21 Feb 2018

The SIA shares NHS Acid Attack Guidance

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) are asking licence holders and security businesses to familiarise themselves with the available guidance on responding to acid attacks. This is in response to recent acid attacks against members of the public and a very small number of such attacks against licence holders. 

An acid attack involves a corrosive substance being thrown or sprayed on a person or people as part of a violent attack or robbery.

Although 'acid attack' is the phrasemost people use to refer to such incidents, they can involve acidic, alkaline or caustic chemicals. Household cleaners, drain un-blockers and industrial chemicals might all be used by perpetrators.

The NHS are asking people to remember the 3 R's: REPORT, REMOVE, RINSE

  • Burns caused by acid, alkaline or caustic chemicals can be very damaging and needs immediate medical attention.  Call 999 and ask for urgent help.
  • Remove the chemical and affected clothing.
  • After calling 999, to help prevent severe injuries from a chemical burn; try to carefully remove the chemical and any contaminated clothing and rinse the affected area using as much clean water as possible.
  • Try to remove the chemical and contaminated clothing from contact with the skin and eyes, but be very careful not to touch or spread the chemical as this could lead to further injuries to the victim or the person helping them. 
  • Use gloves or other protective materials to cover hands and, if possible, carefully cut away clothing such as T-shirts, rather than pulling them off over the head.
  • Do not wipe the skin as this may spread contamination.
  • If the chemical is dry, brush it off the skin.
  • Rinse continuously with clean water
  • Rinse the affected area continuously with clean water as soon as possible to remove any residual chemical.
  • Try to make sure the water can run off of the affected area without pooling on the skin and potentially spreading the chemical to a wider area.
  • Only use water – do not rub or wipe the area.
  • Stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives and follow any other advice given by the 999 call handler to avoid further injury.

As an SIA approved contractor, we have circulated this guidance to our security teams and encourage our clients to take this advice on board.

If you're interested in our security services, please get in touch by phone on 0800 3899 517 or submit a contact enquiry form today.