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:
The radial arterycan 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’.
The brachial artery is located alongside your bicep. This is also a likely artery to be cut during a knife attack and defence.
The carotid arteryis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
I have just returned from an eight day business trip to Beijing, meeting several key government officials, high ranked police and military personnel as well as existing licensed distributors and future business partners.
Of course I had some clear expectations, and some have been exceeded and some have not been met.
My plan was also to meet our licensed distribution partners, especially Jason Yang, CEO of our Taiwan based partner Gong Wei.
Having already successfully introduced our very own high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, as well as our range of PPSS Slash Resistant Clothing, they continue to excel and keep producing these quirky short but quite cool demo videos highlighting the exceptional performance of our above products.
Sometimes it is the simplicity of a video, which can highlight a product’s real performance, and with a little bit of imagination the viewer is able to tell what injuries would have incurred if a human being would suffer from such type of ‘attack’.
Here are two simultaneously playing videos, produced by Gong Wei, highlighting once again the fantastic level of protection Cut-Tex® PRO is offering:
I think it is understandable that it was only a question of time until the media got to hear about this new type of ‘protective clothing’ and expresses some level of interest.
This is exactly what happened shortly after our collaboration commenced in 2014. One of the news channel decided to feature our PPSS Slash Resistant Clothing after Gong Wei kindly introduced our products via a press release they had sent around the country:
The following marketing images also show the kind of professional marketing approach we expect from our international licensed distributors. If a firm comes to the conclusion there is a real business case in representing our company, brand and products, then we believe we have to right to expect a high level of performance, dedication, attention and passion for what we do.
In case you have any questions, either in regards to our high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO or our licensed distribution network in China… please contacts us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953
As CEO of PPSS Group I am dealing with body armour almost every single day of the week. My job is to advise government and homeland security agencies in countries around the world in the latest body armour technology and argue my case why I strongly believe a certain type of body armour is the most appropriate one based on the operational risks, threats and duties of their frontline staff.
One thing has always been a ‘thorn in my eyes’ though. It is my genuine believe that the vast majority of bullet proof vests are of poor, or even exceptional poor quality (please insert any word you fancy replacing ‘exceptional poor’). The performance of most bullet proof vests might be of an acceptable level on the day of testing/certification, but when worn in hot and humid environments by an officer who is actively involved in serious physical confrontations, for several hours a day, several days a week/month/year, that ballistic protection level might well have been reduced by a high percentage due to the use of poor raw materials and craftsmanship and ‘cutting corners’ during the design and manufacturing process.
So, how do we know one body armour is ‘really good’ and that it will do the job even after having been subjected to all types of severe stress for many months and even years?
The ‘guarantee’ now comes in form of the compliance to a very specific ballistic resistance standard.
To ensure that body armour continue to be effective in protecting soldiers, homeland security officers and personal protection specialists, the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) established a body armour standard and testing program back in 1972, and it has been updated five times since then to reflect the design and manufacturing developments of body armour and test methods.
There is no question about it this standard is without any doubt the single most important ballistic resistance standards in the world. The latest is also the most stringent and most important version of it. I am talking here about the ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour’.
So, what has changed? Why was it time for the body armour test protocol to change? Why is it relevant to you and anyone charged with the safety of frontline professionals and those responsible for the purchase of body armour?
Let me start with a simple statement… the NIJ 0101.06 standard means added safety, which has always been the key objective for PPSS Group.
The NIJ 0101.06 standard is the most comprehensive, stringent and rigorous body armour compliance standard that exists today.
A NIJ 0101.06 tested and certified body armour ultimately means increased protection for you. It means ‘reassurance’ and ‘piece of mind’ knowing that you are wearing a body armour based on the very latest design and manufacturing capabilities and technologies.
In the official ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’, John Morgan, Deputy Director for Science and Technology, National Institute of Justice stated:
“The NIJ Standard–0101.06, ‘Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’ is a minimum performance standard developed in collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It is produced as part of the Standards and Testing Program of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. This standard is a technical document that specifies the minimum performance requirements that equipment must meet to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice agencies and the methods that shall be used to test this performance. This standard is used by the NIJ Voluntary Compliance Testing Program (CTP) to determine which body armor models meet the minimum performance requirements for inclusion on the NIJ Compliant Products List. Users are strongly encouraged to have this testing conducted…”
This extremely stringent new ballistic resistance standard increases safety in three ways:
By increased performance against today’s emerging threats
By improved reliability
By superior durability for body armour… ensuring they will cope with the stress they may endure by being worn 10 hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, over several years.
These changes in testing and these new improved minimum performance requirements have been set for several reasons:
To improve performance, so that all officers receive sufficient protection
To provide adequate protection against realistic and likely ballistic threats
To provide assurance that the armour will provide protection through the entire life of its warranty… and not just on day of testing/certification.
