Prison Service: Uniforms

Justice written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Liberal Democrat, Chesterfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what protective equipment and clothing is issued to prison staff.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to carry out an assessment of the significant risks to which staff are exposed and to implement control measures effectively to manage the risks. Control measures may include provision of personal protective equipment. The range and type of equipment provided will depend on the risk.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) carries out risk assessments for the different duties staff conduct. In the case of staff working in Prisons, a variety of personal protection equipment and clothing is provided, dependant on the situation and duties staff are conducting. Types of safety equipment made available to staff would include safety footwear, gloves, overalls, high visibility jackets, hard hats and protection in the event of cold weather and for the head, eyes, hearing and respiratory system.

Control and restraint equipment and clothing such as helmets, shields, fire resistant overalls and leg protectors are also available to specially trained prison officers. Batons are carried by staff trained in their use in those prisons in which their deployment has been approved. Vests which offer ballistic protection, including protection against knives, are provided to a range of prison staff in circumstances where particular risks exist including some local and national control and restraint operations and some operations involving specialist interventions.

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