The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has published guidance for private security operatives and businesses in the event of an acid attack.

The initiative follows a rise in incidents across the country, a G4S security guard suffering injuries after acid was squirted at him while he was going about his duties in West Yorkshire recent among them.

SIA guidance focuses on the following:

  • In the unlikely event an acid attack occurs on a licensed premises, such as a pub or a nightclub, getting bottles or jugs of tap water from the bar might be the quickest and the easiest method to alleviate a victim’s suffering.
  • Although ‘acid attack’ is the phrase most people use to refer to such incidents, it can involve acidic, alkaline or caustic chemicals. Household cleaners, drain un-blockers and industrial chemicals might all be used by perpetrators.
  • Employers and venue owners are responsible for their colleagues and patrons and therefore must conduct risk assessments associated with acid attacks and plan for how to respond to them.  This is subject to the Health and Safety Act 1974 as well as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.  This includes supplying appropriate equipment for responding to an acid attack.

The SIA is working with other agencies including the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade. They will refresh the guidance once further information becomes available.

NHS England and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, have issued first aid advice on how to ensure victims of acid attacks get the right help fast, asking people to remember 3Rs:

  • Reportthe attack: dial 999
  • Removecontaminated clothing carefully
  • Rinse skin gently with running water
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