The NIJ 0101.06 standard features several crucial, ‘right’ and ‘good’ changes to the previous globally dominating NIJ Standard 0101.04 (Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armour):
Increased test velocities for new armour testing of Types IIA, II and IIIA
Test velocities have been established for conditioned armour testing
Special-threat rounds to be tested at elevated velocities within the special test class
Protection Level IIIA Round Changes
Round changed from a 9mm FMJ RN to a .357FMJ FN
The new NIJ Standard 0101.06 modifies “shot-to-edge” spacing. New spacing allows shots within 2 inches of the edge of the vest for the .357mm SIG FMJ FN and 9mm FMJ RN threats
While maintaining a 2-inch shot-to-shot spacing, the new NIJ Standard 0101.06 changes the pattern of the fourth, fifth and sixth shot to be within a maximum of a 3.94-inch circle
Size of Test Samples
Five standardized armour samples will now be accepted for testing to NIJ Standard-0101.06: smallest, small, medium, large and largest
Manufacturers must submit 2 different sizes for testing
The sizes selected determine the range of sizes that can be produced for that particular model:
One closely matching the smallest production size
One closely matching the largest production size
The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 requires test panels to be fully immersed vertically in a water bath at 70°F for 30 minutes. (Prior standards only required a water spray test for 6 minutes)
Environmental Conditioning (Tumbling) Test
Prior standards did not include environmental condition tests
The new standard requires panels to be tumbled for 72,000 cycles over a 10-day period at 149°F at 80% relative humidity prior to ballistic testing
The conditioned armor portion of the test protocol uses lower velocities, then the reference velocities used with the new armor portion of the test protocol
Number of Samples Required
The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires 28 complete test samples, including front and back panel. (Prior standards required 6 complete test samples)
Angle of Incidence
The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires that, for P-BFS testing, each test panel must be shot with one hit at 30° and another hit at 45° angles
For those of you who prefer to read/see this in form of a table the following will certainly answer some of your key questions:
In case you wish to develop a further, even more in depth understanding of the ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’ then please view the entire official document: click here
Following many of my blogs, most of you will be able to sense that I’m rather passionate when it comes to the protection of domestic frontline professionals.
For me ‘domestic frontline professionals’ are those guys that have chosen a profession to protect, serve and secure our countries and its citizens ‘internally’. It’s a massive group of professionals representing a variety of sectors… e.g. police, border control, prison, immigration, private security, facility management, public transport… as well as mental health care professionals and similar sectors.
This blog is dedicated to those who don’t directly ‘secure’ our countries or citizens ‘internally’, but those who have chosen a truly amazing profession, understanding the reasonable levels of risk every day they go to work. I am talking about mental health care and health care professionals, special educational needs teachers and others who deal with challenging behaviour.
Going back in time just a bit… on 6th July 2011 a large group of employees gathered at the entrance of Metropolitan State Hospital, in Norwalk, California, to protest the unsafe working conditions at this California Department of Mental Health (DMH) hospital.
After psychiatric technician Donna Gross was killed by a patient in October the year before in the nearby Napa State Hospital, many mental health care professionals at the Metropolitan State Hospital reported that many of the same safety problems that contributed to the death of Donna Gross are also present at their hospital.
In a harrowing video that surfaced a while back, a 68-year-old hospital patient attacks a group of nurses with a pipe pulled from his bed. They flee through a nearby door in a streak of rainbow scrubs, but the patient pursues and lands several more blows on one fallen nurse in the hallway.
This assault is far from an isolated incident. Health care workers are punched, kicked, scratched, bitten, spat on, threatened and harassed by patients or now called service users’ with surprising regularity. In a2014 survey, almost 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. reported being attacked on the job within the past year. Health care workers experience the most nonfatal workplace violence related injuries compared to other professions by a wide margin, that’s according to widely available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here in the UK this is not much different. Having personally met a number of highly experienced mental health care professionals at two of the only three high secure hospitals in England, I can confirm that numerous incidents of similar significance have been recorded here as well.
A study of 69 NHS trusts and private hospitals in England and Wales carried out a few years ago said that some 46% of nurses in mental health wards for working age patients said they had been assaulted.
To make this crystal clear here, I am fully aware that those committing the assaults are not always ‘bad people’. Having said that… clearly they could bad through and through, but in many cases they are not.
However, violent incidents within these sectors/fields although underreported, are a substantial problem and really deserve our attention. Aggression and violent action might arise from dementia, delirium, injury to the head and brain, tumour, substance and alcohol abuse and withdrawal, mental health conditions and learning disabilities. It may also result from other factors, such as bereavement, anxiety and fear or adverse reactions to medication and treatment.
So what can we do to protect those professionals, who without a doubt do an extraordinary job every day they come to work?
Violence prevention programs reduce the risk of assault by training workers to recognise frequent cues, such as drug use and threatening body language, and educating them about strategies to help defuse situations. Precise incident reporting is a crucial part of this type of intervention, as it helps hospitals identify specific hazards, such as poor lighting, understaffing, and inadequate safety training, and take steps to remedy them.
