Is it time for Body Armour for our Security Officers?


By Robert Kaiser – CEO of UK based PPSS Group.

It is no secret security operatives work in a high risk environment, and some might say hostility, violence and subsequent injuries come with the job.

Over a number of years I have been operational in the security industry and in a number of countries. It has been my misfortune to witness fellow security officers loosing their lives and others suffer horrendous and long lasting injuries. It has been my responsibility to make the emotional and personal call to next of kin, explaining why their loved one will not come home or requires medical care.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Report 2011, Private Security and Public Interest: Exploring Private Security Trends and Directions for Reform in the New Era of Plural Policing highlighted that between 2000-01 and 2007-08 security officers and police in Australia made compensation claims for 17,231 work-related injuries, reinforcing the understanding that working within security is a risky profession.

However, the interesting thing I have noticed is that few security officers complain once recovered from such violent incidents. They really seem to believe it is a part of their job and they have to get on with that. New industry applicants should be aware of that. Security officer responsibilities include dealing with potentially hostile members of the public, individuals engaged in criminal activities and others under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It actually is their job and the risks involved are a part of it.

The ARC Report 2011 states that security and police were in the top three highest claiming occupations for work-related injuries and deaths from occupational violence, with security officers at number one in both instances. Examining the amount of time lost as a result of injuries caused by occupational violence, security officers in fact lost on average 237 hours more than police officers.

The report also highlighted the fact that 57.1 per cent of crowd controllers and 23.9 per cent of security officers had experienced a major physical assault once or more in the past year alone.

This means the moment you decide to become a security officer, police officer or prison officer you have to accept that you are at risk of getting injured at work… To read more subscribe today!