Tabard Style | The Non-Confrontational Stab Vest Design

Many of my firm’s international customers have stated that overtly worn stab vests can at times be perceived as ‘confrontational’, ‘aggressive’, paramilitary’ and ‘hard security’.

As this can without any doubt have its real purpose at the right time and at the right place, in general our customers within facility management, public transport and similar public facing sectors, such as event management and crowd control, have the objective to make their domestic frontline professionals appear more ‘approachable’, ‘helpful’ and ‘general safety conscious’.

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.

Over the past few years I have been advising Heads of Health & Safety as well as Heads of Operations or Security of the importance of ‘customer perception’.

For example… when visiting Belfast recently we had a long and very interesting conversation with the senior officer of one of the largest public serving organisations in Northern Ireland, a conversation based on simple common sense.  Foreign visitors coming to see for example cities like Belfast are curious of the changes this city has gone through in recent years.  What impression would foreign visitors get when seeing public transport, car parking enforcement and facility management employees running around in black overt tactical body armour with ‘SECURITY’ or ‘ENFORCEMENT’ printed in massive letters on the front and back?

Those who know me understand that I am a strong supporter of ‘hard security’ and ‘disciplined law enforcement’, but also believe that in many instances a more covert approach and a more approachable look can make a real difference between the public’s acceptance of- and cooperation with domestic frontline professionals.

PPSS Security GuardsJust this week we have attended a meeting with one of Europe’s leading facility management firms. Their Director of Security admitted in an ‘off the record’ conversation that they had identified a reasonable risk to their frontline staff, but for ‘brand protection’ and ‘perception’ reasons, their decision over the past year’s has been not to issues any type of body armour to their staff.

May I clarify the legal position here in the UK?

  • Regulation 4 of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 states: “Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.”
  • The accompanying guidance states: “Employers should, therefore, provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to their employees wherever there is a risk to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled by other means.”
  • In order to provide PPE for their employees, employers must do more than simply have the equipment on the premises. The employees must have the equipment readily available, or at the very least have clear instructions on where they can obtain it.

Moving on… during the above highlighted and several similar conversations we have had over the past months we were able to to explain that high visibility clothing on the other side has become a part of today’s society.  We all will know that when your car breaks down… your vehicle recovery man will wear a hi viz vest. The man on the nearby building site or the guy collecting and pushing trolleys at your local supermarket and many other professionals wear hi viz vests without looking ‘confrontational’.

In fact, in many cases we have learned to associate someone wearing hi viz gear with someone who can assist us in a moment of basic distress.

PPSS ‘Tabard Style’ Hi Viz Stab Vests have been designed with all of the above in mind!

I genuinely believe they are the ultimate body armour solution for domestic frontline professionals who operate or serve within an environment where the ‘ballistic/gun threat’ is low but where the risk of having to face potentially hostile, intoxicated or abusive member of the public is ever so real.

They offer exceptional and certified protection from all types of edged weapons, hypodermic needles and more importantly they offer truly unmatched protection from what is statistically the most likely type of injuries one may suffer in most countries: Blunt Force Trauma*

  • *Blunt trauma, blunt injury, non-penetrating trauma or blunt force trauma refers to physical trauma to a body part, either by impact, injury or physical attack. The latter is usually referred to as blunt force trauma.

Key Advantages of PPSS Stab Vests:

  • Non-confrontational design
  • Unlimited shelf life (compared to 3-5 years life span of Kevlar® made body armour)
  • Outstanding protection from blunt force trauma (usually suffered following a kick, punch or blow from a blunt object)
  • Extremely lightweight (2.3kg)
  • Ultra-thin (5mm)
  • Home Office (HOSDB) KR1 & NIJ Std 0115.00 Level 1 certified stab protection

Please view a video presentation of our COVERT stab resistant vests utilising the identical protective inserts as our new Tabard Style Hi Viz Stab Vests: click here

Should you ever have any questions in reference to stab vests or different type of body armour (subject to your operational risks, threats and duties), then please do not hesitate and contact my team, and in the strictest of confidence we will help you to the very best of our ability.

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

Take good care of yourself!

Posted in Stab Proof Vests, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Body Armour – Why?

PPSS 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 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.

In an ever changing world, where a lack of respect and lack of discipline are the order of the day, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as bullet resistant vests or stab resistant vests and similar types of body armour have become an essential piece of equipment for many security and other domestic frontline professionals.

We all need to understand that a lack of adequate safety measures can put an individual at unnecessary risk, and cause unacceptable injury or harm… that’s a matter of fact and equally of relevance to those professionals protecting us from foreign threats from/in hostile countries far away, just as much as to those professionals engaging with dangerous members of the public just around the corner from where we might live.

We may prefer to close our eyes and not accept reality, but body armour have regrettably become a real necessity within a number of homeland security agencies and even domestic frontline professions.

The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Laboratory conducted a number of case studies about 10 years ago, and approached over 400 organisations of various sizes and across a range of different occupations.

Detailed questionnaires were sent and interviews were conducted with the selected organisations and the information which they provided formed the basis of these widely respected case studies. The outcome is of great relevance to the question: ‘Body Armour – Why?’

Highlighted Risk Areas

  • Visiting people in their home or office to enforce laws and regulations, police the system or being the bearer of bad news increases the level of risk and subsequently the need for body armour or stab resistant vests.
  • Certain geographical areas or trouble spots are high risk, such as poor or run down council estates or high crime level areas.
  • Dealing with certain high risk individuals, such as potentially violent or aggressive members of the public, drug users or dealers.
  • Dealing with extremely frustrated and disappointed customers (e.g. customers extremely unhappy with the service your or your partner organisation has provided)
  • Evicting people from their home.
  • Dealing with individuals expressing extreme religious or political views.
  • Securing or protecting property, events or people is a professional responsibility that certainly warrants the need for body armour or stab vests.
  • Enforcing the law

Any of the above points should in itself be reason enough to at least consider the issue of body armour, but I could highlight many more reasons, making a decision not to issue potentially life saving PPE even more controversial.

Corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide laws as well as health & safety regulations have been rewritten in countries around the world, in order to protect those who serve and risk their lives for others. The cost of facing potential legal action after a fatal or non-fatal incident and the real cost of injured employees taking time off would outweigh the one-off cost of body armour. Assaults on personnel who are not wearing body armour or other types of protective clothing also create bad publicity for the Authority concerned, not to mention the welfare of the person involved and operational problems resulting from the injured staff being unable to work.

The most popular argument against body armour I have personally come across is the concern about how it might be seen by the public when frontline employees start walking around in body armour. Well, I do understand that ‘perception’ is one of the most important issues within personal safety, and I equally understand if certain agencies and departments do not want heir frontline staff to look like ‘paramilitary’ or ‘armed response units’.

PPSS Hi Viz Stab Resistant Vests

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the public sector’s first choice of body armour because they offer exceptional protection from all types of edged weapons, but they also create an image of ‘being approachable’.

For me, domestic frontline employees dealing with the public should be doing their utmost to express themselves as peaceful ambassadors within their line of work using excellent communication skills (…which is not always reality due to lack of training or appropriate language skills and other issues). COVERT Stab Resistant Vests allow them to use their positive personality, diplomacy and negotiation skills to defuse a situation, whilst still being protected.