Well, there is no doubt that offering realistic and effective training such as conflict management, conflict resolution and physical intervention training must be priority and is of great importance, but what is about personal protective clothing or equipment?
Ultra-lightweight body armour have recently been developed in order to offer effective protection from punches, kicks and other types of blows using blunt objects. Based on countless incident records, reports and statements this is without any question the most ‘likely’ type of assault mental health care professionals will suffer from when being assaulted.
A link to a unique type of body armour, designed and manufactured by PPSS Group, offering an exceptional high level of protection from such risk as well as from edged weapon can be found here: click here
PPSS Body Armour | COVERT Stab Resistant Vest Model
Clearly… if a firearm or edged weapon is being used in such attack the security service of that facility needs a bit of a talking to I guess.
Having said that… ‘improvised edged weapon’ e.g. broken DVD’s or light bulbs, as well as razor blades are found frequently in such environment. What a nightmare to control, search and find these nasty things.
However, as stated just second ago professionals working within mental secure health care facilities or schools specialised within severe learning disabilities, challenging behaviour, special needs or autism, are frequently subject to a type of assault that leads to blunt trauma injuries.
The second most ‘likely’ type of assault mental health care workers and teachers specialised in the above fields may face is the threat/risk of a human bite. I can talk about several stories involving human bites, including stories which include myself.
I remember that day pretty well… ending up in a hospital for blood tests… with my wife joining me at that hospital… being told by the doctor I will have a ‘result’ in 14 days.
These 14 days have been an interesting time. Interesting conversations between me and my wife took place. I knew I haven’t slept with another person… I knew I had not taken any illegal drugs via any hypodermic needles or in any other form… and still there was that risk of Hepatitis C and HIV (AIDS) etc that was in my head every single day. That guy who bit me didn’t look as when he took immense care in his personal hygiene… so 14 days had to go by until I was given the all clear.
After having listened to so many other similar stories I gave the instructions to create a new brand within my firm called BitePRO, a brand of clothing and arm guards offering protection from human bites. To view a dedicated website please click on the following image:
We have utilised our very own high performance fabric Cut-Tex® PRO to create these garments to improve the personal safety of these professionals and protect them from potentially life threatening infections and viruses following a human bite.
I strongly believe that personal protective clothing is something that can effectively reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries. However, my emphasis would be of issuing personal protective clothing that is none-aggressive or none-confrontational looking. We certainly want to enable those professionals to let their personality shine, use their diplomatic and interpersonal skills in order to defuse the risk of any potential escalation without giving away that protective clothing is being worn. We certainly do not want them to look like ‘the aggressor’.
Personal protective clothing just needs to ‘be there’ in the background, on standby, ready to protect and perform when things go wrong.
In response to the truly shocking and unforgettable event that shocked the world on the 11th September 2001, airlines across the globe took a number of now necessary actions to protect the lives of their passengers.
Air marshals (also known as sky marshals or flight marshals) are undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings.
It has become their mission to detect, deter and defeat hostile individuals on board on an aircraft. They are highly trained in investigative techniques and criminal or terrorist behaviour recognition. To state the obvious… they are clearly pretty good at blending in with passengers.
Sig Sauer P250 Compact
The sidearm of choice of the Federal Air Marshal Service is the Sig Sauer P250 Compact, after previously using the P229. While the P229 is the company’s most widely-used pistol by law enforcement professionals nationwide, it is only available in three calibres and does not offer the customisation of the P250.
However, the decision to utilise the P250 might not have been as transparent as one would hope for at that time. The home of the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service was raided in 2013… following allegations that Federal Air Marshal supervisor D.P. was using his relationship with Sig Sauer to obtain discounted and free guns. Apparently he then provided them to high-up agency officials for their personal use.
Anyway… suggesting air marshals should wear concealable bullet proof vests does not necessary mean I also suggest there is a high risk of firearms being used within an aircraft environment. However I certainly suggest there is some risk we need to accept, and this one includes the risk and threat of all sorts of types of improvised ballistic weapon, as well as improvised edged weapon or hypodermic needles, which can represent immediate danger to the cabin crew and passengers.
A brief video of the Israeli Air Marshal training can be viewed here:
So, who are these air marshals? When did this all start?
The air marshals are not a new phenomenon and their job can certainly not be described as ‘cool’ or ‘overly exciting’. They have been on American planes for more than 50 years. The ‘sky marshal’ programme was set up in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy who was concerned about the growing threat of hijacking. The US Federal Aviation Administration began its official “Sky Marshal” program in 1968.
President Richard Nixon boosted the numbers of air marshals and in 1974 gave responsibility for the service to the Federal Aviation Authority.
