Stab Resistant Vests Can Effectively Help Protect Public Transport Professionals

PPSS Revenue Protection Inspector

There is no question about it… public transport professionals / revenue inspectors / revenue protection officers could benefit from stab resistant vests.

How can stab resistant vests help protect our public transport professionals?

Well, it is estimated that the UK rail network alone carries in excess of 750 million passengers each year.  If only a small percentage of these rail users travel without paying the appropriate fare the loss of revenue is considerable.

According to some of the UK’s leading public transport firms, we estimate that fare evasion costs the UK rail industry over £200 million a year.

Public Transport companies therefore employ Revenue Protection Inspectors or Fare Inspectors to patrol different forms of public transport (e.g. trains or buses) issuing penalty fares to passengers who travel without a valid ticket or without the correct ticket.

I strongly believe that lightweight stab resistant vests that also offer a great level of protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles, will reduce the risk of physical injury when suffering from any type of assault by one of those individuals that have decided not to pay for their fare.

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the first choice of body armour for many public facing services due to their exceptional level of protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles.

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the first choice of body armour for many public facing services due to their exceptional level of protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles.

Of course, not everyone without a fare is a nasty and brutal individual, out there to seriously harm the first revenue protection officers they come across.  Some passengers may well have forgotten to pay for the fare; they may just have had too many things on their mind. This is of course all possible!

Possible is also that a particular passenger without a ticket simply never pays for his/her fare, that person may well be intoxicated, under the influence of class A drugs or alcohol. That person may well suffer from mental illnesses or have a real violent history, which means he or she will certainly not stop form harming a revenue protection officer in order to avoid identification or even arrest.

Risk Assessments & Stab Resistant Vests

In my operational career I had to write many many risk assessments, and I have learned that in most cases there are only two types of risks… ‘high risk’ or ‘unknown risk’.

Regardless of the fact that a train journey is crossing the most beautiful stretch of the British Isles and regardless of the fact that a bus journey might take place on a nice lovely sunny Sunday morning, the matter of fact is that we simply cannot know a) who will be on that train or bus, and b) what the passenger’s history is. What have they been through over the past 24 hours? What is the purpose of their journey?  Who will be under the influence of drugs or alcohol? There are simply too many variables to conclude this operation should be classed as ‘low risk’ and hence additional safety measures are not worth exploring. Getting these risk assessments right means establishing correctly if stab resistant vests would benefit the frontline professional… of is the safety of that professional would be improved to a reasonable level.

I do believe that a revenue protection inspector is facing what I would class as ‘unknown risk’ every single time he or she is approaching a member of the public asking for the ticket. OF COURSE I agree that to 99.99% of times that question is asked… a positive response may well be the result.  Having said that, I also believe that 0.01% of the above mentioned annual 750,000,000 passengers is a pretty interesting figure to work from.

In fact the figure is high enough for the British Transport Police and Chief Constable Paul Crowther to host a dedicated conference aimed at tackling and preventing violence and anti-social behaviour on public transport back in May this year.

Am I exaggerating?

Examples of Recent Incidents & Key Risks

  • During bus journeys robberies drivers have been threatened with knives, air guns, even samurai swords. During train journeys innocent passengers have been threatened and subjected to violence and racial abuse, often resulting in on board staff getting involved.
  • Recently a firework was thrown on to a bus. The driver managed to get out of the cabin in time but the force of the explosion damaged the cabin, shattering both front windscreens and damaging the assault screen.
  • Anti-social behaviour… several incidents have been recorded where youths urinated down the periscope through which the driver sees the top deck of the bus. In some cases the driver has left his cab to talk to the youths and was attacked by them. Other countless reports highlight the cutting and destruction of seating.
  • Some employees are required to carry cash… which risks theft.
  • Certain locations are particularly at risk from vandals and anti social behaviour.
  • Criminals, drunk passengers and drug users are all representing a realistic risk to frontline staff… and I do believe that stab resistant vests would improve their chances of remaining unharmed.

Recent Headlines

The public has been asked to help making travelling on buses and trains safer.  Campaigns have been initiated and several organisations are starting to pull together to make a positive difference.

But there is only so much we can do… and some individuals are just ‘bad’ and dealing with these individuals means exposing yourself to real risks.

In many cases, successful conflict management or conflict resolution training for all public facing employees can make a real positive difference and substantially reduced the risk of workplace related violence and subsequent injuries. In case anyone requires such training… please do get in touch.. I may well have the right contacts for you.

Better reporting procedures, personal attack alarms, body worn video solutions, assault screens and radio communication systems have also helped improved the personal safety of public transport professionals.

The question we need to ask ourselves is what can and should be done to create the highest possible chance of these Revenue Protection Inspector coming home at the end of their shift… unharmed?

As I have stated a few moments ago, I strongly believe that lightweight stab resistant will reduce the risk of physical injury when suffering from any type of assault by someone who didn’t pay for his ticket… or who couldn’t care less about complying with ‘rules and regulations’ or who doesn’t understand ‘manners’ and ‘respect’ and all the things that make a good society function.

Recommending stab resistant vests does not mean we suggest you or your colleague is in immediate danger and neither does it mean you should get paranoid or scared every single day you put your uniform on and start your shift.  I simply say that you will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in the unlikely, but nevertheless possible, case of something going wrong.

I have said it many many times before… wearing personal protective equipment can be compared to wearing a seat belt when driving a car. We do not put the seat belt on because we believe we are going to have an accident today or because we are questioning our own driving skills. We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that we might crash. Yet, if this exceptionally small chance becomes reality, you have increased the chance of survival by wearing a seat belt. There is no question about that!

PPSS Group have designed, developed and manufactured stab resistant vests offering the highest level of protection from edged weapon, hypodermic needles and blunt force trauma.  Weighing just 2.5kg and being just 5mm thin this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) has recently become an essential tool to combat workplace violence related injuries and even death.

‘Perception’

Over the past few years I have personally advised many senior officials within public transport of the importance of ‘customer perception’. Many have echoed that overtly worn stab resistant vests can at times be perceived as ‘confrontational’, ‘aggressive’, paramilitary’ and ‘hard security’… something a public transport firm might well be opposed to.

Revenue Protection Officers can appear ‘approachable’, ‘helpful’ and ‘general safety conscious’ whilst wearing body armour… our recently developed ‘Tabard Style’ Hi-Viz Stab Resistant Vests are our a ‘non-confrontational’ design option and successfully worn by several customer facing professionals operating in a ‘higher risk environment’ e.g. facility management, hospital security and civil enforcement.