However, we do understand that certain professionals e.g. Police, Border Control, Immigration, Customs, Parking Enforcement, Trading Standards or Licensing Enforcement Officers need to be seen as ‘Authority’ or ‘visual deterrent’… hence many within these type of organisations prefer to wear OVERT Stab Resistant Vests or even HI VIZ OVERT Stab Resistant Vests which have recently become the public sector’s first choice.

Risk Assessments & Body Armour

Regardless of the outcome of any common risk assessment, the fact of the matter is that there is always an ‘unknown’ level of risk due to unforeseen circumstances. Ordinary risk assessments might often conclude in the verdict of ‘low risk’, however these often fairly basic risk assessments are based on technical facts or ‘on-hand information’ only, and as much as I appreciate them, they often do not go beyond these ‘available facts’.

A risk assessment dealing with the activity of an enforcement professional having to enter someone else’s property or deal with potentially ‘unhappy’ and frustrated or aggressive customers or clients can in my opinion, never ever result in low risk. The moment such professional walks through someone’s door or deals with often unfamiliar members of the public at another location, one can simply not know who else will be in the house or who else might enter the house at a later point.  What activities have taken place prior to your visit? Who else might be going to interfere or engage in your conversation at a later point? All of these issues and questions must have an impact when discussing operational risks, threats and duties and the potential issuing of stab resistant or bullet resistant vests.

Here in the UK it is as follows*:

  1. Employers are required to make a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risks involved in their business operations.
  2. When conducting the risk assessment the employer is required to consider “reasonably foreseeable” risks, and these risks would include the possibility of an employee in a confrontational role being assaulted.
  3. Employers are obliged to use “safe systems of work” which is why they must first do a risk assessment.
  4. If the risk assessment identifies the possibility of being stabbed as a significant risk then control measures must be designed into the safe system of work to either eliminate or minimise this risk.
  5. If, having considered all potential management techniques, the risk of being stabbed cannot be reduced below a significant level then the employer should consider the use of body armour – and will have to meet the cost of such equipment.
  • * above bullet points courtesy of Andy Farrall, Health & Safety Specialist

Good question… what would you do if you were driving a car and your petrol light comes on, indicating you only have a small amount of petrol left? Would you start thinking: Will I make it home or not? Some people would be willing to take the risk in this situation. In the workplace though, in my view, it is the duty of the employer to not allow their employees to take unknown risks on their own accord without the provision of equipment and training to protect them should they make a mistake in their own judgement.

‘Better safe than sorry’ and ‘Prevention is better than cure’ are two great sayings, making more sense within corporate health & safety than anywhere else. I hope you would stop and get some fuel, because you want to be on the safe side. You might have made it, but you didn’t want to take that risk. The bottom line is you cannot afford to break down. The fact that some professional’s activity involves a rather ‘unknown risk’ must urge key decision makers to remain at least open minded when it comes to body armour, stab resistant armor, body worn video solutions or additional training that can be made available.

‘Seat Belt’ Comparison

Recommending body armor does not mean we suggest you are in danger and neither does it mean you should get paranoid or scared 24 hours a day.  I simply say that you will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in the unlikely, but nevertheless possible, case of something going wrong. 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. We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that we might crash. Yet, if this chance becomes reality, you have increased the chance of survival by wearing a seat belt.

We at UK headquartered PPSS Group are globally respected and renowned experts in body armour for civil and homeland security agencies as well as other domestic frontline services, such as paramedics, hospital security, brand protection, investigation teams, civil enforcement teams and public transport professionals.

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

Please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit:  www.ppss-group.com PPSS_logo_no_tag Take good care of yourself!

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests, bullet resistant vests, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ropa Resistente A Cortes – Altamente Recomendada Por Un Agente De Prision Asaltado

ROPA  RESISTENTE  A  CORTES

Jérseys resistentes a cortes / Ropa resistente a cortes / Cortar ropa resistente

Jérseys resistentes a cortes (ropa resistente a cortes / cortar ropa resistente) camisas y otro tipo de vestidos se han vuelto más y más en objetos de interés para los encargados de la seguridad personal y los funcionarios de prisión alrededor del mundo. En la siguiente sección explicamos donde y cuando la idea de desarrollar tales equipos de protección personal (EPP) fue concebida.

En el 8 de Junio de 2012 tuve el verdadero placer de conocer al orgulloso ex-soldado de infantería hoy funcionario de prisión (y ahora amigo cercano mío) Craig Wylde por primera vez… a sólo dos años después de el horrible asalto a su persona por el criminal a tiempo completo y triple asesino Kevan Thakrar

El siguiente ataque relacionado con Craig tuvo lugar el 13 de Marzo de 2010 en la Prisión de Alta Seguridad de Frankland aquí en el Reino Unido, y lo dejó luchando por su vida, después de que él y dos compañeros fueran brutalmente atacados por el mencionado “idiota”. Craig quedó con una arteria cortada en su brazo izquierdo después del incidente, la cual dio un giro completo a su vida. Pasé varias horas con Craig y su esposa en nuestra reunión más “profesional”, y presencié inmediatamente del enorme impacto que este asalto y la consecuente herida tuvo en la vida diaria de su maravillosa y joven familia. Parece increíble, pero sin embargo verdadero, que una “herida en el brazo” de este tipo pueda causar tal inmenso nivel de angustia, constante e intenso dolor y poner a prueba la fuerza de la familia hasta los cimientos. Craig está actualmente reduciendo la cantidad de pastillas que debe de tomar para hacer frente con todas los problemas físicos y psicológicos. La siguiente imagen muestra la herida abierta en la parte superior del brazo izquierdo, causada por un corte hecho por Kevan Thakrar, usando una botella rota.

  • 4 de Junio de 2012: “Preso ataca a guarda con navaja de afeitar”
  • 22 de Junio de 2012: “Matón Samuel Hall, 20 años, apuñala a oficial ´después de que voces le dijeran que tenía que matar´”
  • 26 de Julio 2012: “Convicto enviado manicomio después de cortar a oficial con navaja de afeitar”
  • 26 de Noviembre de 2013: “Horrible herida por corte de 5 pulgadas sufrida por funcionario de prisión después del ataque de un convicto”
  • 6 de Febrero 2014: “Oficial de Correccional acuchillado en el Hospital de Long Island”

Desafortunadamente se trata de un hecho que la seguridad y el bienestar de los oficiales de policía están más expuestos a la vista pública, que el importante servicio prestado por nuestros funcionarios de prisión y los peligros que esos profesionales encaran a diario. De alguna manera esto es comprensible (pero errado), que el público esté más dispuesto a ver a los oficiales de policía patrullando su vecindad y que les preste una cierta sensación de seguridad. Los funcionarios de prisión por otro lado están más “fuera de la vista” por lo tanto siendo muy olvidados. No lo sé, ¿pero puede ver al público en general discutiendo la seguridad de los funcionarios de prisión? Eso es algo difícil de imaginar creo yo. Pero, ¿los funcionarios de prisión no merecen al menos el mismo apoyo, atención y respeto como los demás que prestan servicio en primera línea?

El genuino deseo de mi amigo de mejorar la seguridad personal de sus compañeros ha caído en “oídos algo sordos” hasta ahora. Nada de relevancia ha sido hecho para marcar una diferencia en la seguridad de estos profesionales. Sí, las botellas de cristal han sido eliminadas de la mayoría de las prisiones… pero ¿está plenamente consciente del hecho que las patas afiladas de las mesas/marcos de las camas, piezas cerámicas (desprendidas de lavabos), cuchillas de afeitar encajadas en cepillos dentales y similares armas afiladas son mucho más populares que los botes de cristal?

