Safety level

Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

Putting all paws on deck for dog bite prevention
As the weather gets warmer, outdoor workers are more likely to encounter dogs on the job. 

When it comes to potential risks in the workplace, dogs aren’t often the first hazard to come to mind. Yet, many jobs require that workers know how to safely deal with animals, both wild and domestic.

Beyond obvious examples like veterinarians and pet groomers, dogs are a part of many workers’ daily routines. The Canada Safety Council has found that home visit workers – such as letter carriers, water and power utility workers, and home health care providers – sustain the second most dog-related injuries, just behind young children. 

In 2016, the WCB filed over 120 claims for dog bites on the job. From retail to construction to government services and beyond, workers across a range of  industries are affected.  

While companies have asked dog owners to be mindful of the risks they pose to workers, the statistics speak for themselves. Dog bite prevention continues to be a pressing issue for workers and employers alike, especially now as animals and workers spend more time outdoors. offers a list of tips to reduce the risk of being bitten or attacked:

• avoid strange dogs
• avoid dogs that exhibit signs of fear or aggression
• keep a safe distance from dogs that are chained
• treat dogs with respect and consideration
• teach children about appropriate behaviour around dogs
• stand still "like a tree" with your arms held against your body if approached by an aggressive dog
• back away slowly from an aggressive dog – never turn your back to the dog and/or attempt to run away

Dog and animal safety should be a reciprocal undertaking. If you have a dog at home, take responsibility and learn to stop aggressive behaviors before they become apparent. 

“The right dog, well cared for, is a safe, reliable companion,” writes the Canada Safety Council on its website. “However, dogs must be properly socialized and trained. They become a threat if they are abused, or deliberately bred or trained to attack people or animals. Any dog may bite if it is threatened, angry, afraid or in pain. Dogs have an instinct to defend their territory, whether that is space, food or a toy.”

Comments are closed.

Nova SAFE - App Logo (Vertical)638237311761493152