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SAFETY & SECURITY Protect and survive


Sally Osmond of Frontier Pitts discusses the importance of impact testing for product solutions for defence against vehicle-borne attacks, and looks at relevant regulations


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n the UK, and indeed the rest of the world, the current terrorism threat is constantly changing, meaning that vulnerable sites need to be constantly assessing the risk. One method of terrorist activity is vehicle-borne attacks, ranging from ram-raiding to suicide missions. Site owners and operators need to protect their assets, including property and people, from such attacks with the appropriate protective security, including vehicle security barriers (VSB). The generic types of VSBs include: gates (bi-folding, hinged and sliding), arm barriers (rising and swing), bollards (rising, static, shallow and removable) and road blockers (surface mounted, shallow and deep).


There are a range of standards that relate to the impact testing of barriers, which help identify the most suitable VSB for each individual site. The standards specify test criteria, including type of vehicle and speed that the VSB is capable of stopping and immobilising. Those responsible for securing a site at risk of a vehicle attack, such as designers, planners, architects, security managers or facilities managers within the public and private sectors, need an understanding of these standards and where to get advice on the measures to put in place.


Such advice can be found by the manufacturers themselves, some manufactures can provide CPDs on helping architects identify what are the most suitable measures to put in place and how to compare all the different standards (and therefore the products) available in the market. These CPDs can also provide guidance on installation of VSB and the standards relating to the installation.


Risks posed by vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices A car bomb, or truck bomb (VBIED), is an improvised explosive device placed in a vehicle then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of terrorism and normally kills the occupants of the vehicle (suicide


ADF AUGUST 2019


bombers), people near the blast site, and to damage buildings or other property. A vehicle bomb acts as its own delivery mechanism and can carry a relatively large amount of explosives without necessarily attracting suspicion.


Impact testing of vehicle security barriers


The Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) produces the Catalogue of Impact Tested Vehicle Security Barriers (CITVSB), containing the impact tested products it has tested through its research program – against the key standards. This is the key catalogue in the UK and any manager of a key critical national infrastructure site in the UK should contact CPNI for a copy or further information. The PSSA Hub is an additional key resource.


There are various specifications for the impact testing of VSBs. From the beginning of 2014, the UK government’s “elite VSB testing programme” has impact tested products under International Workshop Assessment (IWA) 14. This replaced the British Standards Institution (BSi) Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 68, however products tested under this specification have been given ‘grandfather rights’ and remain


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There are a range of standards which help identify the most suitable vehicle security barrier (VSB) for each individual site, which specify test criteria, including type of vehicle and speed that the VSB is capable of stopping and immobilising


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