A continuación del asalto en la Prisión de Alta Seguridad de Falkland en 2010, hemos desarrollado  varias vestiduras protectoras “de bajo-perfil”  ¡hechas de nuestras propias telas resistentes a cortes Cut-Tex PRO!

Estoy hablando de camisetas 100% resistentes a cortes que pueden ser usadas debajo de la camisa de un funcionario de prisión o correccional, para poder reducir el riesgo de daños por cortes, la rápida pérdida de sangre y el a continuación potencial riesgo de muerte de un oficial.

EPP en general no es sobre ELIMINAR el riesgo de heridas por violencia en el área de trabajo… ¡se trata de REDUCIR EL RIESGO en un entorno donde un riesgo ha sido identificado! Por lo que en este caso vamos a ser honestos por un momento, y preguntarnos a nosotros mismos esta pregunta:

¿Hay algún riesgo de asalto a funcionarios y oficiales en las instalaciones correccionales y penitenciarías? ¡SI, la hay!

El daño por el corte a Craig Wylde después del ataque descrito anteriormente en Marzo de 2010 en la Prisión de Alta Seguridad de Frankland.

¿Es el riesgo lo suficientemente alto para garantizar ante la problemática general un tipo básico de EPP? Sí, ¡Yo lo creo genuinamente!

Es muy muy similar para nosotros como el llevar un cinturón de seguridad.  No usamos un cinturón de seguridad porque sabemos que seguramente tendremos un accidente hoy. Tampoco lo usamos porque estamos asustados o paranoicos, preocupados de que sufriremos un accidente hoy. No, ¡para nada! La razón del porqué llevamos puesto el cinturón de seguridad es porque entendemos que tendremos una más alta probabilidad de sobrevivir  en caso de que alguien esté borracho, juegue con su móvil o de otra forma esté distraído y choque contra nosotros, a pesar de que fardemos de nuestras grandes habilidades para conducir.

El cinturón es “poco probable” que nos salve la vida si otra persona nos golpea de frente a diez mil kilómetros por hora. Sin embargo, nos asegura que sobreviviremos a la gran mayoría de accidentes potenciales… ¡se trata de REDUCIR EL RIESGO!

Ahora de vuelta a la pregunta anterior. ¿Cuánto nos importan los demás? Si mi hijo está sentado en el asiento trasero de mi coche yo me aseguraré de que esté usando el cinturón. Si alguno de mis seres amados está dentro de mi coche me aseguraré de que lleven puesto el cinturón. Si otra gente, en otros coches, en otros países y en otros planetas decide que no les guste llevar el cinturón puesto… ¡es su elección personal y no me importa! ¡Pero debo decir que  tengo un problema con los que deciden “no permitir” que sus colegas no lleven el cinturón puesto o en este caso cualquier tipo de EPP!

Así que… ¡cuánto nos importa la seguridad personal de los funcionarios de prisión y correccionales, y estamos dispuestos a marcar la diferencia?

Basados en la opinión de Craig y nuestra forma operacional de entender las cosas, basados en las docenas de comentarios personales que hemos recibido de sus compañeros de todo el mundo, y basado en mi experiencia práctica (y de mis compañeros) en primera línea en las fuerzas de la ley y operaciones de seguridad de alto riesgo, TODOS sentimos que esas camisetas a prueba de cortes de alto rendimiento  podrían ser una sensible opción y solución. la cual es de incuestionable y práctico sentido y  no podría privar los movimientos de quien las viste o restringirlo a él en sus tareas. Estamos genuinamente convencidos que la severidad de la herida podría haber sido reducida significativamente si Craig y otros funcionarios en otras prisiones y en otros países alrededor del mundo  habrían mitigado tal problema con las camisetas resistentes a cortes.

¿Podrían tales camisetas o prendas superiores resistentes a cortes eliminar el riesgo de heridas relacionadas con la violencia en el área de trabajo? ¡No, no lo harán!

¿Reducirán el riesgo de heridas relacionadas con la violencia en el área de trabajo? Sí, ¡esto es 100% garantizado!

La Ropa Resistente a Cortes PPSS está hecha 100% de Cut-Tex PRO (una tela de alta tecnología altamente aclamada) y está siendo actualmente usada por cientos de profesionales de las fuerzas de la ley alrededor del mundo. Ha sido probada ante estándares de resistencia de corte Europeos, Internacionales y Americanos  y ofrece una resistencia incomparable a cortes, desgarres y abrasiones también.

Me gustaría invitarle a re-visitar lo que puede ser realizado, y lo que está dispuesto a hacer, para mejorar la seguridad personal de esos profesionales.

Entiendo completamente que tenemos que asegurarnos que no parezcan  confrontativos, agresivos o autoritativos, y yo también entiendo que vivimos en un mundo donde el acceso a los recursos financieros está restringido.

Sin embargo, lo que le ha pasado a mi amigo ya ha pasado. No podemos regresar en el tiempo. Pero lo que sentimos firmemente sobre ello es que ALGO debe pasar, de otra manera más pronto que tarde veremos otra fatalidad en este sector la cual podría ser evitada vistiendo el tipo correcto de EPP.

La realidad es (tan triste como pueda ser)… las ampliamente disponibles estadísticas nos dicen que es desafortunadamente una cuestión de tiempo hasta que otro funcionario de prisión o correccional sea atacado, apaleado, golpeado, pateado o apuñalado (así tanto todos odiemos este hecho). Las estadísticas por supuesto también no nos darán el nombre de la siguiente persona que formará parte de ellas… así que nuestra responsabilidad debe ser de asegurar que a) no sea nuestro nombre, y b) que tampoco lo sea el de nuestros compañeros y empleados. Sin embargo, no hay duda alguna… ocurrirá. ¿Qué es lo que usted/nosotros habremos hecho con el fin de reducir este riesgo?

Por favor  note que también estaremos más que felices de ofrecer nuestra tela resistente a cortes Cut-Tex PRO al fabricante de sus uniformes, equipo táctico u overoles. Esto podría permitirles incorporar este material de alto rendimiento en su uniforme actual, especialmente en áreas vulnerables que realmente requieran tal nivel de protección. Esto podría ayudar efectivamente a proteger sus compañeros de potencialmente horribles heridas por corte.

PROTEGIENDO LAS ÁREAS CLAVE:

PROTEGIENDO LAS ÁREAS CLAVE / ROPA  RESISTENTE  A  CORTES

PROTEGIENDO LAS ÁREAS CLAVE / ROPA RESISTENTE A CORTES

Un corte a través de cualquiera de estas áreas podría resultar en un rápido desangrado.

  1. Arteria Radial (dentro de su muñeca)
  2. Arteria Braquial (junto a su bíceps)
  3. Arteria Carótida (dentro de la garganta)
  4. Arteria Axilar (bajo sus axilas)
  5. Arteria Femoral (en el muslo)

Cut-Tex PRO es lo último en telas resistentes a cortes – idealmente incorporadas en uniformes, vestiduras tácticas u otros vestidos de trabajo – “blindando” las arterias Radial, Braquial, Carótida, Axilar, Femoral y otras áreas vulnerables del cuerpo humano.

