Bringing dog safety to life for Royal Mail with VR

360°, VR & AR

Royal Mail is the UK’s pre-eminent delivery company, directly employing 141,000 people and delivering more parcels in the UK than all its competitors combined. Its postmen and women deliver letters and parcels to over 30 million addresses across the UK, six days a week.

In 2017-18, there were 2,275 dog attacks on Royal Mail postal workers, an average of 44 a week – some leading to permanent and disabling injuries. Royal Mail wanted a new and innovative way to highlight the risks and raise awareness of the guidance aimed at keeping postal workers safe from dog attacks.

Key challenges

  • Connecting with postal workers by bringing real stories to life  
  • Creating realistic, experiential scenarios while keeping everyone safe
  • Delivering the learning across multiple locations
  • Utilising the latest technologies in a cost-effective way

Hear postal worker Shaun Quirke's account of what it's like to fall victim to a dog attack
and the impact VR training has had on his life:

“This investment in new training for the frontline combines new technology and some of our traditional guidance to deliver the learning experience in a completely different way.”
Dr Shaun Davis Global Director of Safety, Health Wellbeing & Environment Royal Mail

​The Sponge solution

Sponge and Royal Mail worked in a highly collaborative way to identify scenarios based on situations postal workers face every day. Some scenarios are harmless; others are potentially dangerous.

The scenarios were filmed on location using a 360° camera and turned into an interactive immersive learning experience. The solution puts the user at the heart of the action in the role of an experienced postal worker who is supporting a new colleague on her first delivery round. They must correctly identify dog-related hazards and make decisions about how to keep themselves and their colleague safe. 

Royal Mail’s dog safety guidance is included in the learning, so by the end of the experience the user is equipped with the knowledge they need to reduce the risk of dog attack.  

The immersive learning can be experienced via a virtual reality (VR) headset or on PC or laptop as an interactive 360° video without the need for VR goggles. After being piloted in specific locations in 2018, the solution was rolled out across the rest of the UK. 

“VR is a powerful solution for learning that is experiential in nature and brings the topic to life. It suits the challenge of dog safety perfectly because the user must make choices in a realistic environment.”
Quote Louise Pasterfield
Louise Pasterfield Managing Director Sponge


“The real value that Sponge added for us was finding a new way of developing interactive 360° VR scenarios by treating it much more like a conventional film shoot that enabled us to get a quicker result, a cheaper result, and ultimately to bring the technology into our front line of Royal Mail in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.”
James Barton Black And White
James Barton Online Learning Manager Royal Mail

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