Due to their 'non-confrontational' design, PPSS Tabard Style Hi Viz Stab Vests have become the first choice of body armour for public facing organisations such as facility management, civil enforcement and public transport., as well as event security and crowd control.

Due to their ‘non-confrontational’ design, PPSS Tabard Style Hi Viz Stab Vests have become the first choice of body armour for public facing organisations such as facility management, civil enforcement and public transport., as well as event security and crowd control.

The UK rules and regulations are pretty straight forward. A revenue inspector’s or revenue protection officer’s job responsibility is to engage with any person who ‘misbehaves’… and what that means is stated as follows:

  • Entering any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway without a valid ticket entitling travel.
  • Failing to hand over a ticket for inspection and verification when asked to do so by an authorised person
  • Travelling on the railway without previously paid the fare and with the intention to avoid payment.
  • Having failed to pay the fare, giving a false name and/or address to an authorised person.
  • Being a person liable to pay a penalty fare did fail, at the time, and in response to an authorised officer did give a false name and/or address.
  • Altered or counterfeit ticket(s) or knowingly using any ticket which has been altered / forged in any way.
  • Smoking or carrying any lighted item on any part of the railway.
  • Any person believed by an authorised person to be unfit to be on the railway due a state of intoxication.
  • Use of any threatening, abusive, obscene of offensive language on the railway.
  • Behaving in a disorderly, indecent or offensive manner on the railway.
  • Any other unacceptable behaviour such as damaging or detaching any part of the railway, spitting, dropping litter, molesting or willfully interfering with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway.

In my opinion these men and women who do this job may well not be the most popular guys out there… but they do deserve to be safe… end off!

Should you ever have any questions in reference to stab resistant vests, then please do not hesitate and contact my team, and in the strictest of confidence they will help you to the best of their ability.

Please visit www.ppss-group.com or email my team info@ppss-group.com or call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953

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Body Armour Can Effectively Help Protect Cash & Valuable in Transit Professionals

JS75074579Cash and Valuables in Transit (CVIT) companies are involved in transporting, storing and sorting cash and other valuables, typically for retail and financial organisations as well as other members of the public sector where the availability of cash is essential for day to day business. They play a vital role in replenishing and protecting cash supplies for the business world and the wider community, keeping our economy running.

Based on reports by the BSIA (British Security Industry Association) these guys transport around £500,000,000,000 (that’s ½ trillion GBP) every year the UK alone, which makes Cash & Valuable in Transit Professionals perform an important service, supporting banks and businesses up and down the country.

However, I think it is rather obvious that the large amount of money and valuables involved make Cash & Valuable in Transit Professionals a prime target for both the organised crime organisations who every so often invest a lot of time carefully monitoring and studying their targets, and also those who turn to crime when in their opinion ‘an opportunity arises’.

These just a very few of the news that made the headlines over the past year in the UK alone:

  • “A gang of cash-in-transit robbers has been jailed…”
  • “Man jailed for cash-in-transit robberies…”
  • “Birmingham cash van robbers jailed for 35 years…”
  • “Statistics show threats still remain against cash-in-transit couriers…”
  • “Robbers ‘armed to the teeth’ attack Co-op store as cash delivery is made…”
  • “Father and son jailed after cash-in-transit robbery at…”
  • “Cash in transit attack forces driver to take refuge in toilets…”

In many cases the offenders were armed with weapons including edged weapon, sledgehammers, meat cleavers, axes and even a Samurai sword.

There is no question about it, armed robberies and violent assaults of all sorts have become a very real risk to these men, and we all will understand that becoming a victim of such crime can lead to long term physical and psychological damage and distress.

With most robberies and attacks on couriers taking place as they cross the pavement, I am aware that security and safety professionals (and organisations) are keen to find ways to minimise the distance couriers have to travel between the CVIT vehicle and the delivery premises, or by campaigning to allow these professionals to briefly park at ‘no parking’ spots.

Having said that, looking into effective PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as ‘operationally sensible’ body armour must also be part of the ‘package’ when exploring all options on how to effectively reduce the risk of injuries on these professionals.

So, what it the right type of body armour based on the operational risks, threats and duties of Cash & Valuable in Transit Professionals?

Design?

The options are rather endless. One CTIV firm might prefer this typical black overt body armour design, where others might like to see their corporate colours being part of the body armour, as branding has become an important thing for many firms. PPSS Group is specialised in the design, development and manufacturing of bespoke designed body armour: please click here

Covert or Overt? 

Well I really would suggest overt body armour, so the guys wearing them can open the body armour (by simply unzipping the front) when back in a ‘safe environment’ (the vehicle) and let the body and skin breathe a little. No one really likes wearing body armour and at times the wearer can become very hot, even when wearing one of the latest high performance body armour, so why not enabling the wearer to cool down for a moment whenever possible and whenever it is safe for them to do so?

Protection Level? 

Well, I don’t necessarily believe bullet resistant vests are the way forward.  No soft body armour will protect you from sawn off shot guns anyway (and they are the type of firearm being used in those very rare cases where guns played a part).  The velocity and ‘spread’ of such weapon would most likely kill anyway.  For me the key when selecting the right body armour is the highest level of ‘blunt force trauma protection’ as blunt objects and the type of weapon that would lead to blunt force trauma injuries are the weapon of choice in such scenario.  Of course, certified protection from edged weapon would be crucial too… but for me the crucial combination of the highest possible level of blunt force trauma protection and a good level of edged weapon protection would be the best way forward.

PPSS Bespoke Stab Resistant Vest in Navy Blue

PPSS Bespoke Stab Resistant Vest in Navy Blue

PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests Model in Black

PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests Model in Black

High performance stab resistant vests made by UK headquartered PPSS Group are without any question the best possible choice. The unmatched level of blunt force trauma protection and superb protection from all types of edged weapon, along with an unlimited shelf life makes our unique body armour the ultimate choice for such operational risk and threat level.

In case you have any questions in regards to our high performance PPSS Body Armour, please make contact by either email info@ppss-group.com or telephone +44 (0) 845 5193 953.

Stay safe.

Robert

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Anti-Spit Masks To Help Protect Frontline Professionals

PPSS Anti Spit Masks | Effectively helping protect prison officers, law enforcement officers and paramedics, from infectious diseases.

PPSS Anti Spit Masks | Effectively helping protect prison, police, security and health care professionals from potentially long last lasting infectious diseases and emotional distress.