The numbers were again increased by President Ronald Reagan after the hijacking of TWA flight 947 in June 1985. Lebanese terrorists seized the aircraft in Athens, demanding the release of Shia prisoners. The American public was horrified when American navy diver Robert Stetham was shot and his body dumped on the tarmac. I understand the U.S. Government is still offering a $5 million reward for information that will bring the killers to justice. Anyway… in the very same year 1985 the responsible authority to fight crime on board on aircrafts became known as the Federal Air Marshal Service.
In 1987 the service had 400 marshals working on planes, with a brief to disarm potential armed hijackers, but when terrorists started bombing aircraft rather than hijacking them, attention turned to security on the ground and the service went into near-terminal decline.
Clay Biles, a former Navy SEAL who spent five years as a federal air marshal and is the author of a book about Federal Air Marshals (FAMS) called ‘Unsecure Skies’ says the job of an air marshal is nothing more than watching the cockpit door. “It’s based on the 9/11 mentality of a terrorist hijack team assaulting the cockpit to assume control and fly the aircraft into a designated target as a weapon of mass destruction.”
Would an air marshal get involved in any seriously heated argument? No, they wouldn’t and Clay Biles will agree with that.
On 1st November 2013, when Officer Gerardo Hernandez was shot by a lone gunman at Los Angeles International Airport and lay bleeding on the ground for more than half an hour and later died, Biles says that a team of air marshals was less than 100 yards from the shooter yet failed to respond or engage the threat.
Biles claims their inaction was mostly due to a mentality and unwritten policy that exists at the FAMS’ by upper management that tells air marshals not to get involved.
The Canadian Air Carrier Protection/Protective Program (CACPP) began just 13 years ago on exactly the 17th September 2002, when an agreement was signed between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with Transport Canada and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. This program is been taken care of by specially and highly trained undercover, armed officers, known as Aircraft Protective Officers. They operate on selected domestic and international flights only. Although these professionals are classed as ‘peace officer’ within Canadian territories, they are acting under the Tokyo Convention as a legal basis for getting involved in an incident outside of Canadian airspace.
By law, these officers do not require a permit for importing or exporting their duty firearms (using very unique ammunition) or for justifying their use of their concealable bullet proof vests when crossing the border.
The Commonwealth instituted an Air Security Officer (ASO) Program under the Australian Federal Police in 2001. This particular programme provides a discreet anti-hijacking capability for Australian civil aviation by providing armed security personnel on board of their aircrafts. This involves both random and intelligence-led placement of armed ASOs on flights operated by Australian registered planes, which includes domestic and international flights into and out of Australia.
In Europe law makers have decided on crystal clear rules allowing the use of armed guards on EU flights under strict conditions in early 2008. Although sky marshals within the EU do already operate and wear bullet proof vests, they will be able to carry weapons on flights only if all nations involved agree. These rules were backed by all 27 EU states.
However, under these fairly new regulations, if member states want to adopt more stringent measures than the basic agreed standards, they will have to be “relevant, objective, non-discriminatory and proportional to the risk”
PPSS Group’s Concealable Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1 is ideal for air marshals due to their low weight, low thickness and outstanding breathability.
Personally I feel that anyone with such great responsibilities should be equipped appropriately, and concealable bullet proof vests must be a part of such equipment. The ordinary passenger (including you and me) may well rely on their ability to operate effectively even when any type of shot within an aircraft has been fired or other weapons have been used.
Due to their huge responsibilities and operational risks these professionals require the thinnest, lightest, most comfortable and most concealable bullet proof vests out there. New and truly outstanding NIJ IIIA+concealable bullet proof vests have been developed with especially the operational requirements and personal safety of air marshals in mind.
PPSS Group have developed such covert bullet proof vests, with the aid of outstanding and groundbreaking high performance materials. Manufactured in the UK and utilising a ground-breaking European high performance ballistic material, Cordura® 180 and temperature regulating Outlast® space technology based base layer fabric are part of our latest development. Our covert NIJ IIIA bullet resistant vest model CV1 also offer additional protection from Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm. They have been designed to offer especially air marshals the exceptional protection and comfort they require. They are also undetectable when being checked by metal detectors.
Due to their ‘low profile’ and strict order to remain ‘undetected’, numbers of assaults on air marshals are low despite widely reported incidents, such as the Federal Air Marshal who was attacked on board a plane with a needle containing an unknown substance (click here) on 8th September 2014.
Before going into the technical specifications and other rather important aspects of concealable bullet proof vests there is one thing I must say right at the beginning of my blog: To look after, or to be responsible for the personal security and safety of another human being and often members of their family is without question one of the very best and most rewarding professions one can be part of.
You are very privileged if this is your field… but please ensure you never neglect your very own personal safety whilst doing your job!
Your own security and personal safety
Your hopefully exceptional ability to collect and analyse all available and relevant information will make you be, or become one of the very best in your field… because you will be able not just to do an outstanding job in improving the personal security of your principal or dignitary, but also look after your own safety, as good intelligence will help you plan a few steps ahead and allow you to put effective ‘safety nets’ or contingency plans in place.
