Dog owners are being urged to ensure their dogs are properly secured at home following an increase in Water Corporation employees being confronted or attacked by dogs while carrying out their work.


Water Corporation Operations Group Acting General Manager, Sharon Broad said employees were often in suburban streets carrying out tasks such as reading meters and dog attacks were one of the biggest safety concerns of the job.


“Although we train our employees to read a dog’s body language and avoid aggressive dogs wherever possible, attacks from dogs roaming away from their homes are unfortunately occurring more often,” Mrs Broad said.


Dog attacks and incidents where dogs behaved aggressively towards Water Corporation employees jumped to 44 last financial year (2016-17), up from 30 the year before (2015-16).


“We have had cases where our employees are requiring stitches due to dog bites or being so distressed that they have been unable to return to field work,” Mrs Broad said.


“Residents can help us keep our employees safe by ensuring they have adequate fencing and gates to keep dogs from escaping.”


Mrs Broad said Water Corporation worked closely with local government rangers and shared information on known aggressive dogs to help reduce the risk of attacks on employees.


“We also do not enter a property known to have a dog that is not secured away from the meter area and we advise the resident on their next bill that their reading is an estimate,” Mrs Broad said.


Estimated water use is based on the average daily use recorded for a property in the same reading period the year before. If the meter has been estimated three times in a row because of a dog on the property we will contact the resident to obtain a meter reading.


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