Si desea comentar sobre este artículo o necesita más información simplemente envíenos un correo a info@ppss-group.com, llame a +44 (0) 845 5193 953 o visite www.ppss-group.com

Posted in Cortar ropa resistente, Ropa Resistente A Cortes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Research Project: K9 Bullet Proof Vests / Body Armour

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Associates and Clients

K9 Bullet Proof Vests / Body Armour

K9 Bullet Proof Vests / Body Armour

I would like to take this opportunity to seek your help.

Within my firm PPSS Group we have discussed K9 Body Armour and Bullet Proof Vests several times over the past years.

Should we get involved?

Should we start looking into the research, development and design of such piece of ‘PPE’ (Personal Protective Equipment)?

Our mission statement is simple, precise and crystal clear: “Protecting Frontline Professionals From Human Threats”.

Interesting… I spent ages to define this mission statement… after a lot of soul searching… trying to figure out where I wanted this business to go… where I wanted it to be five or even ten years later.

So how can we define ‘frontline professional’?

Can it only be a human? Can it be an animal? Can it be a German Sheperd or Belgium Malinois or any other breed of dog supporting government and homeland security professionals, personal protection specialists and military personnel in what can often be an extreme hostile environment?

For me personally the ‘moral’ aspect is clear cut… these astonishing creatures are indeed frontline professionals and without them many of our human frontline professionals would suffer and potentially not survive incidents they might have to engage in. They do indeed deserve the best possible protection and care in return for their unquestionable loyalty and service.

But should there still be a distinction between ‘human’ and ‘animal’?

What are your thoughts?

Should a thriving and driven body armour consultancy and manufacturer entirely focus on the protection of human frontline professionals?

Your input is greatly and genuinely appreciated.

We at PPSS Group never aim to be the biggest body armour firm in the world… but we aim to become the best!

Please email us at info@ppss-group.com with my personal assurance that your email will reach me!

Take good care of yourself.

Robert Kaiser, CEO
PPSS Group

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Can Body Armour Effectively Help Protect Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers?

400105 - PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vest Model

400105 – PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vest Model (offering UK Home Office certified stab protection + unmatched protection from blunt force trauma assaults and hypodermic needles)

In an ever changing world, where a lack of respect and lack of discipline are the order of the day, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as lightweight stab resistant vests have become an essential piece of equipment for many county court bailiffs as well as high court enforcement officers.

We all need to understand that a lack of adequate safety measures can put these individuals at unnecessary risk, and cause unacceptable injury or harm… that’s a matter of fact and equally of relevance to police and law enforcement officers just as much as to those professionals engaging with sometimes intoxicated, racially abusive, hostile and dangerous members of the public when knocking on their door.

Clearly I am no expert in county court or high court enforcement… so I decided to have a chat with some of the guys who really know their stuff here in the UK.

My first contact was Andy Coates (CEO of Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd.) He has been in the enforcement and investigation industries since 1986. He is a former executive council member of the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA), Enforcement Services Association ESA, a former governing council member of the Association of British Investigators (ABI) and former President of National Association of Investigators and Process Servers NAIPS. He is currently Vice President and one of the founding members of the Certificated Enforcement Agents Association.

When we both discussed the potential use of body armour within his line of work he said:

“Even after all these years I like to have a hands on approach and go out into the field at the sharp end at least a couple of days a week. When I go out, safety has always been a high priority and after being attacked with a knife some years ago I have always worn body armour… and now when I deliver training courses I bring in my stab resistant vest and show it to the students advising them to purchase similar equipment. This has become increasingly important as in the last two years alone I have personally known at least a dozen bailiffs who have been seriously assaulted or attacked with knives.”

Andrew-Wilson-LogoPaul Smith, Enforcement Operations Manager at Andrew Wilson & Co, one of the leading High Court Enforcement Offices in the country, said:

“We are increasingly finding that our officers are being met with physical, as well as verbal abuse on a more regular basis.  Attacks are rare, but pushing and shoving is more common and threats with a hammer, a scaffolding pole and a screwdriver are examples of recent incidents. We are looking at the safety issues for our officers and making stab resistant vests available is our current priority. We have had a recent incident of one of our officers being threatened with a shotgun, but this is most unusual; as our work often involves enforcement on industrial sites, threats with garage tools and engineering equipment are more normal”.

shergroup_1379424925_140When discussing this subject via an online platform also with Claire Sandbrook, CEO of widely respected High Court Enforcement Agency Shergroup, Claire commented:

“I support the idea of body armour way out in front to the use of body cameras which seen to be increasing in popularity in the rank and file of bailiff companies… for me protective vests are more important than body cameras, which I think can inflame situations rather than protecting officers or the public.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that our officers are encountering more risk as they look to enforce possession orders and money judgments. However the sharp end is when carrying out evictions and here the temperature of a situation can escalate quickly as a person loses their home.”

The list of news snips covering stories of serious physical assaults or attempted assaults would fill this page with ease.  I have found dozens of articles, some of which are a truly worrying and a sad reflection of today’s society, but more importantly they offer us a little bit of an insight view of the risks and threats faced by these frontline professionals.

Examples of Recent Incidents:

  • Armed Debtor Chased Bailiff With Nine Inch Knife (click here)
  • Knife Wielding Man Chased Bailiffs Down The Street And Threatened to Kill Them (click here)
  • Lewis Bedford Threatens To Chop Up Two Bailiffs With Samurai Sword (click here)
  • Fishery Bailiff Kicked To The Ground And Stabbed (click here)
  • Police Officer Stabbed In Chest While Helping Bailiffs (click here)
  • Enforcement Agent Stabbed By Illegal Tenant (click here)
  • Man Jailed For Stabbing Bailiff With Large Knife (click here)

We have to accept that some individuals are seriously bad people with no concerns of the well-being of others whatsoever and a real disregard for human life in general.

We also have to accept that even if you are lucky enough to have the most beautiful personality, the voice of an angel and out of this world communication skills… the fact of the matter remains that someone who is seriously intoxicated, drunk or under the influence of serious drugs, or someone who is just having a really shit day or recovering from any other types of serious emotional trauma may well overreact to anything you are going to say or planning to do.

Dealing with individuals like this means exposing yourself to real risks!

Effective conflict management or conflict resolution training can make a positive difference. The potential use of body worn video solutions have also been discussed by several enforcement agencies all over the world.

Model 400102 - PPSS Covert Stab Resistant Vests

Model 400102 – PPSS Covert Stab Resistant Vests (offering UK Home Office certified stab protection + unmatched protection from blunt force trauma assaults and hypodermic needles)

I personally believe strongly that covert stab resistant vests or overt stab resistant vests (manufactured under strict ISO 9001:2008 quality controlled conditions) can make a real difference too.

For me body armour are the ‘last line of defence’, something that can make the difference between injury or no injury… between life and death… when everything else has failed.

When it comes to the question “what type of body armour?”… we need to understand the true operational risks and threats these officer are facing on a daily basis.

