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Keltic Clothing Blog
Tag Archives: body armour
Some of our team recently attended the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Conference. A great day was had by all. We met a lot of new faces and got the opportunity to catch up with a lot of old ones too! As always we decided to make things a little interesting by organising our famous business card competition! All that you had to do was place your business card in a basket, and at the end of the day we’d pick one at random to win our ‘Summer Celebration Hamper’.
The Winner of our Business Card Competition
So… Who was the winner?? Well… this year, this lucky person was Jane Negus an ECCS Executive for the CTSI. Congratulations to her! I hope you’ve got that Prosecco on ice! A big thanks of course to all those that took part, after all, you’ve got to be in it to win it!
Our Time in Bournemouth
We just want to say a huge thanks to the CTSI for having us again, we really did have a great time. To all of the friendly people who came over to see us on our stand, we look forward to speaking with you very soon. Bournemouth itself is lovely and the CTSI really couldn’t have picked a better week for it with the scorching temperatures we’ve had!
If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference and would like some information about us and what we do, then feel free to contact us on 08450 66 6699. Alternatively you can make an online enquiry here.
It’s hotting up across the UK right now so as you can imagine we are delighted to be in the beautiful seaside town of Bournemouth this week. We are here as a part of the annual CTSI Conference, one of our favourite events of the year. This year’s conference is being hosted by the Bournemouth International Centre, happily right on the coast! We all had a great time at the event last year, and so we can’t wait to be back again. And what a bonus that it’s being held in a lovely seaside town during this great weather!
Recently we’ve received a lot of queries from our clients regarding CE-marking. It seems that there is a lot of confusion as to whether body needs to be CE-marked. This is a nice easy one to clear up! Armour for civilian use falls under European Council Directive 89/686/EEC on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which states that any armour sold to civilian users must be CE-approved.
Only Police and Military wearers are exempt from PPE legislation, and therefore all non-Police and Military wearers need CE-approved armour. Just get in touch if you have any queries on this or any other aspect of UK armour!
Our website contains lots of information about how to choose the right body armour for your staff, but today we’re blogging about a word that doesn’t crop up much when it comes to body armour – style!
When body armour first started being issued to police in the 1980s, back when it was rigid or hardened and very uncomfortable, there were only two styles available – the white “covert” style (worn under the shirt for concealed protection) and the black “overt” style – worn as the outermost garment. Although body armour materials are now much more flexible, allowing wearers to manoeuvre more easily away from threats, the majority of suppliers are still offering just the two styles, and even then they often have to be made to order rather than held in stock.
At Keltic, we believe having a choice is really important, so we’ve developed seven different styles of body armour, all held in stock for next day delivery. Whichever body armour supplier you go with, it’s essential to have a choice of styles and to get samples before you place your order, so you can try before you buy. We can’t stress enough that your staff need to be comfortable in their armour – this doesn’t just mean choosing comfortable flexible armour (rather than hardened armour) but also picking a style they’re happy with, to ensure that they don’t think twice about putting on their armour when it counts.
In the 1980s all body armour was rigid or “hardened”, making it uncomfortable and difficult to move in. Thankfully, technology has moved on to the extent that flexible soft body armour is now available that provides equal or greater protection from all threats, including blunt trauma (body blows).
When it comes to blunt trauma, we recommend that you ask for a demonstration of the protection provided by the proposed bodyarmour supplier, because there is no Home Office standard for blunt trauma protection. Also, it’s crucial for wearers to be able to manoeuvre away from threats, and something key to add into the mix is the fact that they will find it easier to manoeuvre if their body armour is flexible.
All body armour uk suppliers should be happy to call in to see you to demonstrate the capabilities of their products, and this is a great way for you to confirm that they have Home Office test certificates and that all armour is full CE marked too.
The short answer is no. 99% of wearers can safely and comfortably wear standard sizes Small to XXXL, and good body armour can be adjusted at several points so it fits even more closely. For very tall wearers, it’s advisable to purchase bodyarmour with extra length to ensure the lower internal organs are adequately covered.
