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Arco Colleague and Cave Rescuer Attends UK Screening of 'Thirteen Lives’
Arco Professional Safety Services' Equipment Manager, Mike Clayton, recently attended the UK screening of the movie: Thirteen Lives.
Directed by Ron Howard and starring Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell, the film recounts the obstacles that had to be overcome to rescue twelve boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018.
The operation involved rescuers from across the globe, including Mike and a team of divers from the UK. The rescue was described as 'a miracle that united the world'.
Mike was invited to the screening along with Peter Dennis (Chair), Emma Porter (Secretary) and Toby Hamnet (Legal Advisor) from the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC).
"I was delighted to be invited to the UK screening of Thirteen Lives.
"At the BCRC, we knew of the incident on the 23rd of June (the day the boys were trapped) and we immediately wanted to help. We began speaking to other cave rescue associations internationally to see if we could source equipment for the rescue response teams.
"An official request for help came via the British Foreign Office around the 25th of June. It was decided that me and two other surface support members would fly out on the 4th of July to assist.
"On the 5th of July we made it to Thailand and our time was spent doing all that we could to support the dive crew, including daily meetings with the various Thai and international authorities involved in the rescue.
"It was a tough time for all involved due to the complexity of the rescue and international attention, but 18 days after they were found, we were all relieved that the 12 boys and their coach were rescued safely.
"I am incredibly honoured to have been involved in one of the most challenging cave rescues in modern times and it was certainly a life changing event. The operation involved hundreds of rescuers from 17 countries, including a team of divers from the UK."
Thirteen Lives is out now and available to view on Amazon Prime Video.
Arco Shortlisted for IHEEM Heathcare Supplier of the Year Award
Arco has been shortlisted for the prestigious IHEEM Healthcare Supplier of the Year Award, in recognition of its work supplying respiratory protection and fitting services to Scotland's NHS.
In August 2020, whilst health services were struggling to source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ensure all their workers were adequately protected, Arco stepped in to supply essential PPE and fitting services to Scotland's Health and Social Care. Between May 2021 - May 2022, Arco supplied 100 million surgical masks, 4 million visors, and 1 million FFP3 respirator masks to meet around 87% of Scotland's health and social care needs. This support was successfully implemented through 50 managed local distribution hubs, providing PPE to over 2,700 sites.
Clare Casciani, Health and Safety Advisor, NHS Lothian said:
"Without Arco's support, we would not have been able to achieve this at all. It's been a wonderful, incredibly valuable service, thank you."
Arco worked with hospital teams across Scotland to coordinate a face fit testing program, ensuring Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) wearers were kept safe with correctly fitting FFP3 respiratory masks. Ill-fitting or incorrectly sized PPE presents a significant risk to staff members, especially as users may not realise their protection is compromised, leading to behaviour that drastically increases exposure risk. Frontline staff were supported with over 3,000 days of Fit2Fit approved on-site testing, across day and night shifts. Arco also organised training for NHS Scotland staff members in running their own face fit testing. They provided bespoke fit testing training days and continued coaching and mentoring staff so they themselves could be trained to Fit2Fitstandards. Several NHS staff have since gone on to pass their Fit2Fit examination.
NHS Staff Feedback on Face Fit Training:
"On behalf of the team, I would like to express our appreciation for the valuable support we received from Arco supporting us prior to our quantitative Fit2Fit accreditation exam. We all benefited greatly from being able to examine and probe a variety of half-face and full-face masks, on more than one occasion. The team were also on hand to help answer any questions. I would highly recommend this support is available to other NHS staff."
Arco employed a five-step process to select products that met quality, reliability and ethical standards when supplying frontline workers. Counterfeit and non-compliant PPE was identified, and all product quality was reviewed, thanks to Arco's in-house and independently accredited Product Assurance Laboratory. Arco also partnered with Alpha Solway and Scotland's Health and Social Care to develop products manufactured in the UK. New packaging was also introduced for improved storage and face fit data collected by Arco contributed to research around new products, and a new mask was launched in 2021.