However, the matter of fact is that sometimes things don’t go to plan. That’s exactly when you really have to think and act quickly, make crucial decisions, and rely on your operational experience and training and the gear you have invested in, prior to your assignment.
A high performance concealable bullet proof vest must be part of this gear, and my comments here will hopefully provide you with sufficient information, allowing you to invest in the RIGHT and BEST POSSIBLE body armour for you, based on your most realistic operational duties, risks and threats.
Please be aware, as far as equipment is concerned, and beside your weapon… your bullet proof vest will be the only piece of equipment that really can make all the difference between your life and death… between coming home safely or not at all. This should really answer the question “Do I really need a body armour?”
Ballistic Protection Standards
PPSS High Performance Concealable Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1
Concealable bullet proof vests are always designed as, and also called ‘soft body armour’. Very rarely do they feature front and rear pockets for additional hard trauma plates… that’s something you will only find in overtly worn body armour, primarily in use in conflict or hostile environments e.g. war zones, politically unrest countries as well as maritime security. Basically in environments where the realistic ballistic threat is greater than that of any handgun e.g. assault rifles, precision rifles, machine guns or modern personal defence weapon e.g. Belgium’s FN P90 or Germany’s Heckler & Koch MP7. Subject to their stated protection level, concealable bullet proof vests can offer excellent protection from even the most powerful handguns and ammunition. Tested and certified protection can be offered from .38 Special and 9mm Parabellum, to .44 Magnum and .45 Magnum rounds, as well as one of my personal favourite weapons, the Israel’s rather famous Uzi sub-machine gun… with a pretty reliable 32 round magazine.
Many countries around the world have their own ballistic protection standard. However, the best known and most respected one is known as National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard. The NIJ standard is recognised and respected all over the world, in comparison to the British, German or other standards, which in most cases are more dominant or relevant within homeland security services in their own country or region.
Personally I wish there would be a single International Ballistic Protection Standard all body armour manufacturers have to comply with, allowing them to manufacture larger volume and offer them to government and homeland security agencies at a much better price… but I guess that’s a little too political for this blog. However, let me make it clear here… a single International Ballistic Protection Standard would make it MUCH easier for everyone to understand what exact protection level is the ‘right’ one for them.
Looking at this most recognised ballistic standard NIJ, what would be the best possible protection level you should be looking for? Well, the answer is dead simple. I strongly suggest you go with the highest possible protection level for ‘soft’ concealable bullet proof vests, which is the NIJ IIIA ballistic protection standard/level (NIJ Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour). I will get to weight and thickness issues in a few moments… but be assured they don’t need to be as thick and heavy anymore as they used to be.
Another high profile Personal Security Detail (PSD)… again featuring several specialists wearing without any doubt concealable high performance bullet proof vests.
A NIJ Level IIIA tested and certified concealable bullet proof vest will guarantee you officially certified 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.
Only a very few concealable bullet proof vests manufacturers have recently taken ‘safety’ even to a further advanced level and offer body armour with additional protection from Eastern European sidearms, such as Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm, which is of great benefits to Personal Security Details operating in Eastern European countries or the Russian Federation, or those facing realistic threats origination from this region.
Another thing I want to point out here is the risk of Far East manufactured body armour, especially those manufactured in China. I fully understand the financial pressure many of us are currently under, but when it comes to the purchase of a potentially life saving piece of equipment… please think at least twice! We just have to accept that a Rolex is more expensive than a cheap watch, a Rolls Royce is more expensive than a Skoda and a trip to Kaiteriteri Beach in New Zealand is more expensive than a trip to the local coast (unless you are lucky enough to live nearby e.g. Brad D my friend). If a foreign body armour firm is creating marketing statements using terminologies such as ‘cheap’, ‘affordable’ ‘cost effective’… my head says they are targeting a different sector/market to the one you are proudly being part of.
A tested and certified high performance body armour cannot and will not be cheap (and please be assured I am aware of the many ‘stories of failure’ of many many sub standard body armour)… but there is no doubt it can make a long operational day in the heat less demanding and is more likely to save your life than a body armour we have no real idea on HOW and WHERE it has been made.
A very informative video demonstration of one of the world’s most advanced high performance concealable bullet proof vests developed by my UK based firm PPSS Group can be viewed here:
This video features me being shot demonstrating the outstanding performance of our high performance covert bullet proof vest model CV1. Weapon: Glock 17. Round: 9mm Parabellum.
Body armour technology, manufacturing capabilities and body armour design have evolved a lot over the past 10 years. Body armour worn by the police and other enforcement agencies in most countries weigh in excess of 5kg or even 6kg and are often thicker than 20 or even 25mm.
