The stab proof vest is a piece of body armor that has been reinforced so as to protect an individual from, well… from being stabbed or slashed in the chest, or the back, or the sides of the torso.
These vests can be worn under other items of clothing (or indeed over) which provides a level of concealment. Rather useful for those who are employed in undercover work that comes with an element of physical risk.
Stab proof vests are quite unlike bulletproof vests in that they do not provide protection against projectiles from firearms. While simultaneously, a bulletproof vest offers little protection against sharp-tipped objects, including knives.
Anti-stab vests also prevent slashing and stop penetration from needles such as those found in a syringe. And, yes, it does happen – syringes have been known to be used as weapons so protection can be a necessity, depending on the circumstances.
Stab Resistant Testing
Based on work carried out in the U.K. which was more reflective of reality than work previously carried out in the U.S., the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the U.S. established a standard for stab resistant body armor which is the NIJ STD 0115.00. This defines two different threats: edged blade and spike penetration.
For manufacturers of anti-knife or anti-stab kit, they are at liberty to submit new or existing apparel for compliance testing by way of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center in Rockville, MD. Should the kit pass the compliance testing in some manner, they are certified according to the following agenda:
- Threat level 1: Impact energy of 24-joules.
- Threat level 2: Impact energy of 33-joules.
- Threat level 3: Impact energy of 43-joules.
Is There a Demand for Stab Proof Vests?
Recently, Bureau of Prisons (BOP) committed over $800,000 to investing in new protective stab vests for employees of federal prisons and related facilities. And because the need was “urgent and compelling” on account that thousands of vests were deemed to be “end-of-life”, the contract was awarded on a no-bid, sole source basis. However, there is a further reason for the urgency which is almost as “compelling” as the one above. The necessity to avoid potential lawsuits.
So what’s that about?
Well, all staff that are assigned to working in high security facilities in the U.S. must, according to regulations, wear stab resistant vests. As such, if there is any shortage of supply given that many of their current vests are at end-of-life, the BOP would be in deep… deep trouble. The litigation and administrative costs would be astronomical, and that wouldn’t look too good with respect to the state of working conditions in prisons throughout the country.
Thus, if your organization is heavily reliant on stab proof vests or any other protective gear of a similar nature, and there is any slightest threat that there may be legal action taken against you for a ‘lack of necessary investment’, the time is now to be considering your stance.