For wearers outside the standard S – XXXL and some ladies who require a ‘D’ cup fitting or larger, special sizes may be necessary both from a comfort and protection point of view.
If you have any concerns or queries on this important matter, just give us a call, or comment on this post.
Would you buy a second hand parachute that you didn’t know the history of, strap it to your back, jump out of a plane and hope for the best? Us neither. But people who buy second hand body armour, which could be well past its shelf life, could have been tampered with, and could have been subjected to trauma in the past that may impede its future performance, are doing exactly that.
We would liken it to “ringer” cars, that have been in a crash and superficially repaired, but may not meet even minimum safety standards and may crumple in a crash when it really matters.
If you’re a local authority, university, part of the NHS, or a blue chip company, we would strongly recommend only buying Home Office certified body armour, manufactured in a UKAS ISO 9001 accredited factory. This is the minimum standard for adequately fulfilling your duty of care for employees that could be exposed to stab, spike or ballistic risks.
Well, we hope that’s food for thought – have a great Bank Holiday weekend, and do click back for more body armour blogs next week!
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.
Choosing the right body armour can be nerve-wracking because it is so important to get it right. You can find plenty of advice on our website about your Health and Safety responsibilities when buying bodyarmour in the UK. However we have been able to boil down the decision making process to three simple questions:
- Which threats do you think your staff will come across in the course of their work? The first thing to do is to carry out a risk assessment taking into account the risks your staff may face. This means thinking about the threats that are found in your local area (don’t forget to consult with your local police if possible) as well as the threats that are specific to their day to day work. Here is your starter for ten:
- Are your staff at risk from knives and spikes?
- Is there also a risk from guns?
- Also think about any additional threats of blunt trauma and syringes.
- Which Home Office protection level is required? You can check out the details of the level of stab, spike and ballistic protection recommended by the Home Office for the various jobs your staff perform by looking at our individual stab vests and ballistic vests pages.
- Which style is best for your staff? If you choose a style your staff like, they are more likely to wear their body armour protection whenever they are exposed to risk. Questions 1 and 2 are redundant if they don’t want to their vest because it’s not appropriate for their work or because they don’t like the way it looks. You can counter this by buying from a supplier who has a range of styles to suit every need.
See our stab vest and ballistic vest pages to see our seven styles of protective body armour – the largest choice of stock-backed styles in the UK.
Don’t forget, we’re offering free delivery and collection of samples throughout March.
At Keltic we’re all very excited because tomorrow marks the launch of our new website, which is the culmination of over six months work. We feel that our website is the perfect representation of where we are at the moment as a company. We’re made up of six specialist departments, and we thought we’d give a brief rundown of what each of the three main departments do, and how they tie in together.
The largest department, which is how we started back in 2001, is our Uniform Wear Department, which supplies uniform clothing for security, parking, wardens and other enforcement roles. Our USP has always been manufacturing – the business started out making custom jackets for parking and security staff. This developed into supplying the full kit head-to-toe and we’re now the UK’s largest enforcement uniform provider, with 5 large warehouses full of unique and exclusive garments.
Security and enforcement supervisors needed suits and shirts/blouses, events staff needed poloshirts or corporate jackets, and hey presto the Corporate Wear department was formed. From these humble roots we recruited staff with a passion for fashion, and we’re now one of the UK’s largest suppliers of corporatewear, supplying many of the country’s most prestigious hotels and landmarks, as well as hundreds of doctor’s surgeries, local authorities, colleges and universities and blue chip companies.
With the alarming increase in violence against staff, and the worrying prevalence of weapons in society, we were increasingly being asked to supply body armour. Our Body Armour Department spent two years researching the market and developing the best range of body armour in the UK. We now have 7 different styles available from stock at every Home Office protection level, and a unique system that allows you to interchange styles. This is widely recognised as a huge development for the industry – until recently the only question was “do you want a white or a black stab vest?”
The Department Heads will be blogging about each Department in the coming weeks, but we hope this post has given an insight as to how each department is related. To mark the coming of Spring, and the launch of our new website, we’re offering free delivery and collection of samples for the whole of March.