This highly successful support of Scotland's Health and Social Care and NHS has been recognised by Arco's shortlisting for the IHEEM Awards. The winner will be announced on 4th October at Healthcare Estates 2022. Arco has shared sincere thanks to all their hardworking colleagues who have ensured healthcare workers and patients felt protected and safe.
Arco Supports Local Charity's Education Programmes with Funding and Volunteering
Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has donated £3,000 to local charity Run With It, an educational support non-profit charity, to help develop literacy and numeracy skills in local young people. Arco is also encouraging colleagues to involve themselves with volunteering opportunities across all Run With It programmes, including the aiding in the delivery of two new ten-week education programmes in Beverley during September, benefiting up to 60 students.
In the last two years, Run With It has expanded across the East Riding of Yorkshire and has opened two new centres at Bridlington Football Club and Flemingate Shopping Centre in Beverley, which facilitate the education programmes one day a week. With Arco's support, the charity will now be able to increase these centres' capacity to run the programmes to two days a week, resulting in extra support for four schools a week at each centre.
Anna Harvatt, Community Engagement Manager at Arco, said:
"At Arco, we are committed to helping young people achieve their potential and we have a long history of supporting schools and educational charities to achieve this aim.
"Through the Arco Community Panel, we are delighted to be supporting Run With It and enabling them to expand their offer in Beverley, which will help benefit dozens of students from the town and the surrounding area by improving their knowledge, confidence, self-esteem and mental wellbeing."
The charities' programmes run over ten weeks and aim to engage young people, who require additional support, in creative activities, encouraging learning and helping children see the link between what they learn in the classroom and the real world. Participants receive two hours per week (twenty hours in total) from Run With It staff. At the Flemingate Centre they take part in activities including using maps and leaflets to explore the Shopping Centre and utilise the facilities to improve literacy and maths skills, teamwork and problem solving, alongside a wide variety of other imaginative sessions.
Lisa Dawson, Director of Run With It, said:
"We are very grateful to Arco for agreeing to sponsor two programmes at our new Beverley Education Centre.
"This funding will support pupils to develop literacy and numeracy skills in a real-life setting using various retail outlets and businesses at Flemingate Shopping Centre.
"The children will complete a 10-week programme with all the work supporting and applying what they have learnt in school.
"Raising self-esteem and developing confidence are key aspects of the programme and Run With It will work with the schools to identify those children who would most benefit."
The charity is also looking to follow these programmes up with a one-day enrichment experience at the MKM Stadium. Run With It is aiming to offer more schools the opportunity to engage with the educational programmes by increasing the number of days it runs at Flemingate and the number of programmes that it organises during the next academic year.
Arco Relocates Watford Safety Store To New Improved Location
Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has chosen to relocate its Watford Safety Store to new premises on the Blueprint Industrial Park, two minutes away from its previous location on Colonial Way. The Safety Store will continue to serve the trade community of the area including its thousands of Trade Direct customers that currently use the membership scheme.
The new store offers 2,000 of Arco's most popular safety products already in stock and ready for customers to try before they buy. It offers a range of personal protective equipment, workwear and workplace safety equipment from all the biggest and trusted brands like TROJAN, Snickers, Regatta, Berghaus, Puma, DeWALT, MASCOT, CAT and lots more. Alternatively, customers can use Arco's click and collect service to fulfil their orders, at their convenience, from extensive product ranges available online. The store also offers small bespoke training sessions for customers, and features a Face Fit Testing room, where customers will be able to have their safety masks face fit tested to ensure that it provides the necessary respiratory protection, before purchase.
During their opening week, 18th – 23rd July, customers benefit from a range of special offers. On their day of launch, 18th July, Arco offered 40% off everything in-store, and 20% off everything for rest of the week. The Arco Clothing Centre will be on-site during the launch, fulfilling small quantity embroidery requests, along with MASCOT Workwear, Snickers, Pulsar and CAT representatives offering their expert workwear advice.