PPSS Anti-Spit Masks have effectively helped protect prison, police, law enforcement and security professionals as well as paramedics and other frontline staff from Hepatitis B and C and other infectious diseases such AIDS.

Unions representing the interest of the above professionals in countries around the world have for some time raised serious concerns about the increasing number of spitting incidents, as it has well known serious potential health risks. It is not just the officer that is affected but also their family, as tests and treatment for suspected contagious diseases can last for several months and lead to severe stress and anxiety.

During a recent court case (February 2015) against a 27 year old man who spat into a police officer’s face the leading judge said:  “The actual assault of spitting is taken extremely seriously by the courts. Spitting is particularly distressing for victims – it’s a very nasty form of assault.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Recent headlines over the past 60 days read:

  • “Drunk woman vomited and spat in the face of police officer…”
  • “Man spat into police officer’s face after 100mph car chase…”
  • “Handcuffed woman spat in police officer’s face…”
  • “Blood spat in officer’s face’ after disturbance in…”
  • “Drunk nurse spat at police officers and abused ambulance…
  • “Man ‘spat in police officer’s mouth following arrest’ in…”

Police in New Zealand have reported difficulties in restraining drunk and drugged people and preventing them from hurting themselves, according to NZ police magazine Ten-One. A two-year safety review of 8000 cases found nearly 10 per cent of offenders had spat at officers, who had limited tools to deal with it.

The ‘Reporting Services’ of the London Metropolitan Police published that ‘The Count Of Noticeable Offences where the classification method featured either the keyword ‘spit’, ‘spitting’ or ‘spat’ and there is a recorded victim with an occupation of ‘Police Service’,  there have been 2,416 incidents between 1st January 2010 and 31st October 2013.

2,416 frontline professionals of which we don’t know how many ended up with a serious infections disease, but who undoubtedly will have been waiting anxiously for the results of their blood following the 14 days of the assault.

Over the past two years I have given ‘off the record’ access to risk assessments conducted by police forces and ambulance/paramedics in several countries around the world. There is no question in my mind that everyone charged with ensuring the safety of frontline staff is slowly coming to the conclusion that a ‘spitting assault’ in one’s face is disgusting and can have fatal consequences.

These risk assessments usually cover a number of aspects, which need evaluating:

  • Significant hazards
  • Who may be harmed?
  • Realistic Outcome
  • Existing Controls
  • Risk Rating (Low – High) or (1-5)
  • Additional Controls
  • Action taken (by who and when)

In the U.S. anti-spit masks have been in use for a pretty long time now.  Judges have ordered prison officers and court officials to cover the heads of certain prisoner when attending court due their history of committing such assaults… and yes… we can call this an ‘assault’.

Thousands of anti-spit masks are now being carried by thousands of law enforcement, prison and ambulance professionals, ready to be ‘deployed’ and used as soon as a hostile or intoxicated member of the public represents a realistic threat.

I am extremely confident that PPSS Anti-Spit Masks can make the difference between staying safe or suffering from a potentially long lasting and severe illness. When confronted by a hostile or intoxicated member of the public, a combatant, prisoner, disturbed hospital patient or service user, the risk of being spat on is realistic and protection from such threat is in my opinion very sensible.

Please watch this video:

ppss-anti-spit-mask

… a ‘member of the public’ spitting at me.

spit-mask

… non of his bodily fluid is making contact with me but is rather kept contained within the anti-spit mask and then channeled vertically down.

PPSS Anti-Spit Masks are compact, easy to deploy, safe, disposable and individually packed devices, already used by agencies and organisations around the world. This type of device is to be slipped over the head of a combatant, prisoner or seriously intoxicated or aggressive member of the public following his arrest.

I am of course fully aware that the use of anti-spit masks has been questioned by some people (e.g. human right campaigners) in the past, raising concerns in terms of the risk of suffocation, especially when such anti-spit mask is forced over the head of someone suffering from breathing difficulties.

Human rights activist also raised their voices claiming it could send wrong signals or even raising concerns of the ‘look’.  Some human activists with rather strong opinions even compare the use of anti-spit masks with the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, questioning if such device should be used on someone because he or she is just very drunk.

Well, please allow me to make this one very clear here… my firm and my widely reported and genuine passion is not about the personal appearance of someone who is hostile, physically aggressive, completely out of control and clearly willing to harm someone who protect and serve the community.

The mission statement of my firm PPSS Group is simple and clear: “Protecting Frontline Professionals From Human Threats”.

Human Threats” = firearms, edged weapons, hypodermic needles, human bites and in context of our latest product… someone spitting saliva or potentially infected blood right into your face!

The future use of PPSS Anti-Spit Masks will be controversial, but no one can fault my firm for our genuine desire to want to reduce operational risks, workplace violence related injuries and in extreme cases even death.

When I discussed my plans to launch this product around the world a couple of years ago a close friend of mine with extensive operational experience said:

“Hundreds of detention centers, correctional institutions, police stations and hospitals in the U.S. are already successfully using such equipment, they have seen the sense in such device ages ago, and there is no question about it more and more countries will follow suit in the following years.”

Well… I agree.  For me personally it is absolutely key that whatever we at PPSS Group design, develop and manufacture it must be a) right and b) good… and I believe anti-spit masks are precisely that!

If you have any further questions in reference to PPSS Anti-Spit Masks, please visit www.ppss-group.com email my team info@ppss-group.com or call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Be safe.

Robert

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Understanding Blunt Force Trauma | Backface Signature

What actually is ‘blunt force trauma’ or in military terms ‘backface signature’ and what type of injuries are the result?

PPSS backface signature injury image

The image of a ‘blunt force trauma’ or in military terms ‘backface signature’ injury was taken 48 hours after I was being shot testing our high performance bullet resistant vests by a Glock 17 firing a 9mm Para round from 9ft distance (the video can be viewed on YouTube). The black mark is a ‘burn mark’ resulting from the heat (due to the deformation of the impacting round)

Please let me answer this question in the shortest possible way, without throwing some hyper intellectual medical terminologies at you even I don’t understand myself. In more simple and understandable terms and in context of this blog, ‘blunt force trauma injuries’ and ‘backface signature injuries’ are the type of injuries that occur under your skin when a ballistic projectile is halted by your bullet resistant vest.  Even when the round is stopped, you can suffer an injury under your bullet resistant vest.

The severity of such injury is primarily determined by the speed, caliber, velocity and weight of the projectile, and can range in severity from a basic bruise to a ‘compression’ type injury and in the worst case scenario result in ruptured organs, internal bleeding and ultimate your death.