Here in the UK the threats can quiet easily be listed, in order of ‘likelihood’, starting with the most realistic and most likely type of assault:

  • Blunt Force Trauma Threat – This can be a kick, a punch or blow by a blunt object, such as a hammer, brick, iron bar, baseball bat or any other tool, toy or device.  Upon impact the assaulted person would suffer from blunt force trauma injuries… most likely in the form of sever bruising and internal bleeding.
  • Edged Weapon Threat – This can be a common knife, broken bottle, razor blade or similar weapon. Please note there are five areas of your body where key arteries are located close to the surface.  The cutting of any of these key arteries would lead to rapid blood loss and potential death.  The regions/key arteries are: Radial Artery (Wrist), Brachial Artery (along the bicep), Carotid Artery (throat), Axillary Artery (under your arm pits) and Femoral Artery (in the thigh region).  We strongly recommend PPSS Slash Resistant Clothing or PPSS Slash Resistant Arm Guards to protect from such operational risk/threat.
  • Hypodermic Needles Threat – We have to remind ourselves that many have survived being shot and many have survived being stabbed. Being assaulted by a person with a hypodermic needle which contains HIV or Hepatitis C infected blood may well be your death sentence!
  • Ballistic Threat – In the UK this is an EXCEPTIONALLY unlikely threat! Yes, we do hear about firearm related incidents… but 99% of these assaults are committed between members of rivalled criminal gangs, not against an enforcement officer. The type of firearm that has seen an increase in ‘number of attacks’ is the ‘sawn-off shotgun’.  However, please note that no covert bullet proof vest will offer protection from such threat.  The pellets would not penetrate a good quality bullet resistant vests, but the blunt force trauma would be extreme and severe. It is most likely that several of your ribs would break and most likely penetrate some internal organs, which could lead to rapid blood loss and even death.

Understanding this, you really want to seek protection from the top three risks!

All high performance stab resistant vests manufactured by UK headquartered PPSS Group offer more than sufficient levels of protection from these identified and realistic threats.

The following video could be classed as ‘physical evidence’:

So what is the legal position?

Do company owners have a legal obligation to make PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) available?

Please note, here in the UK it is as follows:

  • Employers are required to make a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risks involved in their business operations.
  • When conducting the risk assessment the employer is required to consider “reasonably foreseeable” risks, and these risks would include the possibility of an employee in a confrontational role being assaulted.
  • Employers are obliged to use “safe systems of work” which is why they must first do a risk assessment.
  • If the risk assessment identifies the possibility of being stabbed as a significant risk then control measures must be designed into the safe system of work to either eliminate or minimise this risk.
  • If, having considered all potential management techniques, the risk of being stabbed cannot be reduced below a significant level then the employer should consider the use of body armour – and will have to meet the cost of such equipment.

* above bullet points courtesy of Andy Farrall, Health & Safety Specialist

Having said that… maybe we should consider issuing body armour for ‘moral’ reasons. Maybe because we care about the personal safety of our officers and employees?

‘Seat Belt’ Comparison

When I write about the potential use of any type of body armour within any profession… I never recommend body armour because I am suggesting everyone is danger all the time and neither does it mean I suggest one should get paranoid or scared 24 hours a day.

I simply say that common sense will tell us that someone dealing with potentially hostile, violent, intoxicated, frustrated or angry members of the public on a daily basis will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in the unlikely, but nevertheless possible case of something going wrong.

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. We are not frightened every time we get into the car. We might even feel our driving skills are advanced… in fact brilliant.  We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that another person is not paying the necessary attention, is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or simply is playing within his mobile phone… and he could be responsible for your crash. If this becomes reality, you have increased the chance of survival by wearing a seat belt.

We at UK headquartered PPSS Group are globally respected and renowned experts in body armour for civil and homeland security agencies as well as other domestic frontline services, such as paramedics, hospital security, brand protection, investigation teams, civil enforcement teams and public transport professionals.

On a different or additional note… I can see many bailiffs discussing the subject of body armour via different online platforms eg Facebook, Linkedin and specific forums.  Some suggest or even recommend second hand or ‘retired’ ex police body armour, or body armour from eBay or an army surplus store. My comment?  Don’t do it!  Seriously… DON’T !

You haven’t got a clue what the real history of that body armour is.  How old is the protective material?  How have they been stored or taken care of?  How many fights and physical confrontation have they seen? Please note that 99% of body armour are made out of Kevlar… and Kevlar will degrade within 3-5 years subject to exposure to UV light and moisture e.g. sweat, rain, fog. mist rain etc. Kevlar based body armour have a limited shelf life and the one you might consider to buy cheap and cheerful may well not offer the sufficient level of protection you expect.

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests are made out of body moulded polycarbonate (identical to police riot shields)… they offer an unlimited lifespan and unmatched protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles.

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

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

Posted in Body Armour, Stab Proof Vests, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Effectively Helping Protect Public Transport Professionals

Train ticket inspector

public transport professionals / revenue inspectors / revenue protection officers

In an ever changing world, where a lack of respect and lack of discipline are the order of the day, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as lightweight stab resistant vests have become an essential piece of equipment for many public transport professionals, ‘revenue inspectors’ or ‘revenue protection officers’.

We all need to understand that a lack of adequate safety measures can put these individuals at unnecessary risk, and cause unacceptable injury or harm… that’s a matter of fact and equally of relevance to police and law enforcement officers just as much as to those professionals engaging with sometimes intoxicated, racially abusive, hostile and dangerous members of the public on a train or bus.

In fact… right now while I am writing this blog… the British Transport Police and Chief Constable Paul Crowther are hosting a dedicated conference aimed at tackling and preventing violence and anti-social behaviour on public transport!

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.

Recent News Snips:

I can assure you this list would fill this page with ease.  I have found more than 50 news reports of assaults on public transport employees in 2014 alone, some of which are a truly worrying reflection of today’s society in my opinion.  You really can notice a serious lack of respect for authority and you can tell some of these guys causing the distress have no concern or fear of any repercussions or punishments that may follow such crime.  Anyway… let me not get carried away here!

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.

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 wilfully interfering with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway.

In many cases, successful conflict management or conflict resolution training for all public facing employees can make a real positive difference.

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

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the university security’s first choice of body armour as they also create an image of ‘being approachable’.

Many of our corporate customer says that PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests create an image of ‘being approachable’… something that expresses ‘safety’.

I personally believe strongly that UK manufactured covert stab resistant vests or overt stab resistant vests can make a real difference too.  For me body armour are the ‘last line of defence’, something that can make the difference between injury or no injury… between life and death… when everything else has failed.

You may have the most beautiful personality, your voice might have the sound of an angel and your communication skills may well be superb.  The fact of the matter is that someone who is seriously intoxicated, drunk or under the influence of serious drugs, or someone who is just having a really shit day may well overreact to everything you are going to say.

Here in the UK it is as follows*:

  • Employers are required to make a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risks involved in their business operations.
  • When conducting the risk assessment the employer is required to consider “reasonably foreseeable” risks, and these risks would include the possibility of an employee in a confrontational role being assaulted.
  • Employers are obliged to use “safe systems of work” which is why they must first do a risk assessment.
  • If the risk assessment identifies the possibility of being stabbed as a significant risk then control measures must be designed into the safe system of work to either eliminate or minimise this risk.
  • If, having considered all potential management techniques, the risk of being stabbed cannot be reduced below a significant level then the employer should consider the use of body armour – and will have to meet the cost of such equipment.

* above bullet points courtesy of Andy Farrall, Health & Safety Specialist

Well, in this context what is a “reasonably foreseeable” risk? This is something you will have to answer or the person charged with the health and safety of your workforce.

