Graphic photos show danger Ergon workers face
Two Queensland meter readers are among many who have suffered injuries after dog attacks in the past 18 months prompting Ergon Energy to warn customers to take responsibility for their animals.
Meter readers from Barcaldine and Booval are recovering from serious injuries after they were attacked by dogs while on the job.
Ergon Energy General Manager Customer Chloe Kernick said the incidents were a painful reminder of what happens when gates are left open or dogs unsecured.
Data provided by the company shows 19 meter readers across the state have been attacked in the past 18 months with the highest number of attacks in Cairns and Townsville where three and two attacks were recorded respectively;
Ms Kernick said dog owners needed to take responsibility for their pets.
"Dog attacks are traumatic and can have lasting effects on the physical and mental health of the victims and their families - some people are literally scarred for life," she said.
"Every day, meter readers go door-to-door on foot as part of their job, so the risk is always front of mind for them and we hope that dog owners understand the part they play in keeping our people safe."
New dog safety policies introduced in January 2019 has reduced the number of incidents and injuries by 40 per cent by preventing crews and meter readers from entering yards where there is a record of dogs on site, but it is not clear that the animal is securely restrained or separated from the work area.
While this has helped, Ms Kernick said meter readers were still at risk.
She suggested residents use Ergon's Customer Self Service portal or its free SMS notification service for dog owners which alerts them before their scheduled meter read.
"We understand that many people think their dogs wouldn't hurt a fly and the safe entry policy shouldn't apply to them, but you never know how pets are going to react to strangers and our people can't take any chances because we've seen some horrific injuries caused by small dogs that look harmless," Ms Kernick said.
Originally published as Graphic photos show danger Ergon workers face