Purchasing body armour can be a daunting task; after all it’s literally a matter of life and death. Every organisation has a duty of care to ensure its staff are properly protected from risks. However, by asking a handful of key questions and taking on board the guidance from the Home Office, the right decision can be made fairly simply, meaning you can rest easy that you’re giving your staff the correct protection.
To assist those who’ve been tasked with procuring body armour for their organisation, each week we’ll walk you through a different aspect of the body armour field, giving you a step by step guide to the key considerations you should be taking on board. This should then ensure you have all the information needed to make an informed choice as to which body armour to issue to your staff.
Our first instalment starts with the most basic question, what is body armour? This question is not as daft as it may sound – in a market where there are products that are described as “slash proof” that barely stop a Stanley knife; we believe clarity is of the utmost importance.
Bodyarmour is a protective system, designed to protect the wearer from death and serious injury while still being flexible and lightweight enough to allow easy movement in their job. It’s very important to stress that no body armour can protect from all threats in all circumstances – body armour is stab, spike or bullet resistant to a particular level. These levels are set by the Home Office, and anyone looking to adequately protect their staff should ensure they choose Home Office certified body armour. We’ll post more about Home Office protection levels in the next few weeks.
The two main categories of body armour are stab resistant (stab vests) and bullet resistant (ballistic vests). The best ballistic vests usually also incorporate knife protection as well (hence they are “dual purpose” vests) – but this is not always the case and it is very important to check. There are also other risks that your staff may be exposed to – for instance spikes (screwdrivers, ice picks), syringes and blunt trauma (body blows). These will all be dealt with in the coming weeks so please check back next week, and do post a comment or email us if you’d like any further information in the meantime.