Numerous homeland security professionals, law enforcement, prison, border control, immigration and customs officers, as well as private security professionals have suffered from severe cut wounds sometime during physical confrontations. Slash Resistant Clothing made out of 100% Cut-Tex PRO can help protect them.
From the point of the employer, slash and cut injuries can often lead to legal and financial repercussion. From the point of the injured professional, and depending on the severity of such injury, it can often lead to long lasting emotional scars, ongoing distress or in very serious cases even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Most common PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) or cut resistant clothing used by the above sectors do not offer sufficient cut protection.
However, many frontline professionals have long asked for better slash and bite protection, and UK based PPSS Group have launched a very effective solution just a few years ago.
A high performance cut resistant fabric called Cut-Tex® PRO has been developed, offering ISO 13997:1999 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 (the highest possible), EN 388:2003 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 (the highest possible) and ASTM F-1790-05 Cut Resistance Level 4.
This fabric does exactly what was needed in order to design, develop and manufacture cut resistant clothing, which will help to protect those who serve, and reduce the risk of workplace violence related cut injuries. Slash resistant clothing has now been made user friendly, comfortable and 100% concealable (subject to garment design).
Attacks on frontline professionals are occurring rather frequently. One unprovoked attack on prison officers at Frankland High Security Prison in Durham, UK, left prison officer Craig Wylde (now one of my closest friends) severely injured after his auxiliary artery was slashed during the incident. He luckily survived.
- A police officer was slashed in the neck in June this year (2015). The aggressor was subsequently shot and killed.
- A drunk man slashed security staff during an attack at Leeds (UK) restaurant.
- A supermarket security guard was slashed by a shoplifter South England
- A corrections officer was slashed al Long Island Hospital… with the attacker being able to escape.
- A female police officer was brutally slashed during Notting Hill Carnival in London (UK)
I could of course continue…
There are many more reports of domestic frontline professionals being slashed or suffering from major cuts. Reports of this well documented type of assaults are readily available on the internet or security and law enforcement related publications.
These images in my blog are not on display in order to shock, scare monger or ‘utilise’ to create sales, but rather to emphasise the severity of some cut or slash wounds.
Many frontline professionals by instinct will lift their arms and hands during a potential hostile situation, in order to protect the face and head. This is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact itis absolutely normal, and only highly trained operatives would respond differently due to many years of extensive training.
However, we must acknowledge that this ‘normal’ and subconscious action would expose an extremely vulnerable area under your arms. A cut, injuring the auxiliary artery under your arms, can lead to rapid blood loss and even death.
Prison, police and security officers often receive cut wounds along the forearm or open hand. These wounds are the most common injuries and classed as ‘defensive wounds’, often seen as evidence the wearer was protecting him or herself, rather attacking the opponent.
We have to accept the fact that all frontline professionals dealing with potentially hostile members of the public or intoxicated individuals are obviously working in a higher risk environment. We believe that a new generation of cut resistant clothing made out of Cut-Tex® PRO will improve their personal safety and reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries.
‘Forced Entry Teams’ are part of all major special police units. Part of their operational responsibility might well be to enter properties through doors and windows, meaning forcing their way in through broken and smashed windows and glass. There are numerous of reports of partly serious cut related injuries as many of these professionals have not been issued with appropriate cut resistant gloves, sleeves or boiler suits.
I strongly believe that personal protective clothing, especially cut resistant clothing, is something that can effectively reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries, in the context of this article cut related injuries.
Slash resistant body armour base layer for example make a lot of sense. The area, which is covered by most body armour is made out of a breathable fabric to make the wearing of body armour even more comfortable and bearable in hot and humid conditions. However, the exposed area, such as under the arm, the arms and the side of the upper body can be covered, made out of Cut-Tex® PRO slash and cut resistant material, offering the wearer exceptional cut protection during a situation where self-defence or physical action is required.
PPSS Group will launch a new garment ‘UBAC Shirt’ (Under Body Armour Combat Shirt) in October 2015. This model will protect additional areas of the upper body e.g. neck/throat.
A number of very specific areas of our body are at notable or high risk:
- The radial artery can be found in our wrists, which often is subject to cuts during self-defence, knife fights or whilst protecting our face (such wound is defined as ‘defensive wound’ and could become part of the evidence gathering when claiming ‘self-defence). It is also the most commonly cut artery during a suicide attempt.
- The brachial artery is located alongside your bicep. This is a likely artery to be cut during a knife fight.
- Our throat, which harbours the carotid artery is certainly among the most at risk locations of our body. A cut through the carotid artery would most likely result in death.
- The axillary artery is located under your arm pits… beginning at the lateral border of the first rib. Anyone sliding an edged weapon under your arm pits and pulling on that weapon is most likely going to injure or cut this artery. This would lead to rapid blood loss and potentially in death.
- The femoral artery is a general term comprising a few large arteries in the thigh. Cutting of the femoral artery would lead to a massive loss of blood within e very short period of time. It is extremely difficult to stop the blood flow based on such injury!
The following graphic clearly illustrates the ‘location’ of these arteries:
I believe protective clothing, shielding these main arteries should be available to all professionals dealing regularly with aggressors and potentially hostile situations.
My emphasis would be to design and manufacture slash resistant clothing that is none-aggressive or none-confrontational looking. We certainly want to enable those professionals to let their personality shine, use their diplomatic and interpersonal skills in order to defuse the risk of any potential escalation without giving away that protective clothing is being worn. We do not want them to look like ‘the aggressor’. Personal protective clothing just needs to ‘be there’ in the background, on standby, ready to protect and perform when things go wrong.
We all know… violence can sometime erupt within seconds, often without any prior warning signs and without any fault of the law enforcement, security or mental health care professional. Going back to the office and putting on some appropriate gear is not always a realistic option, hence cut resistant clothing should be comfortable enough to be worn at all times.
Please note we are also more than happy to offer our Cut-Tex PRO cut/slash resistant fabric to the manufacturer of your current uniforms or tactical gear or coveralls. This would enable them to incorporate this high performance material into your current uniform, especially vulnerable areas that really require such level of protection. This would effectively help protect your colleagues from potentially horrendous cut injuries.
If you wish to speak with us, please dial +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email email@example.com