Governments are keen to tighten up some legal requirements to ensure organisations are taken personal safety more and more serious. Corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide laws as well as health & safety regulations have been rewritten in countries around the world.  This has been done to protect our workforce, and this includes public transport professionals.

Assaults on personnel who are not wearing body armour or other types of protective clothing also creates bad publicity for the organisation concerned, not to mention the welfare of the person involved and operational implications resulting from the injured staff being unable to work.

‘Seat Belt’ Comparison

When I write about the potential use of any type of body armour within any profession… I never recommend body armour because I am suggesting everyone is danger all the time and neither does it mean I suggest one should get paranoid or scared 24 hours a day.

seat-belts-signI simply say that common sense will tell us that someone dealing with potentially hostile, violent or intoxicated members of the public on a daily basis will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in the unlikely, but nevertheless possible case of something going wrong.

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. We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that we might crash. Yet, if this chance becomes reality, you have increased the chance of survival by wearing a seat belt.

400105 - PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vest Model

400105 – PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vest Model

We at UK headquartered PPSS Group are globally respected and renowned experts in body armour for civil and homeland security agencies as well as other domestic frontline services, such as paramedics, hospital security, brand protection, investigation teams, civil enforcement teams and public transport professionals.

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

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

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Should Stab Resistant Vests Become Standard Equipment For University Security Guards?

PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests

PPSS 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.

Stab Resistant Vests have become an essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for many frontline professionals.

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.

The question I would like to explore very briefly is why should University Guards be issued with stab resistant vests?

To start with it really is worth pointing out that assaults on university security officers do happen. It certainly is not anything I make up in order to boost our body armour sales.  I think anyone who knows me a little will understand this.

For example…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. 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.” 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.

We need to understand one of the main roles of a security guard is to question the presence of strangers within the university campus/complex and conduct night patrols. With most university towns also having an active night life the presence of intoxicated students is reality.

Their job is also to secure 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, and I believe these individuals will be willing to ‘cross a few lines’ in order to avoid identification or arrest. They may not assault an university security guard with the direct intention to hurt or even kill… but with one clear goal in mind… their successful getaway!

For these reasons 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 form 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) more common than an edged weapon attack, and b) can just be as severe or damaging than an edged weapon attack.

Several University Security Managers have been enquiring as to the use of 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.

Due to a general increase in anti-social behaviour and lack of respect in today’s society PPSS Group have developed a new type of stab resistant vests for security guards, which protects the ribs, spine and all vital organs not only from knife and needle attacks but from blunt force trauma generated by a punch, kick or blow by a blunt instrument. Our equipment is of course certified by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) and are available in covert, overt or hi viz overt models.

PPSS Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the university security’s first choice of body armour as they also create an image of ‘being approachable’.

PPSS ultra lightweight Hi Viz Overt Stab Resistant Vests have become the university security’s first choice of body armour as they also create an image of ‘being approachable’.

If you would like more information on this topic please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

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. This ground-breaking fabric is the world’s strongest cut resistant fabric and is now used to manufacture slash resistant clothing for police, military, emergency services, prisons and private security professionals all over the world.

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Can Stab Resistant Vests Improve The Safety Of Parking Enforcement Professionals / Traffic Wardens?

Parking Enforcement Officers and Traffic Wardens are just some of many front-line professional often employed by local governments, and often subject to verbal abuse and even serious physical assaults.

Preventing the abuse and attacks and subsequent injuries on Parking Enforcement Professionals or Traffic Wardens has now become a real issue and task for many Local Governments.

Are you aware of the fact that hundreds of Parking Enforcement Professionals are being attacked every year here in the UK alone?

Did you know that work-related violence is a contributing factor to stress and absenteeism among staff costing UK employers £700 million annually.

So, do I think that concealable and lightweight stab resistant vests should be considered when  discussing and evaluating how we can effectively help protect these men and women?

Yes I certainly do, and I say this absolutely regardless of the fact that I lead a firm specialized in the design, development and manufacturing of such equipment. I say it because I genuinely and simply care about human life and I would stress that it is crucial to look after those who operate in a ‘higher risk environment’ and those engaging with potentially hostile, intoxicated, frustrated, depressed or aggressive members of the public!

We know that a person who is either intoxicated, simply has a serious dislike for the organisation you represent or aggressively disagrees with any decision you are about to make can overreact to anything you say or do.  A lightweight high visibility stab resistant vest will protect you in such case from any impulsive physical assault such person might commit (and possibly deeply regret the following day for the rest of his/her life).

This following image highlights that a body armour does not always need to look ‘authoritative’, ‘offensive’ or ‘confrontational’.  We live in a society where a high visibility clothing has become the norm for workwear for many professionals.  This type of body armour can be ‘fine tuned’ with the corporate badge highlighting the name and logo of a Local Government and a badge ‘PARKING ENFORCEMENT‘ can also easily be added to the back.

PPSS Hi VIz Overt Stab Resistant Vests offer certified protection from edged weapon as well as unrivaled protection form blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles!

Truly outrageous physical attacks on Parking Enforcement Officers have been revealed in data released by local authorities across the UK and many other countries.

Statements of enforcement professionals, such as the following, have been recorded for several research projects on workplace violence within parking enforcement:

“I’ve been assaulted several times. Been involved in parking for 30 years. I was attacked with a knife many years ago. I was also robbed at knifepoint of car park takings. Broken ribs/driven at/ punched/ spat at/ pushed around. Abuse is general, not from any specific age or gender. Lots of ancillary abuse from passers-by.”

Freedom of Information requests revealed:

  • Two female Parking Enforcement Officers in Durham were sprayed with deodorant before the cans were used as flame-throwers towards them.
  • On High Street, in Sedgefield, a member of the public deliberately drove onto the pavement so they could try and run a Parking Enforcement Officer over.
  • A Parking Enforcement Officer in Harrogate was told “you are such a ****” before being dragged alongside a moving car and held onto by a driver who was angry because he was asked if he had a pay and display ticket.
  • The driver of a black BMW in Ripon headbutted a Parking Enforcement Officer after telling him “he was going to do him” for issuing a parking ticket.
  • A lorry driver approached a Parking Enforcement Officer in Fisher Street car park, Knaresborough, and told him: “I will kill you if I ever see you out of uniform.”

I can only invite everyone interested in this subject to read the dissertation: “An analysis of the extent of workplace violence in the Parking Enforcement Sector: A study of violence and abuse towards Parking Enforcement Staff in Bournemouth” by Michael A. Thompson. It is a truly outstanding piece of research!

Recent statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act also reveal incidents of council staff in the UK being punched, bitten, head-butted, attacked with pool cues and even suffering sexual abuse. Many of these attacks have resulted in injuries bad enough for the worker to require hospital treatment and often surgery. The media is full of reports covering these incidents.. but the following is certainly only a very brief selection of the many incidents that have made the news:

Headlines & Additional Information:

PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests also offer unmatched protection from hypodermic needles as well as blunt force trauma.

PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests also offer unmatched protection from hypodermic needles as well as blunt force trauma.

The most recent news dated 9th April is covering a incident, which saw two builders attacking a traffic warden, punching and kicking the victim until he falls to the ground.

We must admit these statistics and news of incidents are a stark reminder of the dangers faced by many public sector workers as they go about their work – often on relatively low levels of pay.

We will hopefully also agree that all of our public servants should feel safe to carry out their important work without the threat of physical and verbal abuse.