‘Blunt force trauma’ and ‘backface signature’ is the result of the energy exchange between the impacting projectile and the human body (shielded by a bullet resistant vest) which does not involve penetration of the skin.

The key task over every body amour is to a) stop the projectile, and b) protect you from internal injury resulting from the impact energy, and this is done by allowing the projectile to make contact, absorb the energy, deform or ‘mushroom’ the projectile, and then spread the impact of the projectile over a wide area of the torso, rather than leaving it concentrated in a particular spot.

Please let me make you aware of the fact that the thinner a bullet resistant vests is, the more ’blunt force trauma’ may occur when being hit by a round.

Of course… and unfortunately… any added layer of any ballistic material will of course increase the bulk of a body armour, hence body armour manufacturers are constantly fighting relentlessly to launch and produce the thinnest and lightest bullet resistant vests, sometimes willingly making sacrifices in regards to the protection from above highlighted injuries… just to make that so very special claim of being able to provide the thinnest vest and in order to get max level of media attention.

The key objective of high performance body armour must be to offer all required ballistic protection whilst using extremely effective, energy absorbing and impact reducing materials. Some ‘Ballistic Backing Materials’ or ‘trauma liner’ used for high performance bullet resistant vests are now less than 1mm thin, but I have seen many ‘ballistic packs’ without such important ‘ingredient’.

10 important facst about bullet resistant vests - robert kaiser 2

Now, trying to understand what is a good or bad body armour, ‘Backface Signature’ can be tricky because of the different test standards. In European, German and British standards, there is an allowable 20 to 25mm ‘Backface Signature’. The U.S. NIJ standard permits 44mm, which could allow for an internal injury. Ever since its introduction, the 44mm ‘Backface Signature’ was regarded as controversial. And, there is still discussion about the importance of ‘Backface Signature’ vs. penetration-resistance among the testing and medical groups.

To comply with ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 for Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’, the deformation (Backface Signature) a projectile creates upon impact cannot exceed 44mm (1.73 in.) in depth. To measure this depth, a vest is shot against a block of Roma Plastalina Clay. The vest is then removed, revealing a circular shape of deformation in the clay. A metal scraper is used to smooth the edge of the deformation, as an elevated ridge may have formed around it. A calliper is then used to measure the exact depth of the deformation.

Screen shot 2016-02-20 at 14.17.18

Screen shot 2016-02-20 at 14.18.35

I urge law enforcement officers and security professionals to make a conscious decision when purchasing bullet resistant vests.  What is the most important criteria for YOU?  The concealability, the weight and the thickness of a bullet resistant vest, or the highest level of protection from ‘blunt force trauma’?

I would suggest this should be subject of your operational duties and requirements. If the concealability of a bullet resistant vest is key for you due to operational risks/threats/requirements, then you need to look for the thinnest and lightest body armour, and the ‘blunt force trauma’ protection may have to become secondary as most body armour manufacturers have now pushed technology to the very max.

Clearly the most important thing is to wear body armour that actually will stop the projectile… otherwise the risk of dying or a round entering you upper body and ricocheting in your rib cage and exiting via your skull is a real probability. Making sure you can go home to your family after the job is done is rather important.

The most in-depth research study on ‘blunt force trauma injuries’ or ‘backface signature injuries’ sutained while wearing such body armour can be found here (click here).

The 2008 article by Marianne Wilhelm “Injuries to law enforcement officers: The backface signature injury” is a really worth hile read for those who either have a serious need or ‘thirst’ for additional information/knowledge in this field.

I have mentioned this in my previous blog, but please allow me to repeat it… based on one of the most informative research projects on body armour worn by US Law Enforcement Officers ever, we can confirm that thousands of lives have been saved since the first officer was shot wearing a modern body armour in 1972.  Over 70% of law enforcement agencies report issuing body armour to all officers, and 53% made the wearing of bullet resistant vests compulsory when on duty. For further information on this survey please read: “Highlights of a truly informative police body armour survey

Any questions?

If so, please call my team at PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Take good care of yourself.

Robert Kaiser

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10 Key Facts To Consider When Buying Bullet Resistant Vests

10 important facst about bullet resistant vests - robert kaiser 2

  1. Bullet ‘proof’ doesn’t exist!

Your body armour will not protect you from all ballistic threats. It is a fabric based garment, not a magical indestructible barrier. Yes, body armour can be an outstanding fabric garment, but no body armour is ‘bulletproof’ but only ‘bullet resistant’ and we are very keen to make this clear every time we engage with customers. Every body armour can be defeated by a round, subject to the weight, its velocity, speed or calibre, or the angle the shot is being fired.

  1. Your bullet resistant vests should stop the rounds fired by your own firearm!

Different government and security agencies wear different body armour and choose different protection levels. It’s hard for you or your agency to anticipate what handgun and round represents the most realistic threat, but there’s one threat you can anticipate: Your own sidearm.

A shocking number of law enforcement and security professionals are shot with their own weapons after their gun has been grabbed or accidentally discharged, or they got hit by a round fired by their own colleagues during a ‘chaotic’ fire exchange, so your body armour should be able to defeat the rounds used by yourself and the other officers in your agency.

  1. Unless your body armour is certified to a stab resistance standard your body armour is not likely to protect you from a knife attack!

Stab resistant vests are a totally different type of body armour than bullet resistant vests.  Every bullet resistant vest will offer some level of stab protection, but in many cases to a very minimal level.  On the other side, no stab resistant vest will offer any ballistic protection!

From the manufacturing point there is a massive difference between both threats and the technology used to protect from either threat is a different too.

If there is an identifiable and realistic operational ballistic and edged weapon threat than I do suggest to issue ‘Dual Purpose Vests’ or ‘Multi-Threat Vests’.  They are of course available, but they are thicker, heavier and in most cases more expensive.

  1. Throw away your body armour after you have been shot!

The following is of equal importance to both bullet resistant vests and stab resistant vests… when being hit throw the body armour away.

We can compare it to a motorbike helmet.  When you have an accident you really should get rid of your helmet, regardless if you can see a visible crack or not.  There might be a structural damage to the helmet, invisible to the human eye. The level of protection is now ‘unknown.

In regards to body armour this is just the same.  Only because a ‘bullet’ didn’t penetrate the body armour, the body armour might have had to work to the very best of its ability to stop that round and the internal damage the round has done to the protective layers might prevent it from offering the same level of protection in the future… do not take such risk if avoidable!

