This case study comes from a hotel incident in Australia that resulted in the asphyxiation death of a patron by a nightclub bouncer. A corner recommended more training for all security guards after the man died as a result of being held face down outside a Sydney nightclub.
Although the corner said the actions of the two security guards were justified, that they had not been trained on the dangers of positional asphyxia. The victim was held down by bouncers until police arrived at the scene because they were fearful of what would happen if they released their hold because the victim was very drunk and had been thrashing around. The victim had a history of violent behavior that security officers knew of.
The security officers were not aware that the victim had become unconscious and couldn’t breathe. The guards didn’t kneel on the victim, instead they applied pressure only to his upper arms, shoulder and back. The corner said the restraint caused the victim to die from asphyxiation and his “acute ethanol intoxication” and morbid obesity were contributing factors.
Although the guards had completed training courses with registered agencies, they had not received proper training about positional asphyxia and its dangers.
This case shows that it is important that security guards are always vigilant about the risks and signs of positional asphyxiation. If you have not taken classroom training about how to restrain people, you should not attempt to restrain people. In a classroom setting, you would practice proper and safe restraint techniques.