However, we also must accept the fact that the above can be classed as ‘wishful thinking’ and may well not be part of reality in today’s society… certainly not in certain parts of this country.

For this reasons appropriate and operationally sensible protection for these frontline professionals is something that needs looking at.

‘Protection’ can and/or should include effective conflict management training, lone worker safety devices (tracking & alarm systems), body worn video solutions and covert stab resistant vests or overt stab resistant vests or hi viz overt stab resistant vests.

Who else is at risk?

  • Parking Enforcement Officers are at risk of verbal and physical attacks from angry drivers who express their frustration and anger via unacceptable physical action, which they may well regret minutes later.
  • Environmental Health Officers – Enforcing regulations and policing the systems places officers at risk from violence as well as accidents at work… especially when working within ‘out of hours noise control’ or ‘fly tipping’ operations.
  • Trading Standard Officers – Visiting car boot sales and assisting police during raids against counterfeit equipment and traveller’s sides can be a high risk job at times. Some officer have been threatened by edged weapon, axes and even shot guns.
  • Licensing Enforcement Officers – Visiting nightclubs, taxi ranks, takeaways and other late night venue puts them in contact with intoxicate and sometimes hostile members of the public.
  • Housing Officers – Verbal and physical attacks from tenants, when discussing issues such as ‘rent areas’ or major disturbances.
  • Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour Teams –  I guess that’s somehow self-explanatory especially when looking at some of the run down states in this country.
  • Benefit Fraud Investigators – Professionals whose job it is to investigate those committing all types of benefit fraud… and often suffer from assaults when exposed.
  • Social Workers – Staff are often required to work at all hours, including late at night often in deprived and run down areas, dealing with individuals under the influence of alcohol and class A drugs.

To make it very clear, I am of course not saying everyone working for a Local Government is at risk of getting stabbed or brutally assaulted… of course not. This is of course depending on a number of factors e.g. are you working alone, time of work, location of work, and precise job responsibilities.  However I feel strongly that any public sector professional must have the right to be equipped appropriately.

I have stated it so many times over the past few years… but every time I speak to my staff I explain it again and again… we do not want to sell body armour based on the fear of our customers, we much prefer to explain that wearing a body armour can very well be compared to ‘wearing a seat belt in a car’.

We do not put the seat belt on because we believe we are going to have an accident today. We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that we might crash.. regardless of our driving skills.  We understand that someone else might be playing on his mobile phone, another driver could be drunk or simply not pay the required attention to the traffic, and such person CAN drive into your car… and it is without any question that you will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in such unlikely, but nevertheless possible incident if you would wear a seat belt.

But we do not put the seat belt on because we believe we are going to have an accident today… we are not paranoid and scared or anxious. We are simply acknowledging the fact that there is an exceptionally small chance that we might crash. Yet, if this chance becomes reality, you have increased the chance of survival by wearing a seat belt.

Wearing a body armour is just the same…

Please also note that Canadian Parking Enforcement Officers are de facto Peace Officers. This means that assault on a Canadian Parking Enforcement Officer or Bylaw Officer conducting traffic bylaw enforcement is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada as Assault on a Peace Officer and carries higher penalties than standard assault. Maybe this is something other countries can look into to ‘discourage’ other from assaulting these officers?

UK based PPSS Group is dedicated to designing, developing and manufacturing of high performance bullet resistant vests, stab resistant vests and cut resistant clothing, in order to protect these domestic frontline professionals.

Please note PPSS Group is also the organiser of the annual LONE WORKER SAFETY Expo, taking place in November every year at London’s Olympia Conference Center.

If you feel we can help please call me or my colleagues on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com

Posted in Body Armour, Stab Proof Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PPSS Slash & Needle Resistant Gloves… using Cut-Tex® PRO

PPSS Group’s new range of high performance slash resistant gloves: Model ‘HERACLES’

The 2015 range of PPSS Slash & Needle Resistant Gloves is being manufactured using our very own high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, offering tested and certified protection to those operating in higher risk environments.

As a manufacturer of some of the world’s leading bullet and stab resistant vests, we have been looking for new and ingenious fabrics and combinations of fibres to achieve the greatest cut protection possible, whilst still allowing you, the wearer, enough dexterity to perform all of your required activities.

After evaluating all facts and figures we feel that Cut-Tex® PRO, our in fact very own fabric is the ultimate choice for our slash resistant gloves models, offering BS EN 388:2003 Blade Cut Resistance Level  5 (the highest possible), Abrasion Resistance Level 4 (the highest possible) and Tear Resistance Level 4 (the highest possible).

It is also worth pointing out that all models are available with, or without BS EN 388:2003 Puncture Resistance Level 4 (the highest possible), something that is often of greatest importance to those frontline professionals who frequently come in contact with hypodermic needles.

PPSS Slash & Needle Resistant Gloves are now being worn by law enforcement, prison and private security officers as well as other homeland security and civil enforcement professionals around the world.

PPSS Group's new range of high performance slash resistant gloves: Model 'ARES'

PPSS Group’s new range of high performance slash resistant gloves: Model ‘ARES’

A while ago we have sent a pair of our superb ‘ARES’ model to BlueSheepdog.com, a U.S. based police training site dedicated to officer safety in order to conduct an independent test. The men behind BlueSheepdog.com go way beyond the basics of the law enforcement academy and offer officers the training they need to become safer, more effective cops. They decided to put our slash resistant gloves to the test in order to find out how good they really are.

They actually really tried to destroy them with a bunch of some serious tactical knives.  Well we didn’t expect anything less… in fact we thought ‘good on them’!

The conclusion they came to was that all slash resistant gloves, just like our ‘ARES’ model are thicker than normal average fashion or tactical gloves, and yes you do lose some fine dexterity while wearing them. However they made it crystal clear that in their opinion none of the gloves provided by our competitors (using different types of protective fabrics) were anywhere near as comfortable enough for constant wearing.

They felt the best use for slash and puncture resistant gloves is clearly when searching other human beings (especially prisoners or hostile members of the public during an arrest scenario) and cars, as there is a pretty good chance of running into something sharp, and this type of gloves can prevent a trip to the hospital for stitches and pathogen exposure treatment. Be assured neither are fun.

PPSS Group’s new range of high performance slash resistant gloves: Model ‘PALLAS’

PPSS Group’s new range of high performance slash resistant gloves: Model ‘PALLAS’

So, what good is a review of protective gloves if the party testing the gloves don’t pull out a knife (or in this case four of them) and try to cut through our gloves? Well, that is exactly what the guys from BlueSheepdog.com did.

As you can see in their video (check their website), the guys from BlueSheepdog.com took multiple swipes with different knives and our high performance slash resistant gloves did very well.

They used each knife to cut the palm side. All of the knives cut through the palm grip and non-protective nylon material easily. However, none of the knives penetrated the Cut-Tex® PRO fabric.

CRKT Triumph

CRKT Triumph

The final knife (the CRKT Triumph) did manage to break through the Cut-Tex® PRO lining from the back side of the glove. But, when we spoke to BlueSheepdog.com we all agreed that we cannot consider the gloves to be a failure. Just like bullet resistant vests, cut resistant gloves provide an exceptional level of resistance and protection… but a bullet resistant vest can be defeated too, that’s simply subject to the speed, the velocity, weight and several other technical aspects of the round being fired at the body armour.