  1. Never wash your ballistic panels/inserts!

The best way to clean your ballistic panels is with a damp sponge and maybe some gentle soap. Don’t throw them in the washing machine, don’t use bleach, don’t put them in the dryer and don’t iron them.

  1. Kevlar® is really not the only ballistic material!

The first viable bullet resistant material was Kevlar® made by DuPont, in fact for a long time people called bullet resistant vests, ‘Kevlar Vests’.  Well, today Kevlar® might still be a reasonably popular bullet resistant material, but there are really several other high performance ballistic materials on the market, and many body armour manufacturers even use ‘systems’ that incorporate more than one single material in the same vest.

Currently, the most popular ballistic materials for body  armour are Kevlar®, Twaron®, Goldflex®, Spectra Shield® and of course Dyneema®.  Some of these belong to the family of aramid fibres and some to the family of polyethylene fibres… each offering unique advantages.

  1. There’s only one right way!

Ballistic panels are designed to fit into your carrier in a very specific way. For example getting it wrong after the washing of the outer cover and re-inserting the ballistic panel incorrectly can lead to the loss of life!

The strike face of the ballistic panel is designed to slow the bullet and disperse the bullet’s energy whereby the back of the panel is responsible to minimise the level of blunt force trauma.

  1. Treat your body armour with care

Ballistic panels are made of many layers of bullet resistant materials. If they get bent out of shape, they simply cannot be ironed or straightened out again that easily. Also if you smash a sweaty vest into the bottom of your locker, it will dry in that shape.

If at all possible lay your body armour flat down in a dry environment e.g. office. A second option is to hang it up on a simple coat hanger, but don’t just throw it in the corner where people stamp on it etc. Remember your level of care can have an impact on the performance it will offer when you need it the most.

  1. What does it feel like to get shot in your body armour?

First of all there are numerous cases of officers who have been shot in their body armour, all of which will end up with a nasty-looking bruise caused by blunt force trauma. But it is unlikely that it will even incapacitate you. Many officers shot in their armour have been able to shot back at their attacker, and in many cases they have been able to neutralise the threat.

So what does it feel like to get shot by a 9mm or .44Mag round?  Many would think it will feel like being hit by a hammer.  Well, that’s not true at all. It rather is an extremely sharp and stingy and very pointed pain, which will most likely wind you for a couple of seconds. Due to the kinetic energy and deformation of the ‘bullet’ within a fraction of a second the heat will also potentially leave a small burn mark on your skin at the pint of impact.

If you have suffered from such assault you must seek immediate medical help and get checked out in case of any internal bleeding suffered due to rupture of any organs.

  1. What is the latest international standard for body armour?

Many countries e.g. Germany and the UK have their own ‘body armour standard’. The one that is more or less accepted around the world is the ‘Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour NIJ Standard 0101.06’.

NIJ Standard 0101.06 establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armour intended to protect against gunfire. This minimum performance standard is a revision of NIJ Standard 0101.04. It is a technical document that specifies the minimum performance requirements that equipment must meet to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice agencies around the world.

The highest possible level of ballistic protection possible for soft body armour is Level IIIA. Higher levels of protection from rifle ammo is only possible with aid of additional ballistic plates.

Any questions or concerns in reference to body armour… or any support we can offer… please make contact with me and my team: info@ppss-group.com or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Stay safe

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests, bullet resistant vests, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Should Body Armour Become Standard Equipment For University Security Guards?

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests offer truly outstanding protection from blunt force trauma related injuries, often the result of a punch, kick or blow of a blunt object.

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests offer truly outstanding protection from blunt force trauma related injuries, often the result of a punch, kick or blow of a blunt object. This type of body armour has become the university security’s first choice of body armour as they also create an image of ‘being approachable’… willing to ‘offer help’ when needed.

With a noticeable increase of young people moving away from home and beginning life on campus, university security guards are absolutely essential in order to ensure the personal safety and protection of our students.

In fact, organisations such as the U.S. based IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators) and UK based AUCSO (Association of University Chief Security Officers) have specialised themselves in, and dedicated themselves to improving the safety of universities and higher education colleges.

However it is rather saddening to see that countries such as my home country Germany still don’t see a need for dedicated security teams securing these institutions.

Why do we have dedicated police in the U.S. and Security Managers and Security Guards in the UK and no one fully responsible for this in many other European countries?

I would love to hear from those in charge of campus police or university security and have an ‘off the record’ or ‘on the record’ chat and I am happy to include their comments here and update my blog frequently moving forward if permission is given.

The Security Services within universities usually provide security patrols, surveillance and emergency response for all University property. Their officers are usually on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the year and the reason why I believe stab resistant vests of similar type of body armour should form part of their PPE is based on their operational duties and risks, which include:

  1. Questioning the presence of strangers within the university campus/complex represents a clear operational risk especially if their behviour can be classed as ‘suspicious’.
  2. Conducting night patrols (with many universities being based near city center locations and also having an active night life the presence of intoxicated members of the public is reality).
  3. Securing the buildings (buildings that often harbour multi-millions of pounds worth of technical and scientific equipment, which may well be of great interest to members of the criminal community)
  4. Taking on additional responsibilities, such as the control of anti-social behaviour and the confiscation of alcohol and other substances etc.
  5. Monitoring and identifying any attempts of any religious extremists groups to influence or manipulate students… often with the clear objective of ‘recruiting’ new followers in an environment where individuals are still looking for their chosen life path. Please read: “Crackdown on hate preachers at university.

A rather interesting list of all attacks within U.S. based sub-secondary schools (universities and higher education collages) can be found on Wikipedia and was quite an eye opener for me: click here

I certainly don’t believe this is a U.S. exclusive issue. It may well be a few years ago now, but I remember very well when one security guard was stabbed several times whilst trying to apprehend three trouble making teenagers on the campus grounds of Leeds Metropolitan University in 2008, literally a mile away from where my wife was born and grew up.

Following this event one security guard made a very serious comment when confirming concerns about equipment levels and said that it was as a result of a similar incident that stab resistant vests had been issued to security officers at Leeds University.” Please see: Yorkshire Evening Post, 3 October 2010.

On 9 February 2012 the Warrington Guardian highlighted an incident in which a university security guard found himself dealing with knife-wielding burglar Anthony Web who was subsequently send to prison.

On 28th April 2012 the Hull Daily Mail reported about two brothers who kicked and stamped on a security guard after he caught them breaking into a university building and also were subsequently send to prison.

