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Dog attack on PM highlights OH&S threat to agencies

15 February 2013 Stacey Moseley

A recent attack by a pit-bull dog on a property manager highlights the need for real estate agencies to have detailed safe work policies for their employees, an industry professional has said.


After the Melbourne-based property manager, who wishes to remain anonymous, entered a premise in inner-city Melbourne, she followed her company's animal procedure by insisting the pet dog was restrained while she was conducting her inspection.


In order for the property manager to inspect the backyard, the dog was moved by the owner, yet it was at this point the pit-bull escaped and attacked the property manager, biting her on both legs. She required stitches.


According to Clare Verrall, senior real estate recruitment consultant at Melbourne-based Design & Build, the incident is a timely reminder to all property managers and principals to review company procedures and OH&S policies.

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“This particular property manager did all she could to make the situation safe for herself and she followed her company's procedure,” Ms Verrall told Residential Property Manager.


“But unfortunately, as we all know, things happen out of our control and she was injured. 
Her company is covered for this but many real estate agencies would not be if the situation happened to them."


Ms Verrall believes almost 85 per cent of real estate offices she deals with have no official safe work policies.


“I think people underestimate how dangerous property management can be,” she said. 
“This industry really needs to wake up to themselves before a truly horrible incident occurs.”


According to Ms Verrall, there are companies who specialise in managing liability, and for a fee will conduct safety audits on property management businesses.

Dog attack on PM highlights OH&S threat to agencies
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