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Warnings for delivery drivers in the countdown to Christmas

The festive period is always the busiest for the delivery sector, with workers facing the pressure of Black Friday sales and a flurry of Christmas cards and presents being sent to and from families and friends throughout the UK.

 Unsurprisingly, this year has seen a particularly large surge in online shopping throughout the pandemic, especially in the run up to Christmas.  With the vast majority of high-street shops closed, thousands of festive shoppers have flocked online, resulting in a record number of temporary recruits into the sector. Royal Mail alone has hired an extra 33,000 staff to mitigate the festive frenzy, for example.

But, the holidays are also a particularly prevalent time for workplace injuries within the sector, with companies like Amazon reporting double the risk to their warehouse staff alone in the run up to Christmas.  Our team of personal injury experts take a closer look at some of the risk factors that may affect delivery drivers in the countdown to Christmas, and advise what to do if you suffer an accident at work.



We all know the cliché of the dog and the postman, but dog bites accounted for 2,445 of postal worker injuries in the UK last year alone, an average of 47 per week. This number may be on the rise this year as more and more people are adopting or buying dogs during the pandemic.

As of 2013, it’s an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including all private properties. This means that dog owners could be subject to prosecution if their dog bites a delivery person on their property. So, in order to ensure the worst does not happen, dog owners should do the following:

    • Ensure your dog does not have access to the front of your property or front door when the postman or woman is arriving.
    • If you have to open the door to sign for an item, keep your dog in another room.
    • Give your dog some food or a toy to distract them whilst your mail is being delivered
    • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived before letting your dog back into the hallway, in order to maintain a calm atmosphere
    • Install a wire letter receptacle if your dog attacks mail, this will also protect your postman or woman for being bitten.
    • If you cannot keep your dog away from the front door, consider installing an external secure mailbox



As Britain braces itself for freezing temperatures and snow in the run up to Christmas, delivery drivers, in particular, need to take extra care. Icy and snowy weather is well known for disrupting day-to-day life in the UK, and getting your post and items delivered is no exception. Delivery drivers have a lot to contend with on Britain’s streets, including slippery pavements from rain and falling leaves, ice, storms and snow.

Whilst your local council and highway authority has an obligation to grit certain roads and pavements during icy weather, it is advisable that people clear their own driveways and pathways of snow and ice during adverse weather to help protect the safety of visitors and delivery men and women, as per the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957.

Although there’s not a lot of case law surrounding injuries due to ice, it’s not unheard of for homeowners to receive legal action due to postal workers slipping on ice on their property.




Given the heavy lifting required by postal and delivery workers, it’s little surprise that postal workers record significantly more musculoskeletal injuries than those in industries such as transport. A campaign by The Communication Workers’ Union, ‘Lighten the Load’, highlighted that whilst Royal Mail employs 0.7% of the UK population, it has been responsible for nearly 10% of the country’s musculoskeletal injuries each year.

This is caused in part by the switch from two deliveries to single deliveries in a day, meaning there’s more post to carry at one time. Guidelines state that no bag should be heavier than 16kg; however, postmen and women may have more than one bag to deliver, making the load heavier.

It is also worth noting that postal distribution and sorting staff, as well as delivery service workers, are at high risk of injuries due to pressures brought about by services such as next-day delivery. Improper health and safety training can also mean that workers don’t learn how to lift heavy parcels correctly, increasing their chances of injury.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MDSs) affect muscles, joints and tendons in all parts of the body and can be short term, episodic or chronic (long term).

Compensation claims for these types of injuries are incredibly complex, so it is vital that you seek advice from an experienced and specialist personal injury solicitor if you believe you may have a claim.

Niamh Wilson, Head of Civil Litigation at Hampson Hughes, said: “The risk for delivery workers at this time of year is always at its peak and, with a record number of online shoppers this year, we’re seeing more injuries than ever before. .

“If you suffer an injury as a result of lifting or carrying, then fault could lie with your employer for not providing the correct manual handling training during the employee’s induction. If the injuries are a result of unsafe conditions at a property, then the owner or renter of that property could be liable for any injuries incurred.

“It is important that we remember that everyone wants to work in a safe environment – and that includes delivery drivers and postal workers. Ensuring your property is free from hazards could not only help protect workers, but could save you a headache in the long run.”

Here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, we understand that making a claim for an accident at work can be a daunting prospect. Many people feel anxious about claiming against an employer, but it is important to remember that you are actually claiming against your employers’ insurance policy, not your employer directly.

So, if you feel your employer could have done more to prevent your workplace injury, contact our expert team of accident at work solicitors today.


If you have been injured at work and wish to obtain free, confidential advice, please get in touch with our expert team on  or 

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