Preventing Occupational Dog Bites Addressed at Live Demonstration at ASSE’s Conference
Des Plaines, IL (July 1, 2010) — Not only did the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) held in Baltimore, MD, June 13-16 provide more than 200 educational sessions, but also featured a live occupational dog bite safety demonstration. This session was designed to help employees avoid being bitten while on the job. With an interactive dog bite demonstration that required volunteers from the audience, ASSE member, Owner and President of Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety Mitzi Robinson provided session attendees with valuable information and a great show.
Robinson and her husband, Bulli Ray Vice President Anthony Robinson, started Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety in 1993, after observing significant cultural changes in California. At a time when crime rates were rising, aggressive dog breeds became more popular household pets to protect homes and families. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Argentine Dogos became choice breeds for protection. Robinson noticed that with such aggressive dogs found more commonly in households, it was more dangerous for field employees such as postal workers, meter readers and utility workers to make routine calls. After two United States Postal Service workers died from on-the-job injuries due to dog attacks, Robinson approached the postal service and offered a safety training program, at her own expense, to help provide employees with the tools they needed to successfully and safely perform their jobs, especially around dogs.
Robinson’s demonstration provided a serious and at times, humorous, view of dog bite safety training to make the session educational and memorable for the audience. She recruited volunteers to don protective equipment and then instructed them how to properly stand when receiving a dog bite from Rex, a Belgian Malimois, which is a breed commonly used in police work. Volunteers then experienced a bite to the arm, which was covered by a protective suit, and received valuable training on escaping a bite situation. Anthony Robinson demonstrated expert dog handling techniques and made volunteers feel more at ease about participation. Understanding the way a dog reacts in a potential bite situation could be the difference between serious injury or life and death, she noted.
Robinson then instructed attendees how to escape in the event of an attack by multiple dogs at the same time. She chose four volunteers from the audience and described, in great detail, a situation where she had been attacked by four Rottweilers with no help in sight. Using the volunteers to demonstrate the best way to get out of an attack by a pack of dogs, Robinson explained that understanding canine mentality in pack situations is critical to keeping oneself safe from injury.
Robinson stated, “Dogs are reactive creatures, they do not scheme or plot, their behavior is reaction out of fear or instinct based on what happens in their environment. People are limited by their education about canine behavior and there are many false myths circulating about dogs and how they behave. Our goal is to educate workers about canine behavior so they can understand danger and manipulate situations into a safer environment for completing their jobs. Since 1993, we have trained over 70,000 employees in classroom settings and workers report feeling more confident and prepared for successfully avoiding injuries on the job due to dog bites.”
Bulli Ray Occupational Dog Bite Safety currently operates out of Murfreesboro, TN, and provides on-site and regional training. For more information on training, available classes and equipment please visit www.bulliray.com.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org.