I think it is rather sensible to acknowledge that security guards patrolling university campuses put themselves at risk when going about their daily duties. This ‘higher risk level’ especially within some direct face to face interactions, usually justifies or requires dedicated conflict management training as well as personal protective equipment in the form of stab resistant vests offering also good levels of protection from blunt force trauma injuries.

Blunt force trauma injuries are usually the result when being punched, kicked or when individuals hit you with a blunt object or throw things at you. This type of injury is a) a hundred times more realistic and likely than an edged weapon attack, and b) can just be as severe or damaging than an attack using an edged weapon or even firearm.

Several University Security Managers have been enquiring as to the use of of our unique stab resistant vests within their line of work due and subsequently issued their frontline staff with such type of equipment. In my opinion they have done the right thing, they taken precautionary steps, rather than being reactive and waiting for an incident to happen and then having to deal with the operational, emotional and legal nightmare they may well face after such incident.

There is no question about it… PPSS Stab Resistant Vests offer truly outstanding advantages and equal levels of protection and are an ideal solution for university security professionals:

  • 400108 - PPSS-Hi-Viz-Stab-Resistant-Vest low resExceptional protection from the most realistic and most common threat: ‘blunt force trauma’… meaning kicks, punch, hits from blunt objects, bricks, falls etc.
  • UK Home Office certified protection from edged weapon… as well as hypodermic needles
  • ‘Unlimited Shelf Life’… resulting in on going savings when compared to Kevlar based vests, which need replacing every 3 to 5 years due to the fact that they degrade when exposed to moisture from sweat / rain or when exposed to UV light.

The following video could be classed as ‘physical evidence’ for the quality and performance of PPSS Stab Resistant Vests:

PPSS Group is a UK based manufacturer of certified bullet resistant vestsstab resistant vests and the company behind a range of cut and slash resistant garments made out of 100% Cut-Tex® PRO… the world’s strongest cut resistant fabric.

In case you have any questions in regards to my blog… please comment or email my team info@ppss-group.com or call us +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Stay safe

Robert

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Highlights Of A Truly Informative Police Body Armor Survey

Police officers watch a SWAT team member put on body armour

According to a statement by the American National Institute of Justice, more than 3,000 police officers’ lives have been saved by body armor since the mid seventies when they began testing and developing body armour and performance standards for ballistic and stab resistance. Please view here.

Taking above into consideration, will you agree with me when I say that the cost of body armour just doesn’t seem that high anymore?

In 2009 the American Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) released the very valuable and informative findings of its National Body Armour Survey.

The responses received from nearly 80% of the 990 randomly selected law enforcement agencies throughout the United States provide a detailed insight into their practices, policies, and standards regarding body armour for their officers.

A rather interesting find was that 59% of agencies required their officers to wear bullet resistant armour or stab resistant armour, but only 45% had a written policy in place enforcing this requirement.  This is certainly not an ideal result.  We are all human beings, hence we don’t want to carry additional weight, feel less nimble and sweat more than necessary during a hot summer’s day, so some officers are of course bound to end up not wearing the armour.  Having said this… ultra-light high performance bullet resistant armour, especially developed for hot and humid environments have recently been made available.

There is also the risk of police officer deciding not to wear body armor due to what they incorrectly might perceive will be a low risk activity or operation, unable to anticipate unforeseen circumstances, which would certainly require such equipment.

Police officers wearing bullet resistant armour arresting and escorting a wanted fugitive

41.4% of law enforcement agencies in the US use body armour rated at NIJ Level II and 35.0% use NIJ Level IIIA, which means most agencies use body armour which protect officers against at least 9mm rounds and .40 calibre bullets, as well as .44Mag and .45Mag, but not against rifle fire or armour-piercing bullets.  I believe this to be perfectly right, as any body armour offering a higher level of ballistic protection would result in being heavy, cumbersome and restrictive.

For those of you who don’t mind some more technical information… a NIJ Level IIIA tested and certified concealable bullet proof vest will guarantee you protection against 9 mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) rounds from close range, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets, with nominal masses of 15.6 g (240 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s). It also provides protection against all handgun threats a body armour tested and certified to NIJ Level IIA and II will offer.

However, I must suggest a higher level of ballistic protection (NIJ Level III or IV) for those operators dealing with counter terrorism and similar high risk operations.

PPSS High Performance Concealable Bullet Resistant Armour (Model CV1)

Police agencies were also asked to rate the importance of factors considered when purchasing body armour.  The most important factors that police officers consider are whether the body armour will protect against rounds from the weapon of the officer, the safety level of the armour, and compliance with NIJ 0101.04 or NIJ 0101.06 standards. Other key factors are comfort and weight, and officers’ ability to move easily while wearing the armour.  I am pleased to see that safety and comfort exceed all other factors.

87.9% of all surveyed agencies specified that officers are individually measured by their body armour manufacturer in order to establish the perfect fit. 74.0% had been taken measurements by internal agency representatives.  The correct fitting of armour is crucial given that officers shot in the torso area can have bullets enter under their armor or through the side panels. Fitting therefore has the potential to be a largely overlooked factor in whether officers involved in shootings are injured or even killed while wearing body armor.

One particular result I was rather shocked by was the fact that the 78.4% of police agencies surveyed do not have a database or automated record system for a body armor replacement schedule.  Almost 23% of agencies have no policy at all concerning replacement of body armor, completely ignoring the shelf life of any body armor, which is subject to the type of storage, personal care, exposure to UV light and moisture and many other influencing factors.  A standard policy to replace all body armour after five years has now been put in place within many police forces around the world, and I very much welcome this move.

Coming to the end of my blog… let me make it clear… bullet resistant armour can effectively help protect our law enforcement and police officers.  If you have a couple of more minutes, please read the following brief articles highlighting some real life stories:

There is no doubt, providing body armour to all law enforcement officers would provide enough benefit to justify the cost, according to a ground-breaking research project carried out by RAND Corporation study, conducted in 2010.

Analysing police officer shootings over a four-year period, the study found that wearing body armour more than tripled the likelihood that an officer would survive a shooting to the torso and estimated that providing such equipment to all officers would save at least eight lives annually!

Have you any questions in reference to bullet resistant armour or stab resistant armour?

If so, please call my team at PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Take good care of yourself.