Please let me assure you that this is totally unnecessary. It is a well documented fact that such weight will lead to physical fatigue. Physical fatigue will lead to stress. Stress can lead to human errors. Human errors can lead to the death of innocent people.
Many body armour manufacturers are now capable of developing body armour less than half of the above weight, using high performance materials such as DSM’s Dyneema® SB71 or SB51, Honeywell’s Gold Flex® and Gold Shield® are leading to a noticeable reduction and stress, fatigue and any other negative side effect. However… I am personally not a fan of body armour utilsing Kevlar XP… but that’s my personal/professional opinion.
I strongly feel that in case you are looking for a concealable high performance bullet proof vest, your body armour should certainly not weigh any more than 2.2kg in today’s day in age. Manufacturers have been competing hard in order to develop the lightest body armour in the world. They have pushed each other to completely new levels, hence concealable bullet proof vests weighing less than 2.0kg are now on the market, offering extraordinary ballistic protection. We at PPSS Group have developed our CV1 High Performance Concealable Bullet Resistant Vests around the operational requirements of those professionals who are in need for simply the very best out there. Now looking at our 1.65 kg light and just 6.5mm thin high tech body armour… we KNOW it is the very best out there.
Blunt Forced Trauma
What is ‘blunt forced trauma’?
Blunt Forced Trauma is the non-penetrating injury resulting from the rapid deformation of armours covering the body. The deformation of the surface of a body armour in contact with the body wall arises from the impact of a bullet or other projectile on its front face. The deformation is part of the energy absorbing process that captures the projectile. In extreme circumstances, the blunt forced trauma may result in rupturing of internal organs, sever internal bleeding and death, even though the projectile has not penetrated the body armour. An escalation of the available energy of bullets and the desire of armour designers to minimise the weight and bulk of personal armour systems will increase the risk of blunt forced trauma. In more simple terms… blunt force trauma can be explained as follows:
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.
In order to be concealable or covert a bullet resistant vest needs to be as thin as possible. Now this is not as easy as we all would like it to be. The reason behind is the extremely dangerous risk of blunt forced trauma injuries. All modern materials being used to manufacture bullet proof vests make it literately impossible for a ‘bullet’ to penetrate. The much higher risk is the risk of blunt trauma injuries. The thinner the body armour, the more attention the manufacturer must pay to protect the wearer from such injury. I am sure you don’t fancy to see your body armour stop the ‘bullet’… but die later on in hospital from internal bleeding or other internal injuries!
The aspect of concealability (is this actually a proper word?) is of immense importance… for you personally anyway, but even more likely for your principal. Of course, there are a number of high profile musicians, actors and other type of artists out there, who get a real kick out of being surrounded by ‘hundreds’ of massive guys who look as if they could move mountains… but are in fact too big to react quickly.
The type of principal/dignitary I had in my mind when writing this blog is the high profile business executive and political, religious or cultural leader, who are much more likely to want you to blend in and be more ‘unnoticeable’ to the public. You might even be required to adapt to their dress code, which can range from wearing just about anything starting from a suit and casual wear right up to golf clothing and other sort of training gear… so your concealable bullet proof vests really wants to be 100% CONCEALABLE!
The fact is threats may occur and an assault might take place even when your principal is relaxed, surrounded by friends and colleagues… things sometimes happen… and we do not see them coming:
If this Close Protection Team, which was responsible for the personal security of Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the 23rd January 2012 was wearing a bullet proof vest on that day… we cannot see it… and neither can a potential assailant… and that’s exactly what you should be aiming for too. My advice: Do not draw unneeded attention to yourself! Please note a good modern bullet proof vest panel can be less than 10mm thin. In fact, some concealable high performance bullet proof vests are as thin as 7mm and with the assistance and backing of specially designed trauma liner they still outperform existing body armour, which used to be heavy, bulky, thick and restrictive.
Comfort is about how you feel when you wear your concealable bullet proof vest. Weight, thickness and flexibility are three of the many aspects, which everyone should carefully consider before purchasing this type of protective equipment.
The wearability (also unsure if this word actually exist) especially in hot and humid environments is also an important aspect. Please let me assure you that wearing a bullet proof vest will always make you sweat. The question is just how much? In Middle Eastern countries, Australia, South America or Africa we have to accept the fact that temperatures can often exceed 40 degrees Celsius. For a Personal Security Details wearing a concealable bullet proof vest in such condition is a serious ‘burden’ and this professional must be able to get on with the tasks on hand without excessive body heat implications or severe risks of dehydration.
Temperature regulating fabrics, such as Outlast® space technology (as used for all PPSS Bullet Proof Vests), or moisture-wicking technical fabrics, such asCoolmax® are now being used as base layer for high performance bullet proof vests, making them ideal for those Personal Security Details operating in hot and humid environments. I urge you to find out if your potential future body armour is offering this level of ‘luxury’and comfort.
