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Keltic Clothing Blog
Tag Archives: stab vests
In an ideal world nobody would have to get themselves in a situation whereby they risk getting stabbed. Unfortunately this isn’t an ideal world, and many people do have to rely on stab proof vests when negotiating dangerous situations. No armour protects against everything, and there is no absolute guarantee of safety, but Stab Vests do actively protect you against attack from a blade or a spike.
Stab Proof Vests: How They Work
They are made from a composite material similar to Kevlar. It’s one of the strongest materials in existence. This is used in both bullet proof vests and stab proof vests, however both of these vests are totally different. A bullet vest will offer no protection against stab attack and a stab vest will not offer you protection against bullet attack. Kevlar is a very strong fibre which when woven together become even stronger and this combined strength makes it very difficult for a blade to penetrate.
A Pointer: When You Need a New Vest
Hopefully the person wearing the stab proof vest will be doing it out of precaution only and will not ever actually get stabbed. If, however, this does happen then the knife will be stopped by the weft of the fabric in the vest. The vest, however, will be damaged, as some of the fibres will be sliced. We strongly advise, therefore, that if your stab vest has been attacked once then it is prudent to get a new one as it will not offer the same level of protection second time around.
Make Sure Your Vest is Certified
The UK government rates the effectiveness of stab vests. The Home Office (HOSDB) sets standards for the amount of energy from a thrust that a body armour pack must withstand to come up to specification. You should always choose a stab vest that complies with the HOSDB publication guidelines. Doing so will mean that your staff are adequately protected. All of Keltic’s stab vests are CE marked and certified to KR1 and SP1 Home Office knife and spike resistance standards, including syringe and blunt trauma protection. Buying from us means piece of mind that your staff are as safe as possible.
You can see our range of stab vests here. Should you like to talk to one of our friendly staff members about your requirements, or if you would like to try out one of our vests for free, just call 08450 666699.
The Home Office recommends KR1/SP1 as the level of protection for their police force and this offers a great level of protection against stab, spike, syringe and blunt trauma in a wide variety of situations. The Kr above stands for knife resistance and the SP for spike resistance. These are two quite different things, and can be the difference between serious injury and escaping without a graze. Now let’s take a step back and try to understand under what circumstances a stab vest is most and least effective.
A stab vest or more precisely a stab proof vest is a type of body armour that is reinforced with special materials to resist blows and knife attacks. It can be worn over or under clothes and is designed to prevent knife penetration. Having your security staff kitted with the best stab vests not only ensures proper safety and protection of your enterprise but also reflects better on your business.
This article will outline what to look out for when purchasing stab vests, and what factors contribute to good or bad vests.
Weight and Flexibility
One key factor is weight. When your staff express that their vests are uncomfortable, very often what they mean is they are too heavy. Another concern is flexibility – if the vest is rigid or hardened it is much less likely to be comfortable. Flexible vests are also easier to manoeuvre in – therefore the wearer may find it easier to move away from threats.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to purchase a stab vest which can be adjusted at multiple points. This means that the vest will move with the person wearing it, and offer no resistance. It’s important in this regard that your staff know how to use adjustable vests to their fullest. Good suppliers of stab vests – such as Keltic – will offer training for your staff free of charge to show them the basics of how to adjust and care for their anti stab vests.
If you’re interested in this then get in touch with one of our friendly staff members on 08450 66669. Alternatively make an online enquiry here.
As we’ve blogged previously, the Home Office Scientific Development Branch provides the certification for stab vest protection – KR1 (Knife Resistance Level 1) is the most common standard for stab protection, and this is often paired with SP1 (Spike Protection Level 1). However, it’s key to point out that SP1 doesn’t cover syringe protection, and that there isn’t a Home Office standard for syringe protection.
If your risk assessment states that your stab vest needs to include protection from syringes, it’s a matter of asking potential suppliers to visit you to demonstrate the syringe-resistant capabilities of their products. We think this is a must when you are dealing with such a crucial piece of protective equipment as stabvests. Please give us a call or post a comment if you have any queries on this matter.
Further to our post last week, what is body armour?, we wanted to talk about the most widely used type of body armour in the UK – stab vests. Stab vests protect the vital inner organs from knives and sharp/edged weapons.
In the UK, the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) is responsible for setting the standards for stab protection. Knife Resistance Level 1, known as “KR1”, and Spike Resistance Level 1, known as “SP1” is the stab protection recommended by the HOSDB for general police duties. Knife Resistance Level 2 (“KR2”) & Spike Resistance Level 2 (“SP2) is the stab protection recommended by the HOSDB for more dangerous police duties, such as armed patrol in higher risk situations such as escorting prisoners and airport patrols.
The “Spike” bit of “Spike Resistance” refers to spiked implements like screwdrivers, chisels etc. It’s important to note that unless a stab vest is certified to SP1 or SP2, it may not protect adequately from spikes. Spikes are a growing threat due to the ease of obtaining improvised weapons (more on this in future posts).
More importantly, however, please note that it isn’t illegal to sell stabvests that aren’t certified by the Home Office – these are widely available. The onus is on the employer to ensure their staff are adequately protected. In our experience, local authorities, blue chip companies and all organisations that wish to properly protect their staff and fulfill their duty of care insist on Home Office certified stab vests.
As well as knives and spikes, which are covered by the Home Office standards, there are other threats your staff may be exposed to which aren’t covered by a governing body. There is no Home Office standard for syringe protection or for blunt trauma (body blows) protection, but these are very significant threats. We’ll be looking at these threats in more detail in future posts.
Why not post a comment (or email or call us) with your thoughts on this very important topic?
Police community support officers have a role that is distinct from police special constables, community wardens and traffic wardens – their job is to support the police specifically in issues affecting the community’s quality of life e.g. antisocial behaviour. It’s unfortunately indicative of the growing violence in society that PCSO’s in Staffordshire will this month be wearing stab vests for the first time according to the BBC .
Understandably, some of the PCSO’s involved feel that this presents the wrong image. However there are stabvests on the market that are more subtle so it’s not immediately obvious that the wearer is wearing a stab vest. I also think that there’s an expectation these days that police-related authority figures will be wearing stab vests – the public understand that there’s a growing minority of criminals out there who do present a risk, and the police and PCSO’s who put themselves in harms way need to be protected accordingly.
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.