The 2018 PSSA AGM Conference was themed “Meeting the Challenge of New Perimeter Threats” – and drew a full house at Friends House conference centre on Euston Road.
In the Chairman’s Report, Simon Towers briefed members on how they will benefit from the new HVMhub project developed with the financial support of the Joint Security & Resilience Centre (JSaRC), within the Home Office. The twin initiatives of the HVMhub are a dedicated website providing guidance for those with responsibility for perimeter security at permanent or temporary installations or events. The website aims to provide a comprehensive guide to independently tested hostile vehicle mitigation products and installers. The second strand is the provision of a series of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) modules to be offered via professional institutes, companies and other organisations. The first two to be launched will provide guidance on the selection of products for temporary and permanent applications.
Gary Heward, MD of the MFD Group, offered a consultant’s perspective on client needs. His presentation included insights into the, sometimes low, level of client knowledge when seeking a solution to a perimeter security problem. The PSSA has plans to work more closely with specialist consultants to exchange knowledge on best practice and product insights. Roger Upfold, HM Inspector of Health & Safety, provided an in depth presentation on product, health and safety law relating to powered gates and doors. This provided a timely insight into a topic that the PSSA has been engaged on in consultation with the HSE, CPNI and other representative organisations. His conclusion was that, “at present designers, manufacturers and installers constructing and supplying doors and gates cannot rely solely on existing standards”. This puts the onus on them to assess hazards and manage risks. For PSSA members, there is the added consideration of taking into account the possible competing objectives of safety and security. A further speaker was Julie Thompson of the Hospital & Medical Care Association (HMCA).
She summarised private health packages, other insurance offers and helplines now available from HMCA for PSSA members.