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Paper boys and paper girls are being encouraged to take on board safety tips from the Newspaper Society while making their deliveries.

Its alphabetical guide is aimed at newspaper sales managers and advises on issues such as payment collection, child employment law, how to deal with difficult dogs, as well as giving an explanation of employment permits.

Some local papers already run their own codes of practice.

The Lancashire Evening Post has a News Deliverers Safe House Scheme, where customers display a brightly coloured window sticker, which identifies them as a safe haven for deliverers suffering intimidation.

The South Wales Echo News has a junior incentive scheme called The Crew Club, which provides events, competitions, free prize draws and ideas on how members can make money from their patch.

The customer’s view of a newspaper is influenced by their relationship with the delivery agent, which is why the Shropshire Star uses a PHEW code, standing for Polite, Helpful, Efficient and Well-mannered. This encourages employees to be ambassadors for the paper.

The guide’s simple tips for improving health and safety include:

  • Following recommended guidelines on bundle weights
  • Provision of personal alarms – noise is the only permitted form of self-defence
  • Use of fluorescent/reflective armbands
  • Careful design of delivery routes to avoid busy roads, badly lit areas etc
  • Keeping a record of each deliverer’s doctor’s details
  • Using a bicycle safety check list.

    The Safe Delivery Guide also provides a list of supplier of items such as reflective/fluorescent bags and personal alarms.

    Lynne Anderson, communications director of the Newspaper Society said: “Regional newspaper publishers are well aware that, with newspaper delivery, safety comes first.

    “This guide is aimed at helping our members ensure they are meeting all the required standards and providing a safe, efficient delivery service.”

    Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
    e-mail pastill@nepmidlands.co.uk