company.
3.2.2. Communicating Risk to Others
“(…) One box measured the perceived severity of an individual dog attack [on a scale 1–10] and the second (…) box measured the likelihood of an attack from the same animal. (…).”Adam, Delivery Company.
“I think that there was a miscommunication of how aggressive this dog was. And the nurse went in to go and get the dog out of the kennel (…) that’s when the dog attacked the nurse.”Amy, vet nurse Dog Shelter.
3.2.3. Actions taken to manage perceived risk
“If they don’t like the vets, we’ll build up things slowly. (…) We would just go into the [vet] room, feed the dog, take him back out, (…) and then eventually, you would maybe touch his ears (…). Maybe then slowly introduce a stethoscope (…), and then probably introduce the vet or the vet nurses.”Nick, Dog Shelter.
“It’s never, “Oh, it bit one person.” (…) It means this dog is really not rehomeable. It’s aggressive. Its welfare is not good. It’s a big picture. (…) We (…) [members of staff involved in dog training, day-to-day care and veterinary treatment ]have to agree. It’s a massive process.”Isabel, Dog Shelter.
“You’ve got to think of the centre as well, because everything is now recorded. Every bite. Every bark. (…) And if that dog went out and caused trouble, there is a paper trail right back to us. And in this day and age with people suing each other, it’s just not worth the risk. You could lose your centre, your reputation (…)”Matt, Dog Shelter.
“We had a guy (…) who’d been bitten by a dog, but continued to interact with dogs. (…). I had to say to him, “Look, you can’t do it.” I said, “(…) You’re at risk and you put others at risk. You’re putting yourself in a situation where the [organisation] will frown on you, if you get bitten. You’re paid to deliver [items] not (…) to go stroke a dog.”Frank, Delivery Company.
“If you go on (…) the [organisations portal], there are hundreds, if not thousands, of safety documents. Sometimes, the frontline staff, the managers, the reps don’t know where to go with it.”Frank, Delivery Company.
3.2.4. Reporting Bites and Near-Misses
“When Moon got me, we did an accident instead of a bite report, because he didn’t really mean it, he just was like, “Ah,” because obviously he was in quite a lot of pain”Amy, Dog Shelter.
“I didn’t [report the bite]. (…) the only walk it gets in a day is at 5 o’clock in the morning, so I know it’s not a danger to the public. So I thought, “I don’t really want to be responsible for a dog getting put to sleep.””Georgia, Delivery Company.
“I think (…) people think “Oh, he wouldn’t do that to me,” or, “They must’ve done something wrong.” (…) there can be quite a blame game”,Eli, Dog Shelter.
3.2.5. Investigating bites and near-misses
“[T]hey just tell you about reporting things, but nothing ever comes out of it; no lessons are learnt, or procedures changed”,Rita, Dog Shelter.
“We didn’t go in great depths of whose fault was it, and who should have done this, [or] that. I think it’s just something that you don’t really talk about, because everyone sort of works well with each other.”Clair, veterinary nurse at a Dog Shelter.
“It’s supposed to be [thorough] investigation. In my opinion, it’s usually Inspector Clouseau who does it. (…). It’s trying to attach a blame to somebody, rather than it just being a freak accident”Cameron, Delivery Company.
3.2.6. Learning and Teaching Safety
“You can’t learn everything from [work training]. (…) And I suppose like, when you’re [i]n the [kennels], you do get to speak with people, and you do get to learn what they’ve been doing (…)”Freya, Dog Shelter.
“I think definitely after you have been bitten or had an incident, it does make you a lot more mindful and it really helps you to see how a dog can progress to a certain thing.”Amy, Dog Shelter.
“It’s a rushed message. (…) Then, there’s a queue because, when you’ve had the message, you’ve got to sign to say you’ve had it. (…) So they sign the sheet before they’ve had the message.”Cameron, Delivery Company.
4.1. Preventing Work Incidents vs. Preventing Dog Bites
4.2. Differences in Perceptions of Risk
4.3. Is Safety just a Lack of Risk?
4.4. Study Strengths and Limitations
4.5. Implications and Recommendations
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Interviews||Focus Group Discussion|
|How did you start working here?|
What, if any, are the biggest risks in your day to day work?
What happened when you were bitten by a dog?
How, if at all, did a bite affect your work?
Is there anything that you do to stay safe around dogs? If so, could you provide an example of something that you do?
|Has anyone here been bitten by a dog?|
Are there any dangerous aspects of your job? If so, what are they?
What happened when you were bitten by a dog?
How, if at all, do you prevent bites at work?
How do you teach someone to be safe around dogs at work?
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