Posted in ballistic vests, Body Armour, bullet proof vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PotentWear Defense Technology – Our New Licensed Distributor in China

PotentWear logo (8)Following almost a year of great in-depth business discussions and a ‘get to know each other’ phase, and following a truly superb meeting in Beijing in October 2015 we are now ‘over the moon’ to announce that PotentWear is our new licensed distribution partner in China:  www.potentwear.cn

Please note the website is still in the process of being updated… but I am most certain it will become a really superb representation of what my firm PPSS Group is all about.

PotentWear is located in Shenzhen, the first special economic zone with the Reform and Opening-up policy in China, and is only across a strip of water from Hong Kong.

PotentWear is a newly set up firm owned by widely respected businessman Bourne ZHAO (a true gentleman who shares my love for Shun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and other Chinese War Philosophers), specifically set up to promote and distribute our high performance slash resistant clothing and stab resistant vests in all civil, military, police, medical and public security fields.

As a developing country, China is in a period with serious keen-edged social conflicts, and there are frequent occurrences of personal injury cases, causing serious harm to many innocent people such as police officers, paramedics, teachers and nurses. Most of the injury cases are caused by knives, as firearms are very strictly controlled in China.

The bullet resistant vest technology is comparatively developed, however there is no effective slash resistant clothing or high performance cut resistant fabrics, such as Cut-Tex® PRO production technology yet. In the face of huge market needs, the founder of the company proactively searched for technology support all over the world and finally found Cut-Tex® PRO.

PotentWear will endeavour to stimulate the population of slash resistant clothing and philosophy in China with the superb technology support from PPSS Group, and both parties expect a bright future of PPSS Group brand and products in China.

My personal experience with both CEO Bourne ZHAO and his kind colleague Jenny XIA is in simple terms ‘fantastic’.  Having enjoyed some of the greatest food China has to offer whilst visiting Beijing  and meeting Jenny XIA on 14th October 2015 and having experienced their truly exceptional hospitality was an unforgettable personal and professional experience.

Meeting Jenny Xia and her PA on 14th October 2014 at beijing New World Hotel.

Meeting Jenny Xia and her PA on 14th October 2014 at beijing New World Hotel.

Meeting room display of our very first meeting at beijing's New World Hotel.

Meeting room display of our very first meeting at beijing’s New World Hotel.

The ease and level of communication and the friendly and respectful conduct is making this professional relationship ‘enjoyable’ and I am very much looking forward to the future.

All contact details for PotentWear are also available on our website:  click here

Be safe

Robert

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The World’s First Slash Resistant Combat Shirt

PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC ShirtToday, PPSS Group has officially launched “The World’s First Cut & Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt”, offering a truly outstanding level of cut protection to all key arteries remaining ‘unguarded’ even whilst wearing the most modern type of bullet resistant vests or stab resistant vests.

UBAC (Under Body Armour Combat) shirts are usually being manufactured using a range of specialist materials, including lightweight, moisture wicking and breathable fabric. UBAC shirts are usually worn alongside the very latest in body armour systems, assault clothing and webbing, providing an outstanding combination of protection, comfort and durability. UBAC shirts can feature several benefits e.g. adjustable cuffs, velcro straps, zipper necks, padded arms and more.

Our slash resistant UBAC shirt is different and offers truly exceptional cut protection around the entire arm area, side of torso, neck and throat area, protecting the following four key arteries from laceration, subsequent rapid blood loss… and potential subsequent death:

  1. 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 wounds are defined as ‘defensive wounds’ and could become part of the evidence gathering when claiming ‘self-defence). It is also the most commonly cut artery during any ‘forced entry operation’.
  2. The brachial artery is located alongside your bicep. This is also a likely artery to be cut during a knife attack and defence.
  3. The carotid artery is maybe the best known artery and is located in your throat.  It is certainly the artery most featured in many typical Hollywood action blockbuster.  A cut through of the carotid artery would most likely result in death.
  4. 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. To stop the bleeding in such case is exceptionally difficult and often impossible.

Cut Tex PRO cut resistant fabric - protective areas - high res

Please view our technical product specification sheet for further details:  click here

We have also produced a very simple and brief video highlighting its performance:

This newly designed cut and slash resistant UBAC shirt made by PPSS Group also feature two upper arm pockets (for small notepad and pens) with Velcro for rank patches, blood patches, insignia or other attachments, as well as thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place.

Here are three close-up images highlighting the exceptional manufacturing quality.

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - neck close up

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - thumb loop close up

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - pocket close up

This new slash resistant UBAC shirt will without any question help save the lives of many law enforcement, prison and private security officers all over the world… and that’s precisely what drives us… it is exactly what we are passionate about… it is the very essence of what PPSS Group as a company stands for.

Our mission statement is very precise: “Protecting Frontline Professionals from Human Threats”, and our newly designed slash resistant UBAC shirt will do exactly that!

If you are a homeland security professional wearing a body armour… you have either established a certain risk or you are at least aware of a certain risk.  I don’t believe this risk is limited to the torso only… I am sure the key arteries you can find in your arms and throat are exposed to just the same risk.

Recent attacks on Israeli police officers and military personnel have highlighted a real need for this new garment design, and injuries as per the following images, received during a force entry operation in a different country (not Israel), also highlight the risk of accidental injuries:

A typical cut injury, which could have been prevented if this person would be issued with the world's first slash resistant UBAC shirt.

A typical cut injury, which could have been prevented if this person would be issued with the world’s first slash resistant UBAC shirt.

The following statement following a forced entry operation on the 25th April 2013, was made by Williamson Police in West Virginia, USA, but is not related to above image: “Only one officer sustained injuries when authorities conducted a forced entry into a home. The officer accidentally cut himself while entering the home.”

I have access to countless of images featuring injuries sustained during an edged weapon attack, most of which are too graphic to highlight in my article, but the following gives us an indication what can happen when protected inadequately.

even when wearing a top quality body armour... this injury would have not been prevented because the neck/throat area will remain unprotected and exposed.  Our latest slash resistant UBAC shirt would successfully prevent such injury and reduce the risk of rapid blood loss and even death.

even when wearing a top quality body armour… this injury would have not been prevented because the neck/throat area will remain unprotected and exposed. Our latest slash resistant UBAC shirt would successfully prevent such injury and reduce the risk of rapid blood loss and even death.

We all need to accept that injuries sustained from a bladed attack (or due to an operational accident) can cause long term damage as well as just the physical injury. Slash and cut injuries can often lead to long lasting emotional scars, ongoing distress or in very serious cases even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This may lead to an extended period of loss of work or employment putting an extra financial strain on the victim as well as the required physical recovery time from the medical procedures.

