The myth about body armour and needle protection

The myth about body armour and needle protection

Over the past nine years I had the privilege to see some highly experienced professionals with outstanding backgrounds representing my firm in commercial meetings up and down the country as well as overseas.

The recent appointment of Colin Mackinnon, who has now joined us after a 26 year career within the UK Police Force (Counter Terrorism Unit) will without question help us continue on this great journey.

In all those meetings we all have attended with customer and clients from such a vast variety of sectors, the biggest single key ‘misunderstanding’ or ‘misperception’ is that all body armour offer some sort of protection from hypodermic needles.

In fact everyone who had chosen to purchase and issue body armour that came with ‘spike protection’ was absolutely convinced their new PPE would also provide effective needle protection.  When questioning their belief and judging on their facial expression, there was no doubt in their mind that… YES – THEIR body armour will defeat any hypodermic needle.

The first sad fact is that this is actually far away from the truth

The second sad fact is there are now many frontline professionals within hospital security, public transport, civil enforcement and other frontline services out there who wholeheartedly belief in the ‘nothing short of illusion’ their body armour can handle the threat of hypodermic needles, potentially leading to a real disaster with potentially fatal consequences.

The following video is featuring just two body armour we have received from existing clients who have handed over their CURRENT body armour when it was highlighted to them that their performance is, let’s say ‘questionable’.

This little blog here is little bit based on trust… trusting me, as those customers who had to witness that hypodermic needles easily penetrated their existing body armour with little effort, did not like to be named for obvious reasons. Some of these professionals have taken further action against their body armour supplier for having been ‘misled’… partly using ‘cheeky’ tactics… overselling the product… not telling the precise truth… and/or even making things totally up… willing to risk the lives of frontline professionals in an unjustifiable manner.

Recent News Highlight Importance Of Needle Protection

The risk of being threatened by someone with a hypodermic needles is a realistic part of today’s society. Shoplifters have threatened security guards with needles… patients haven been stabbed with needles and subsequently security guards had to get involved… and bailiffs / county court enforcements officers as well as revenue protection officers are also frequently faced by individuals carrying such ‘weapon’.

Just a very few days ago we had to read the headline: “Police officer sent to hospital after needle stick injury”, covering the incident which saw a police officer being sent to hospital after getting pricked by a needle as he attempted to detain a 44-year-old man that night. He was trying to help detain the male, who was being arrested so he could be recalled to prison, when he was pricked by the needle – the man then stated he has Hepatitis C.

Additional headlines I came across include:

  • “Security guard awaits blood tests after being stabbed by needle during Middlesbrough supermarket robbery”
  • “Man jailed for stabbing police officer with a hypodermic needle after telling her he is HIV positive”
  • “Security guard stabbed with needle at Sainsbury’s in Canterbury”

Please be assured there are many more incidents that have recently brought to our attention, each of those make us realise how important reliable needle protection really is.

People get shot and survive at times, and so do some who get stabbed by a knife or other type of edged weapon.  Being ‘pricked’ by a needle may well lead to the type of injury that cannot be fixed and cause serious long term distress.

All I can really ask you at this stage is you take one of your team’s body armour (when not being worn) and grab a hypodermic needle and give it a go.  See if that needle goes through. Many of you will be rather disappointed when witnessing the result.  In many instances no force is required whatsoever.

Please note all PPSS Stab Resistant Vests offer unrivalled and 100% reliable needle protection…

If you are in the process of issuing your frontline staff with body armour and the risk of hypodermic needles has been flagged up in your risk assessment, then I really suggest you ask for a physical demonstration before making such an important purchase.

Robert Kaiser, CEO