As the CEO of PPSS Group (and as someone who has worn covert body armour in some rather challenging environments and circumstances) I can say that our bullet proof vests have been trialled by, tested by and supplied to diplomatic protection units, special forces personnel, law enforcement officers and prison transport teams in countries around the world. We are not the largest body armour firm… but we strive to become the very very best on planet earth. Its our passion… some may say our destiny!
One of our best attributes is that we 100% understand terminologies such as ‘classified’ and ‘confidential’… we know there are some of our closest allies, associates and colleagues out there wearing our high performance bullet resistant vests… trusting our equipment… and you know what? They really can !!! Please feel free to comment on this blog.
It would be a pleasure to hear from you! If you want to speak with me or my team about concealable bullet proof vests and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email email@example.com or visit www.ppss-group.com Take good care of yourself!
PPSS High Performance Slash Resistant Clothing. Model Featured: ‘PPSS Turtle Neck Jacket’
Numerous homeland security professionals, law enforcement, prison, border control, immigration and customs officers, as well as private security professionals have suffered from severe cut wounds sometime during physical confrontations. Slash Resistant Clothing made out of 100% Cut-Tex PRO can help protect them.
From the point of the employer, slash and cut injuries can often lead to legal and financial repercussion. From the point of the injured professional, and depending on the severity of such injury, it can often lead to long lasting emotional scars, ongoing distress or in very serious cases even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Most common PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) or cut resistant clothing used by the above sectors do not offer sufficient cut protection.
However, many frontline professionals have long asked for better slash and bite protection, and UK based PPSS Group have launched a very effective solution just a few years ago.
A high performance cut resistant fabric called Cut-Tex® PRO has been developed, offering ISO 13997:1999 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 (the highest possible), EN 388:2003 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 (the highest possible) and ASTM F-1790-05 Cut Resistance Level 4.
This fabric does exactly what was needed in order to design, develop and manufacture cut resistant clothing, which will help to protect those who serve, and reduce the risk of workplace violence related cut injuries. Slash resistant clothing has now been made user friendly, comfortable and 100% concealable (subject to garment design).
Attacks on frontline professionals are occurring rather frequently. One unprovoked attack on prison officers at Frankland High Security Prison in Durham, UK, left prison officer Craig Wylde (now one of my closest friends) severely injured after his auxiliary artery was slashed during the incident. He luckily survived.
There are many more reports of domestic frontline professionals being slashed or suffering from major cuts. Recent reports of this well documented type of assaults from Israel are readily available on the internet or security and law enforcement related publications.
These images in my blog are not on display in order to shock, scare monger or ‘utilise’ to create sales, but rather to emphasise the severity of some cut or slash wounds.
Many frontline professionals by instinct will lift their arms and hands during a potential hostile situation, in order to protect the face and head. This is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact itis absolutely normal, and only highly trained operatives would respond differently due to many years of extensive training.
However, we must acknowledge that this ‘normal’ and subconscious action would expose an extremely vulnerable area under your arms. A cut, injuring the auxiliary artery under your arms, can lead to rapid blood loss and even death.
Prison, police and security officers often receive cut wounds along the forearm or open hand. These wounds are the most common injuries and classed as ‘defensive wounds’, often seen as evidence the wearer was protecting him or herself, rather attacking the opponent.
We have to accept the fact that all frontline professionals dealing with potentially hostile members of the public or intoxicated individuals are obviously working in a higher risk environment. We believe that a new generation of cut resistant clothing made out of Cut-Tex® PRO will improve their personal safety and reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries.
‘Forced Entry Teams’ are part of all major special police units. Part of their operational responsibility might well be to enter properties through doors and windows, meaning forcing their way in through broken and smashed windows and glass. There are numerous of reports of partly serious cut related injuries as many of these professionals have not been issued with appropriate cut resistant gloves, sleeves or boiler suits.
I strongly believe that personal protective clothing, especially cut resistant clothing, is something that can effectively reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries, in the context of this article cut related injuries.
PPSS Slash Resistant Body Armour Base Layer
Slash resistant body armour base layerfor example make a lot of sense. The area, which is covered by most body armour is made out of a breathable fabric to make the wearing of body armour even more comfortable and bearable in hot and humid conditions. However, the exposed area, such as under the arm, the arms and the side of the upper body can be covered, made out of Cut-Tex® PRO slash and cut resistant material, offering the wearer exceptional cut protection during a situation where self-defence or physical action is required.
PPSS Group will launch a new garment ‘UBAC Shirt’ (Under Body Armour Combat Shirt) in October 2015. This model will protect additional areas of the upper body e.g. neck/throat.
A number of very specific areas of our body are at notable or high risk:
The radial arterycan be found in our wrists, which often is subject to cuts during self-defence, knife fights or whilst protecting our face (such wound is defined as ‘defensive wound’ and could become part of the evidence gathering when claiming ‘self-defence). It is also the most commonly cut artery during a suicide attempt.
