How Restraint Equipment Can Reduce Risk [Video]

We all know that one factor in the risk of someone dying from positional asphyxia is restraint going on for an extended period of time.

This video is based on a discussion I have had with someone who is very concerned about a particular service user and also their colleagues who are possibly at risk of serious injury and possibly worse.

One possible solution to the problem they have is the use of restraint equipment, such as Handcuffs, Softcuffs, the Soft Restraint Belt and the SafetyPod, and we can’t now hide from the fact that there is equipment out there, that is industry tested and medically reviewed and therefore fit for purpose, that can easily be the least intrusive option is certain situations.

Yet it seems that there is a still and ‘old-mindset’ out there. People who are stuck in the dark ages and who see modern equipment as being equivalent to ‘shakles’!

The fact is, if there is a least intrusive option, then that option must be considered, especially if it can reduce risk and potentially save a life.

We as an organisation have been very progressive in embracing these new pieces of equipment because the evidence shows that it reduces the need for prolonged restraint and more restrictive techniques and by default, therefore, has to be in the best interest of the service user.

That is why we train trainers in these pieces of equipment so that they can have a more holistic approach to restraint reduction, and if you want to find out more about our Handcuff Trainer Course you can do so here – – and the Soft Restraint Kit Trainer Course here –

If this resonates with you please like and share this post as it may help reduce the risk to someone you know and even save a life.

Best Regards

Mark Dawes

PS: Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if I can help you too.

#markdawes #nfpsltd

10 thoughts on “How Restraint Equipment Can Reduce Risk [Video]”

  1. I’ve just this minute left a best interests meeting for a similar situation and the same issues were raising their heads.

    You are absolutely 100% correct on his Mark and I challenge anyone to disagree with anything to back up there argument other than biased opinion? As there already exists a framework for the implementation of Work equipment and PPE in the form of Soft Resraints, Safety Pods and Handcuffs.

    Organisations should, as part of the hierarchy of risk control, and as part of the Joint decision making model be identifying how to comply with health and safety legislation and human rights.

    In guidance there already exists mentions of softcuffs and belts in the MOU between PICUs and the Police, in CQC and NICE guidance. How wrong is it that the biased heuratics from those in management (who often are not the ones involved in prolonged manual restraints, who aren’t the ones to made to feel guilty when reporting assaults and injuries) who are saying “we don’t like the idea of these” is actually what is causing torture to be allowed to continue.

    How many of us would agree that prolonged struggling whilst being restrained is inhumane? Degrading? Can make people feel inferior? Causes pain or suffering that goes on for a prolonged period of time?

    Well there you have the exact definition of Article 3 – torture.

    Sometimes mechanical restraint, Soft restraints or as we often describe them assistive or supportive devices can be the least intrusive and the least restrictive alternatives.

  2. Hi Mark

    What an absolutely cracking video and piece of work. Well done! I’m not an Instructor like you or Doug in the industry, but this is a problem/issue I identified a few years ago and designed equipment to meet this exact need. Doug and I have now teamed up with the same common goals as you have and it seems everyone else who has the best interests of the SU as well the carers in mind.

    Prolonged manual restraint which includes or leads to prone is fraught with danger as well we all know. As to the use of ”irons”, the recent case at Ashworth Hospital where a nurse suffered serious injury when attacked by a patient who was being transferred ”chained” to them proves your point most eloquently I think. That is still being investigated.

    We also know that with certain conditions including ABD/ Excited Delirium and similar or post use of Monkey/Angel dust users can have unbelievable strength requiring extensive and sometimes out of necessity to protect life and limb, extreme restraint. Again highly dangerous situations for carers and SU’s alike which they are required to deal with on a regular basis. And if the truth be known violent behaviour is on the increase.

    I agree entirely with the comments made in your anonymous enquiry that most carers have the best interests of their patients at heart. No one wants to go to work to be a factor in someone’s injury or worse. We all strive for safety and care.

    My equipment which I have spent the last number of years developing with the help of front line service providers including Police, Ambulance, Fire & Rescue, A&E, psychiatric hospitals/units, HMP. Mountain and Extreme Emergency rescue professionals among others, has now been in NHS operational use for over two years and has already saved one life. It has been proven to significantly reduce the need for hands-on, an element which feeds on-going aggression and promote rapid de-escalation. As a Class 1 Medical Device it utilises soft straps but is NOT a restraint. However, it has been found to be highly effective in these situations. The feed-back has consistently been positive and following a ”soft launch” last year I’m beginning to see much greater interest as carers identify with the benefits it offers to both them and SU’s.

    Your video summarises and details the legislative requirements incumbent on carers very precisely. I too have heard far too many times the ”excuse” of the breach of Human Rights and the reference to ”torture”. In my very simple analysis, there is only one goal here and that is the safety of the SU and carer both of which are paramount. Provided adequate care and attention is drawn and attended to at the time the intervention is considered all other options having been consider leaving only the physical/mechanical choice as the most appropriate ensuring life and limb are protected, common sense must be allowed to prevail.

  3. Very well explained Mark. With the HSWA Legislation covering workplace issues, what about outside the work place. Those who have to look after those with physical / mental disabilities; is their legislation which would cover you when using soft cuffs or similar to prevent them injuring themselves or others?

  4. I have been talking to a care worker and she showed me scratch marks down her arms she said it often happens and also added that she gets nipped on the inner thigh and it really hurts she commented. I mentioned that this should not be happening and she replied we complain and they are told its part and parcel of the job. I mentioned soft restraints and she told me they can’t do that as its against the law, I mentioned may be against company policy which in turn breaches your rights to work in a safe environment and to be trained to a level as you are not getting injured.

  5. Hi Chris, it’s very sad that her management (I am presuming) feel that it part of the job to be hurt at work. Everyone should come home from work in the same physical and emotional state that they went to work in. As you and I know all too well it’s not ‘against the law’.

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