In a bid to raise awareness of the importance of hard hat safety, Arco are also offering a helmet recycling scheme in partnership with YES recycling and MSA. As part of Arco's commitment to health and safety and following a recent campaign to educate workers on the dangers of 'out of date' hard hats, the first 50 customers that bring their old hat, will receive an MSA V-Gard 520 Unvented Reduced-Peak Safety Helmet, worth £12.27, free of charge.
Paul Frewin, Divisional Director of Regions & Retail, said:
"The new Watford Safety Store will offer customers the best possible selection of products and services with our own in store experts available to offer advice and training. We are confident that local businesses will benefit from the new location within the busy industrial estate, due to the improved accessibility and convenience to neighbouring stores."
To find your nearest Arco store, visit: Arco Store Finder
*In store only, excludes training courses.
Arco Executive Announcement
In recent years Arco has delivered several key investment projects as part of its strategic growth programme, including its new offices at Blackfriargate, the extension to its National Distribution Centre and digital transformation, including a new website. Now Arco is announcing plans for the future enhancement of its leadership team, building a strong foundation for the next stage of the company’s growth.
In the coming year, David Evison will retire as Managing Director. David has been at Arco for eight years, joining as Financial Director in 2014 and serving as Managing Director for the last four years. He will work with the Board to ensure a smooth succession programme, continuing to support the company strategy, helping to make its customers world's safer through its expertise, training and products.
Richard Martin, Arco's Customer Experience Director, has been working towards a Non-Executive Director (NED) position on the Arco Board for some time. Now having successfully launched the company's new website, and more recently leading the Customer Experience team, he will be taking a planned, short sabbatical before returning to join the Statutory Board as a family NED to help onboard David Evison's successor and provide continuity for the business.
In addition, Arco's Executive Committee (Exec) has been strengthened recently with new permanent appointments, bolstered by continued progression of a number of senior leaders, to ensure the business delivers its strategic plans for growth and continued business success.
Arco Issues Respiratory Health Guidance as the HSE Cracks Down on Construction Dust
As experts in safety, Arco is reminding those working on construction sites across Great Britain that, between Monday 6th June and Friday 1st July, inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive, will be visiting sites as part of a month-long respiratory health initiative.
To help businesses prepare and ensure construction workers are safe at work, Arco is sharing expert advice to continue its efforts to educate business leaders about the long-term dangers of construction dust.
In the UK, 23 new cases of work-related respiratory diseases are diagnosed every day. As active members of the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP), Arco is dedicated to reducing this figure by working with the CDP to raise awareness and by offering expert guidance to its customers.
Those who regularly work on building sites, where there is excess dust created from activities such as wall chasing, stone cutting, demolition, drilling or sweeping, are more likely to be at risk from construction dust related respiratory illnesses. However, contracting these illnesses is avoidable with effective preventative measures and the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) or respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
Controlling the Risks
Once the hazard has been recognised, and the concentration identified through air monitoring, reasonably practicable control measures must be developed. Depending on the risk, measures should be applied to each task to make sure workers are not exposed to levels over the workplace limits, ensuring the health and safety of the workforce. In accordance with good occupational hygiene practice, the risk assessor should adopt the hierarchy of control to reduce the risk:
- Eliminate the use of harmful substances and remove the hazard in its entirety.
- Consider substitution, such as using a safer material.
- Use engineering controls that work to isolate or reduce exposure of the substance, such as less powerful tools, introducing water or bringing in on-tool dust extraction.
- Ensure there are a set of administrative controls in place, such as the implementation of an effective respiratory management programme which includes correct RPE selection, face-fit testing, training, equipment inspections and maintenance, storage and record keeping. Then ensure that employees are confident to use the control measures put in place and follow procedures and systems correctly.
- If these methods do not prevent or control the exposure, PPE in form of respiratory protective equipment will need to be issued and wearers will need to be face-fit tested.