The brachial artery is located alongside your bicep. This is a likely artery to be cut during a knife fight.
Our throat, which harbours the carotid artery is certainly among the most at risk locations of our body. A cut through the carotid artery would most likely result in death.
The axillary artery is located under your arm pits… beginning at the lateral border of the first rib. Anyone sliding an edged weapon under your arm pits and pulling on that weapon is most likely going to injure or cut this artery. This would lead to rapid blood loss and potentially in death.
The femoral artery is a general term comprising a few large arteries in the thigh. Cutting of the femoral artery would lead to a massive loss of blood within e very short period of time. It is extremely difficult to stop the blood flow based on such injury!
The following graphic clearly illustrates the ‘location’ of these arteries:
I believe protective clothing, shielding these main arteries should be available to all professionals dealing regularly with aggressors and potentially hostile situations.
My emphasis would be to design and manufacture slash resistant clothing that is none-aggressive or none-confrontational looking. We certainly want to enable those professionals to let their personality shine, use their diplomatic and interpersonal skills in order to defuse the risk of any potential escalation without giving away that protective clothing is being worn. We do not want them to look like ‘the aggressor’. Personal protective clothing just needs to ‘be there’ in the background, on standby, ready to protect and perform when things go wrong.
We all know… violence can sometime erupt within seconds, often without any prior warning signs and without any fault of the law enforcement, security or mental health care professional. Going back to the office and putting on some appropriate gear is not always a realistic option, hence cut resistant clothing should be comfortable enough to be worn at all times.
Please note we are also more than happy to offer our Cut-Tex PRO cut/slash resistant fabric to the manufacturer of your current uniforms or tactical gear or coveralls. This would enable them to incorporate this high performance material into your current uniform, especially vulnerable areas that really require such level of protection. This would effectively help protect your colleagues from potentially horrendous cut injuries.
PPSS Group is also renowned for the most durable high performance stab resistant vests in the world.
“A used body armour could have been stored inappropriately, it could have been ill-treated or it could have simply passed its shelf life”.
Oh you cannot imagine how much it upsets me when I hear security professionals or law enforcement officers have purchased used body armour.
I once read a very interesting question in reference to this subject:
“Would you buy a used parachute that you didn’t know the history of, strap it onto your back, jump out of a plane and hope for the best?”
What a great question, and I very much hope I know your answer.
The English saying ‘better safe than sorry’ makes more sense within personal safety than in any other field. Professionals whose responsibilities include dealing with hostile and intoxicated members of the public simply should not gamble with their own lives.
Just like the previously mentioned parachute, a used body armour could have been stored inappropriately, it could have been ill-treated or it could have simply passed its shelf life. Never mind the fact that the previous owner might have suffered from an assault wearing the very same body armour, leaving the body armour structural damaged (invisible to the human eye).
Any of these issues could potentially lead to a major performance loss and lead to the defeat of such body armour… which could subsequently could lead to the loss of your life.
Well, you might say, money is a major issue in today’s financial climate and body armour are not the cheapest of all products. Yes, you are certainly right with such statement, but gambling with your life cannot be the solution. Go to a reputable body armour manufacturer, explain your situation, make a case and give it your best shot. Sometimes they will listen… I would!
There is another saying, which makes quite a bit of sense: “You pay peanuts you get monkeys’, meaning if you expect from a product to save your life and if your life might well depend on it… you will have to pay a certain price for it. If you are a true professional and really want to be the best you can be, then you really should understand that being ill-equipped or purchasing low quality equipment can have a colossal impact on the outcome of certain situations you may well have to face one day.
Of course, many people have recognised the potential financial gain used body armour can make and try to flog them via eBay or via army surplus stores. What can I say? These are not the places a true security professional should be looking for when in need of a body armour.
But let us forget the financial gain for a second and think of the morals behind it. Are these individuals selling second hands body armour not somewhat gambling with our friends, associates, colleagues or family members’ lives?
Whatever they state and whatever they claim they have apparently done to ensure the quality of their used body armour… as someone who knows a thing or two (or more) about this subject matter I must say that I don’t believe a word. Not because I believe they are all bad guys, but simply because in my professional opinion it is absolutely impossible to guarantee the protection level of a used body armour without extensive and costly re-testing.
A used body armour, especially when older than four or five years old should be returned to the original manufacturer for a professional re-evaluation using the latest technology, and if the subsequent test reports make it crystal clear that body armour is still performing to the level expected then the manufacturer could look at re-issuing a manufacturer’s warranty.
public transport professionals / revenue inspectors / revenue protection officers
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.
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.
I strongly believe that lightweight stab resistant veststhat 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 body armour 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.
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 wilfully 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 body armour, 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.
In case you have any questions… please comment on my article or visit our global website www.ppss-group.com email my team firstname.lastname@example.org call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953
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.
Just 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.
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:
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)
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.