Official statistics show that over 40 postal workers a week are attacked by dogs in the UK. Some of these attacks can lead to permanent and debilitating injuries. In an attempt to address the problem, Royal Mail are turning to virtual reality (VR) to train its staff.
Royal Mail is working with digital learning company Sponge UK to create an immersive, interactive learning scenario which will highlight the dangers which can be posed by dogs and how postal workers can stay safe.
The VR experience is part of a larger set of initiatives aimed at keeping royal Mail workers safer. The VR experience is undergoing a pilot to see how understanding can be improved around dog safety among postmen and postwomen.
Dr Shaun Davis, Global Director of Safety, Health Wellbeing & Environment at Royal Mail said: “As Royal Mail’s postmen and women deliver six days a week to around 30 million homes and businesses across the UK, the issue of dog attacks is a significant concern and one of our biggest hazards. With around 44 attacks across the country every week Royal Mail are always looking for a different way to approach the problem. This investment in new training for the frontline combines new technology and some of our traditional guidance to deliver the learning experience in a completely different way. It gives the user the opportunity to experience the realism of an attack without any of the risk. We are looking forward to monitoring the results of this training.”
The VR training scenario puts users in the role of an experiences postal worker who is helping a new colleague on their first delivery round. The user needs to spot various hazards related to dogs and make decisions order to keep themselves and their colleague safe.
The training is accessible via a headset, or as a 360-degree video which can be viewed using any laptop or PC. The experience is undergoing a trail before being rolled out across the UK.
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