Please also read my article: “Slash Resistant Clothing for Homeland Security Professionals” (click here) offering additional information, different product images, news snips and very graphic photographs of cut/slash injuries.

All of our slash resistant garments… including our new UBAC shirt offer the following levels of protection:

  • ISO 13997:1999 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 – the highest possible
  • ASTM F-1790-05 Blade Cut Resistance Level 4
  • EN 388:2003 Blade Cut Resistance level 5 – the highest possible
  • EN 388:2003 Tear Resistance Level 4 – the highest possible
  • EN 388:2003 Abrasion Resistance Level 4 – the highest possible

Please note we are also more than happy to offer our Cut-Tex® PRO cut and 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 have any questions in regards to our slash resistant UBAC shirt, any other of cut/slash resistant garment models or our high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, then please feel free to comment on my article or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com

As always… stay safe!

Robert

Posted in Cut Resistant Clothing, Slash Resistant Clothing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stab Resistant Vests For Hospital Security Professionals

Glasgow Hospital SecurityHospital Security Professionals are in urgent need for additional protection from sometimes frustrated, aggressive, upset, intoxicated and other hostile members of the public… that’s my strong genuine and professional opinion!

Maybe the ever so thorough media coverage of violent incidents within hospital environments have raised awareness of security risks and threats, and the potential need for stab resistant vests for those professionals who protect these facilities and everyone within.

Maybe it is the horrible acts of violence and aggression against physicians, nurses and security professionals by patients, their family members and friends that recently has caught our attention.

Whatever the case, the security of hospitals and the welfare of the people within is being assessed with greater concern and in more detail than ever before. Violence in hospitals is on the increase… and this is a fact established after reviewing information, statistics and data widely available.

Please have a look yourself and view the following very recent new snips, which all form part of my argument that hospital security professionals should be issued with stab resistant vests… and not to be used when and if needed… but to be issued as compulsory PPE.

I am not sure how many of you were able to watch the TV program on C5 on 26 November 2015 here in the UK, titled: “Violent hospital patients brawling at Queen Elizabeth Hospital” but it was truly astonishing to witness the type of assaults and abuse these guys have to face more or less every time they go to work.

But let me assure you the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is not an ‘one off’ case… a unique place of violence.  Aggression and abuse towards hospital staff is a regular occurrence in all hospitals here in the UK and worldwide. It is not Birmingham and it is not UK specific!

Additional NEWS from around the World incl headlines, such as: “Psych ward patient ‘repeatedly stabbed unarmed hospital security guard in the neck and abdomen, leaving him with life-threatening injuries“… please read full article and click here.

A major survey in 2011 did clearly highlight the increase of violence within hospital environments in the U.S. and highlighted three very clear facts and figures:

  • 23 percent of hospitals reported an overall increase in attacks and assaults
  • 34 percent reported a rise in patient and family violence against emergency department staff
  • 29 percent reported an increase in patient and family violence against other staff

Despite the tough financial situation many hospitals are in, nearly half of the hospitals questioned in this survey said their security department’s budget increased due to the realistic risks and threats their staff are facing.

What can be done to combat this level of violence? The most common systems being implemented by hospitals are electronic access control, digital video surveillance,  body worn video solutions and the latest devices from the world of lone worker safety/management technology.

However, effective and regular conflict management and conflict resolution training, as well as better ‘zero violence policies’, communication and reporting procedures have also become a major part in every hospitals security team.

Many experts attribute the perceived increase in violence in hospitals to heightened stress faced by patients, family members and staff as increasing numbers of unemployed, uninsured and drug-using people seek care they can’t access elsewhere.  A major additional risk/threat comes from mentally ill patients and service users, as well as from those severely struggling with our language or expressing extremely different religious or cultural views.  These are factors which are out of the hands of a hospital employee or security officer.  Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how nice, caring and peaceful a hospital security professional within such facility is… the matter of fact is that the best camera and device in the world can’t reach out and stop a bad guy from hitting or stabbing you.  The best policy and the best training will neither stop a potential intoxicated or mentally ill person from overreacting and expressing his feelings with some sort of act of violence.

Given the potential for violence, hospital security professional increasingly are preparing for the worst.  Many hospitals have now rightly decided to review their risk assessments and concluded their security teams must be issued with overt stab resistant vests and or high visibility stab resistant vests in order to reduce workplace violent related injuries and improve the personal safety of their frontline staff.

400108 - PPSS-Hi-Viz-Stab-Resistant-Vest low res

PPSS Hi Viz Stab Resistant Vests have now become the first choice of several NHS Health Care Trust’s and facility management firm. Offering certified stab protection, they also offer outstanding protection from hypodermic needles and blunt force trauma injuries.

Over the past few years I have personally advised many senior officials within hospital environment of the importance of ‘patient’s perception’. Many have echoed that overtly worn stab resistant vests can at times be perceived as ‘confrontational’, ‘aggressive’, paramilitary’ and ‘hard security’… something a hospital or health care facility might well be opposed to.

Hospital security professionals should appear ‘approachable’, ‘helpful’ and ‘general safety conscious’… and for this very reason we have developed hi-viz stab resistant vests.

Due to their 'non-confrontational' design, PPSS Tabard Style Hi Viz Stab Vests have become the first choice of body armour for public facing organisations such as facility management, civil enforcement and public transport., as well as event security and crowd control.

Due to their ‘non-confrontational’ design, PPSS Tabard Style Hi Viz Stab Vests have become the first choice of body armour for public facing organisations such as hospitals, facility management, civil enforcement and public transport.

Stab resistant vests are a safety net… they are not making you invincible and neither are they a free pass for acting like James Bond or Rambo.  Nevertheless they are a safety net, just like a seat belt in your car.  You may never need it, but one day… and absolutely regardless of your driving skill and level of awareness and skill… it only takes another idiot to play on his phone, loose concentration, fall asleep, be drunk or something down these lines and crash into your car.  That’s the moment when you will be most grateful that you have been given this seat belt.

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests are ultra-light and thin, and offer UK Home Office certified stab protection + unmatched protection from blunt force trauma (e.g. from kicks, punches or blows) + outstanding protection from hypodermic needles, a very realistic threat in today’s society.

Please view our rather interesting video product demonstration:

Please also read a kind ‘testimonial’ of Sodexo (one of the UK’s leading facility management firms) looking after the operation of Central Manchester Hospital: click here

For further information please contact PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Posted in Body Armour, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments