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Virtual reality bites for

postal workers

Our postmen and women deliver six days a

week to around 30 million homes and

businesses across the UK. It might sound like

a comedy cliché but the relationship between

dog and postal worker is no joke. With 44

attacks reported across the country every

week, some leading to permanent and/or

disabling injuries, dogs pose a significant

hazard to our workforce, particularly in certain

postcode areas where incidences are higher

than the national average.

As such, we are always striving to find new

and innovative ways to tackle the problem

and ensure the safety of our employees.

The issue was highlighted again this summer

at our annual Dog Awareness Week in June.

As part of a variety of initiatives, we knew that

further training was needed for our frontline

employees.

We wanted to highlight the hazards posed by

dogs and ensure that our postmen and

women know what to do to reduce the risk of

attacks and remain safe. Combining the

latest technology with some of our traditional

guidance on the topic, we set out to deliver a

completely different learning experience,

tackling an age-old problem with a 21st

century solution.

At Royal Mail we have a long-standing

relationship with digital learning company,

Sponge. When they showed us how virtual

reality (VR) technology could be applied to

deliver a completely new learning

experience, we knew that was exactly what

was needed to meet our own training needs

in a creative yet effective way. At first, we

were concerned that VR would be

prohibitively expensive, but Sponge makes

immersive technology available at a price

point, and delivered to a timescale, that is

comparable with more traditional training.

Together we harnessed the power of

immersive technology to create a truly

interactive experience that would help raise

awareness, improve understanding and

change perceptions around dog safety

amongst Royal Mail postmen and women.

James Barton

Online Learning Manager

Royal Mail

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