Carrying out regular health surveillance on workers will check that control measures are working. By monitoring workers' health, the surveillance can identify early signs of ill-health and, by acting on the results, helps ensure that adequate control measures are being followed.
Kevin Williams, Respiratory Manager at Arco Professional Safety Services, said:
"Construction dust has been dubbed the 'silent killer' for a reason, as it's responsible for an alarming number of deaths every year. We have long campaigned to raise awareness of this issue, working with industry bodies and our partners. We will continue to help employers with the guidance they need to implement better safety measures for their workforce."
For Arco's full guidance visit: Arco Services - Respiratory Protection
Arco Receives Accreditation to Begin Delivering GWO Courses
Arco Professional Safety Services has been accredited by the Global Wind Organisation to deliver its suite of basic safety training (BST) qualifications at its safety centres in Linlithgow, Scotland, and Stafford, England.
The onshore wind turbine industry is a growing sector within the UK energy market and generated around 24% of the country's electricity in 2020 with Scotland championing the industry where wind alone generated 73% of all renewable electricity output.
The UK currently hosts an estimated 8,600 onshore wind turbines with this capacity expected to double by 2030 in order to meet the target of having all of the UK's energy generated from "clean sources" by 2035. Approximately 39,000 people in the UK undertook GWO courses in 2019 and, with more turbines being built every year, the sector continues to grow while the workforce expands.
As a non-profit body, founded by leading wind turbine manufacturers and operators, the GWO sets the international standard for training qualifications required by those working in the wind industry in the UK. The objective of the GWO is to support common industry training standards for health and safety that have been developed in cooperation between members of GWO and a variety of other stakeholders from the wind turbine industry.
Arco Professional Safety Services provides training and accreditation for the GWO BST Onshore course package, which includes the GWO Working at Height, GWO Manual Handling, GWO First Aid and GWO Fire Awareness modules. After completing the course, the qualifications are valid for two years before workers need to be recertified.
Steve Dawson, Manager – Working at Height Training at Arco Professional Safety Services, said:
"As experts in safety, Arco Professional Safety Services is delighted to have received accreditation from the Global Wind Organisation and to be able to offer customers the full suite of onshore BST qualifications.
"In addition to our GWO BST Onshore training offer, Arco, as the UK's only integrated services and safety products business, is also able to offer additional products and capabilities which other training providers can't, such as fall protection equipment, rescue equipment, IRATA training (rope access), workwear, respiratory protection services and musculoskeletal disorder management, making Arco the expert safety partner of choice for those businesses and staff working in the wind industry."
Spaces are available for courses at Linlithgow Safety Centre, from Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th August, and Stafford Safety Centre, from Monday 12th to Thursday 15th September.
To book your place, visit: Arco Safety Services - Energy & Renewables
Arco Scholarship Supports the Enterprise of Over a Thousand Xiamen Students
With a long history of supporting schools and education charities in the UK, Arco, the UK's leading safety products and services company, extended this to all the communities it operates in to support a key objective – to help young people achieve their potential.
Arco is committed to providing a sustainable teaching community for the people and families working in, and located near, its Xiamen office and has supported 1,364 Xiamen students since launching its 'Hard Work and Enterprise Scholarship' in China, which celebrates achieving educational targets and a positive attitude towards learning.
In 2019, Arco committed to a five-year sponsorship of the Datian No.1 Middle School Education Foundation, a large rural school two hours from Xiamen, in the Fujian province, where the business has had an office since 2005.
Arco's Xiamen team play a critical role in the business's diligent quality assurance process, working with colleagues from the UK to carry out inspections against detailed product specifications and Acceptable Quality Limits (AQL) requirements.
David Evison, Managing Director of Arco, said:
"Our passion for inspiring and supporting the next generation in our communities goes beyond our UK operations.
"By creating this positive learning environment, we hope that these students will continue their studies and strive for a bright future.
"The scholarship is one of many initiatives we are proud to support, and I'd like to say a huge thank you to our Xiamen team who help make this happen."