The concluding reassuring statement by BlueSheepdog.com was as follows:

“The gloves withstood more than can reasonably be expected of them. I think the ‘ARES’ Slash Resistant Gloves by PPSS Group are a real high quality item that offer a brilliant and reliable level of cut protection. When viewed as a tool, not a magic solution, they are definitely worth the purchase.”

I can certainly live with this conclusion.  It is once again another great endorsement from frontline professionals with several years of operational experience highlighting that whatever my firm designs, develops and manufactures is ‘right’ and ‘good’.

The new updated 2015 range of our PPSS Slash & Needle Resistant Gloves features several new and upgraded models.  The 2015 PPSS Slash & Needle Resistant Gloves catalogue can now be viewed online click here

Please note that PPSS Group as well as PPSS North America Inc can only service minimum order volumes of 10 pair, but we are happy to put you in touch with one of our international distributors and their online shops.

In case you have any questions… please visit our global website www.ppss-group.com email my team info@ppss-group.com or call our UK based global headquarters HQ on +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Our U.S. based legal entity PPSS North America Inc. will look after our U.S. and Canada based friends and customers, so please contact us in case we can be of assistance. Visit www.ppss-northamerica.com email info@ppss-northamerica.com or call 800-928-4802

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Body Armour Can Help Protect Housing Enforcement Officers

Frontline Housing Officers charged with solving bitter neighbourhood disputes and delivering ‘bad news’ are at risk of being assaulted. In my professional opinion it is without question that lightweight and thin body armour can effectively help improve their personal safety.

Housing enforcement officers have always been at potential risk of verbal abuse and physical violence from members of the public.

Frontline housing officers carry out a range of highly sensitive work, such as collecting rent arrears and dealing with anti-social behaviour and sometimes very ‘intense’ neighbour disputes. They often have to deliver unwelcome messages, perhaps turning down a housing application, or a request for a repair which is the resident’s responsibility. I strongly believe that concealable or overtly worn stab resistant vests can help protect these professionals when being attacked by those expressing their anger via physical action.

However, recent reports also show the number of pre-eviction notices soaring by 26% across UK social housing.  In fact, one in every 105 households in England is at risk from repossession or eviction, new statistics have revealed.

Housing charity Shelter’s research found ‘hotspots’ around the country where the chance of family losing its home is even higher. In Nottingham and Luton, one in 60 homes are at risk, whilst in Salford one in 61 is threatened. In both Newcastle upon Tyne and Wolverhampton one in 63 homes is at risk.

But the area where the threat of eviction or repossession is highest is the London borough of Newham, where as many as one in every 35 homes is at risk.

Shelter’s helpline is currently taking over 470 calls a day, offering support and advice to homeless families and those fighting to stay in their homes. With housing costs soaring and welfare cuts continuing to take their toll, the charity is bracing itself for a record number of calls this Christmas.

But who is dealing with most of the tenants who are either genuinely unable to honour their financial commitment of paying the due rent and also those tenants who simply cannot be bothered to pay the rent and those who simply feel they should not pay anything at all…. society in general or indeed the government owes them one?

Who will the bearer of bad news, verbally engage with some potentially disrespectful, intoxicated and truly hostile tenants, and who will at the end have to take the necessary physical action of evicting the tenant?

In simple terms it will most likely be the Housing Enforcement Officer.

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

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests have become a real necessity within Housing Associations and are worn by frontline housing staff in several countries around the world.

In a survey of 200 social landlords carried out by the Chartered Institute of Housing’s journal Inside Housing, a shocking total of 8,898 assaults on front-line housing staff were reported between January 2009 and April 2012, but please let us not overlook those assaults that remain unreported for whatever reasons.

Here is just a very small ‘chunk’ of this great article:

The research also reveals the number of assaults that occurred between January 2009 and the end of March this year. There were 8,898 verbal and physical assaults reported by housing staff of the 223 organisations that responded to our requests – roughly eight a day across the UK.

Around 1,350 of those assaults against housing staff were physical attacks – more than one a day – with the remainder involving verbal abuse. Perhaps most worryingly, the number recorded has been rising year-on-year. In 2011, landlords reported 2,480 verbal assaults, which was a 13 per cent increase on the number logged in 2010. There was an even larger jump in the number of physical attacks recorded: 483 physical assaults were reported in 2011 – a 35 per cent rise on the previous year.”

Survey Results:

  • 64% of survey respondents who do not report all assaults say incidents are ‘just part of the job’
  • 84% of survey respondents have been verbally assaulted
  • 38% of survey respondents who have been assaulted did not report all incidents to their employer
  • 51% of survey respondents believe their employer is not always doing enough to protect them from assault
  • 8% of survey respondents have had a weapon used against them
  • 1% of survey respondents have been sexually assaulted

The following are just a few news snips highlighting serious safety problems to housing officers around the world:

There are a number of reasons a widely reported increase of assaults on frontline housing staff. Firstly, there is increased pressure on residents as a result of the global financial crisis and the difficult financial situation many are in. This causes stress, which, some people express via verbally and physically aggressive action towards anyone who they perceive as being unhelpful or ‘not understanding enough’.

Housing Managers, led by the Health & Safety Managers, will conduct internal surveys, revaluate risk assessments, potentially make lone worker security devices available and stress the importance of really good training in conflict management and conflict resolution.

I personally feel very strongly that all of the above is truly essential, especially efficient and effective training delivered by someone who REALLY knows what he/she is going on about is just crucial.

However, we also need to understand that a lack of adequate safety measures can put an individual at unnecessary risk, and cause unacceptable injury or harm. Stab Resistant vests have therefore regrettably become a real necessity within Housing Associations and are worn by frontline housing staff in several countries.

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests (Body Armour) offer 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.

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests are available as COVERT, OVERT or HI VIZ OVERT model!

Please view our following video:

Yes, I do agree… the risk of being shot or stabbed is not as high as some news writers might want to make us believe.  However, the risk of someone ‘overreacting’ to you or your colleagues because YOU are just in the process of disconnecting the water, gas or electricity supply, the risk of someone taking aggressive physical action against you because YOU are trying to collect money/rent that person is not able or willing to hand over, or the risk of some ‘overreacting’ and willing to harm you simply because you are not willing or unable to solve their long lasting dispute with their much hated neighbour is a very REAL risk!

PPSS High Visibility Stab Resistant Vests

When such situation arises and when such person is calling you all the ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ words in the world and is throwing the first punch… a body armour can make a real difference.

A body armour will allow you to focus entirely on two objectives… your escape or your defence of your head… because it will be your body armour that will take care of your vital organs, your heart, your lungs and your kidney… and everything else hidden within your rib cage.

I have written this article in April 2013 and of course many things have happened since. Today’s rather interesting, but not surprising news “One in three ‘behind on rent’ since housing benefit changes” is highlighting the fact that a third of council tenants are behind with rent:

  • “The TUC’s False Economy campaign made Freedom of Information requests to all of Britain’s councils; 114 responded. Data revealed 50,000 tenants had fallen into arrears since 1 April 2013 when the housing benefit changes came in.”

It is without question that Council’s Housing Rent Arrear Officers will have their work cut out dealing with these tenants, with some indeed being polite, respectful and reasonable… however some being hostile, intoxicated and abusive.

If you want to speak with my team about stab resistant vests… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Take good care of yourself.

Posted in Body Armour, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment