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More from Arco
Shaping The Safety Agenda
To keep people safe at work our experts contribute to debates on regulation, quality and standards, PPE procurement and emergency planning.
Wherever you live and wherever you work, our vision is to keep you, your people and your business safe.
Arco Announces Exclusive Partnership with FLX Health to launch the unique FLX Physio App
Arco, the UK's leading health and safety company, has announced an exciting partnership with FLX Health, to become the exclusive UK reseller of the FLX app, a targeted physiotherapy app that works to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace and rehabilitate employees more quickly when they arise.
Musculoskeletal Disorders are a Leading Cause of Lost Working Days
MSDs are a leading cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain, accounting for 30% of all work-related ill health cases and 27% of lost working days. Affecting 14.9 million people nationally, MSDs cost the NHS over £5 billion per-year for treatment and support. As a growing issue that exists in many work environments, the FLX app empowers individuals to self-manage low grade pain and injuries through behavioural change and correcting biomechanical function, reducing the need for face-to-face and online physiotherapy appointments. The FLX app will also help employers boost productivity, reduce sick days and keep their workforce healthy, happy and active.
Already Reducing the Cost of Musculoskeletal Disorders
The FLX app works in two ways, accelerating the process of recovery, and preventing injury by detecting and correcting biomechanical issues. For example, during a three-month trial conducted with the South Yorkshire Police Force, MSDs were reduced by 64% and the rate of absenteeism due to MSDs was reduced from 43 to 18 days per month. This trial amongst 237 police workers, resulted in savings of £65,000 a year. When scaled across all staff within the Force, the calculated savings could reach £1.4m a year. In a similar trial with 480 workers at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, days lost due to low level back pain reduced by 52%.
A New Way to Protect your People
The FLX app is available via subscription on mobile devices. Users can opt to use the Pain Programme to aid existing problems through corrective exercises and self-management advice or the Biomechanics Programme to help prevent future pain and injuries. The app uses clinically proven algorithms developed over 15 years to identify an individual's biomechanical profile through a series of screening tests to suggest a course of personalised physiotherapy exercises. The app learns and adjusts the programme to address users' continuously evolving biomechanical needs.
Click here for more information about the FLX app.
Arco Response to High Court Ruling on Pandemic PPE Procurement
Arco, the UK's leading safety company, is pleased to see that the High Court has ruled that the "VIP fast-track lane" for awarding PPE contracts to those with political connections was unlawful.
Throughout the early stages of the pandemic, there were examples of PPE supply contracts being awarded opaquely to organisations with no history or experience of PPE manufacture and supply, who were ultimately unable to fulfil orders as they had imported inappropriate or non-compliant products, increasing the risk to the public, care home staff and NHS workers.
Arco recognises the fact that, when the pandemic broke out, the Government was dealing with an unprecedented situation and an urgent need to scale up procurement in an extremely fast-moving environment, in which a finite supply of PPE had to be matched with an almost-infinite global demand with millions of lives at stake. In such a situation it was inevitable that mistakes would be made.
We at Arco have always felt that it was important to learn from what went wrong and to take steps to rectify these.
Last year, Arco launched a campaign to raise awareness of these issues and produced a position paper Personal Protective Equipment and the Government's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This paper shared Arco's experiences and proposed a 10-point set of recommendations to prevent a repeat of the high-profile issues that were seen during the first wave of the crisis and to ensure the country is better protected in any future pandemic.
Arco's Chairman, Thomas Martin, gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on Arco's experience at the start of the pandemic and its findings.
Arco acknowledges the positive and constructive way in which the Department for Health and Social Care has engaged with the content of the position paper, and asks Ministers to consider its remaining recommendations, particularly the call for a register of accredited Category II and III suppliers. This will ensure we can all be better prepared for any future emergencies.
Season's Greetings from our Managing Director
With the festive season upon us, it feels like an appropriate time to reflect on what has been another challenging and unpredictable year, both for Arco and our customers.
For many businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to be the most prominent issue to contend with.
As experts in safety, Arco has taken a proactive approach in supporting the country's response to the pandemic - from supplying PPE to frontline workers and critical industries to providing expert advice on the UK's future preparedness for emergencies through the publication of a position paper and by giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee.
Away from Covid-19, several notable milestones have been achieved at Arco over the past 12 months from the opening of our new safety centre in Linlithgow, Scotland, to the completion of our new office and collaborative workspace at Blackfriargate in Hull. We have also launched our new website and e-commerce platform as part of our digital programme.
Arco has also been verified carbon neutral for its direct and indirect emissions from energy use in its UK operations, marking a key moment in our journey and commitment to becoming net zero by 2045.
As a family-business, we have also continued to support communities across the country through sponsorships, grants, charitable donations and colleague engagement as part of our CSR programme.
It seems fitting that on the note of community and charity, I offer you, our customers, my greetings for the season.
From me and all colleagues at Arco, I would like to wish you, your families and friends, a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
David Evison, Managing Director
Arco Colleagues Create an Area for Wellbeing and Wildlife Next to National Distribution Centre
Colleagues from Arco's Hose Division have created a space for wellbeing and wildlife on an area of disused land next to the family business' National Distribution Centre (NDC) at Priory Park, in Hessle.
Following the demolition of Arco's previous office in Waverley Street, in Hull, as part of the upgrade of the A63, the safety expert's hose division was relocated to a new £2 million purpose-built facility next door to the NDC.
Once there, colleagues soon realised the potential of a plot of unused land nearby and set about creating a garden space over the summer.
The project includes:
- A small woodland walk that has bluebells and snowdrops in the spring
- A beehive with its own colony of honeybees, which were introduced in late summer and are thriving ahead of the winter
- A natural pond that is already attracting a wide range of small animals, including frogs
- Seating areas to relax and watch the local wildlife, creating a stronger bond with nature and enhancing the team's wellbeing
Alex Richards, Head of Hose & Export at Arco, said:
"The garden is a perfect reflection of our team, as we have repurposed old hose fittings into planters and have recycled old wooden pallets into benches.
"It's been an amazing team effort to create, with many colleagues helping in their personal time to develop the area into what has quickly become a great little wildlife haven and a natural space for people to enjoy a moment to relax during a busy day.
"We are so proud of this wonderful and mindful space and are all really looking forward to seeing how it will further develop over time."
As well as the wellbeing benefits the garden brings for colleagues, the project is also good for the environment by bringing a previously unused piece of land into use through the planting of flowers, the creation of habitats for animals and the introduction of bees to increase pollination in the area.
Danny Hobson, Head of Ethics and Sustainability at Arco, said:
"This project has created a beautiful oasis within a busy industrial complex.
"Biodiversity is so important to our world and our hose division has created an environment for wildlife to flourish.
"As a responsible business, Arco is committed to our climate and to making a meaningful difference by continuing to explore and action all the ways we can make a positive impact, from cutting emissions to investing in fleet and waste management and ensuring best practice in circularity through sustainable product development, packaging solutions and product recycling capabilities.
"It also means that Arco fully supports great initiatives like the garden that has been created by our colleagues at our hose division.
"The garden looks fantastic, and I'd like to thank all those who have put the time and effort into re-wilding this area. I know it will be enjoyed by both people and animals for many years to come."
Arco Wins Commercial Development of the Year at the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards
Arco has been crowned Commercial Development of the Year at the prestigious Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2021.
The award, sponsored by Urbana Planning, was presented at a ceremony at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds.
Over the past 18 months, Arco has completed two major developments in Hull. Investing in an extension of its National Distribution Centre and in a new office and collaborative workspace at Blackfriargate.
With longstanding ties to the city since the opening of Arco's first shop in Queen Street in 1893, the family business has relocated back to Hull's Fruit Market area. The new office brings together colleagues from three separate locations to provide a single point of collaboration from where the business can best serve its customers.
Arco's new Blackfriargate home has space for 600 colleagues and is the largest new-build office development for a single user in the Hull area since the late 1960s. Key features include bright open-plan office space with zones for collaborative working, meeting rooms and training suites equipped with state-of-the-art conference technology. The new site is easily accessible on foot from the city centre and via public transport links, with 56 secure cycle spaces.
Arco also recently completed an extension to its National Distribution Centre, known as NDC2. This extension trebled Arco's storage capacity, providing an additional area of 20,500 square metres and an internal clear height of 19 metres. The NDC2 also features one of the flattest warehouse floors in Europe. To support Arco's sustainability vision, it’s lit by natural daylight with daylight harvesting LED lights, activating only when needed.
Arco's NDC2 became operational in February 2020. The increased storage and distribution capacity enabled Arco to respond rapidly to the unprecedented demand for PPE, with the business supporting the NHS, frontline responders and critical industries. The demand for quality-assured and ethically-sourced PPE was so strong that Arco achieved its eight-year NDC2 growth roadmap within five months after launch. Arco’s logistics team became a 24/7 operation distributing 300 pallets and 8,000 parcels across the UK every day.
David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:
"Winning the Commercial Development of the Year award is a fantastic achievement for Arco and is fitting recognition for all of those involved in the development of our new collaborative workspace at Blackfriargate and the extension of the National Distribution Centre.
"These investments will futureproof our commitment to customers and will play an important role in the way we support them, both now and in the years to come, as well as enabling us to continue fulfilling our core purpose to keep people safe at work."
Arco Supports Survivors of Modern-Day Slavery Through New Charity Partnership
The United Nations International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2nd December, serves to remind us of the past and raise awareness of modern forms of slavery. With a core purpose of keeping people safe at work, Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, is committed to making a difference in eradicating modern slavery and has announced its partnership with Bright Future, a charity that supports survivors of this global issue by providing access to employment to give a safer future.
Bright Future was a partnership first created between the Co-Operative Group and City Hearts, a charity that specialises in supporting survivors of modern slavery.
Modern slavery is an international crime, affecting an estimated 40+ million people around the world. It’s a growing issue, affecting men, women and children. As one of the first companies in its sector to join the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Arco is committed to managing a truly ethical supply chain that is fully compliant with the ETI Base Code. In addition to being members of the ETI, Arco undertakes regular inspections and audits of both its UK operations, to ensure compliance with its Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement, and of its vendors and supply chains around the world.
As a business member of Bright Future, Arco has committed funding to support the ongoing work of Bright Future and provide Bright Future candidates with four-week paid placements, with the opportunity for permanent employment. The placements give candidates the opportunity to experience working at Arco with support by mentors and training.
David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:
"Arco is proud to become members of the Bright Future initiative and to provide access to employment for those who have survived modern slavery.
"Arco shares the values of the Co-Operative Group and of City Hearts when it comes to eradicating modern slavery and supporting those who have survived it to live in freedom and dignity and to be supported along the pathway back to paid employment."
Arco Supports Ready, Steady, Read - Helping Children in Hull Improve Reading Skills
Arco, the UK's leading safety products and services company, is providing £5,000 of funding to the children's reading charity Ready, Steady, Read to restart activities following the COVID-19 pandemic is also encouraging its colleagues to volunteer their time and support the charity as reading mentors, helping to improve the reading skills of children in the Hull area.
Ready, Steady, Read was established to support children with reading difficulties and provides volunteer mentoring support, dedicated reading resources and books to help local children.
The charity currently partners with Hull primary schools to help identify children whose reading is falling behind and supplies reading mentors to provide one-to-one support to children to help them gain an age-appropriate reading level.
The onset of the pandemic resulted in the charity's 34 volunteers no longer being able to go into schools and it is only during this current autumn term that volunteers are starting to return to schools, but in smaller numbers.
Unable to provide one-to-one support and to address the skills gap in reading caused by the pandemic and long periods of classroom absences, the charity developed a Reading Challenge and Reader of the Week scheme to encourage children to continue with their reading.
The Reading Challenge began in autumn 2020 with seven schools taking part and by the end of the summer term, in 2021, 13 schools were participating.
The Reader of The Week Scheme started in January 2021 with awards for nominated children each week at participating schools.
The feedback from the schools and the children taking part was so positive that the charity has incorporated these new reading schemes into the ongoing support they can offer to schools and 18 schools are now participating in the scheme during the current autumn term.
It is still a difficult and unusual time for schools, but Ready, Steady, Read is hoping to build its volunteer numbers up again and return to its pre-pandemic levels of one-to-one reading support during the spring term in 2022 in tandem with the new reading schemes.
Arco will be the official sponsor of the spring term Reader of the Week scheme and it is anticipated that approximately 4,500 children will take part.
Anna Harvatt, Community Engagement Manager at Arco, said:
"Arco is delighted to have partnered with Ready, Steady, Read and looks forward to helping the charity deliver on its aim of improving reading skills across Hull.
"As well as funding to help Ready, Steady, Read re-start its activities following the pandemic, we will also be encouraging our colleagues to volunteer as reading mentors.
"Through our work in the community, Arco is committed to supporting projects that inspire children and young people to achieve their full potential and this is very much at the heart of what Ready, Steady, Read does day-in and day-out."
Joanne Walker, Founder of Ready, Steady, Read, said:
"A good level of literacy is the foundation of all education and here at Ready, Steady, Read we are committed to improving outcomes for children who are falling behind in reading, to close the gap between children's reading age and their chronological age and to help children develop a lifelong love of reading, which in turn, supports the rest of their education.
"Working alongside partners like Arco, we are aiming to support hundreds of children across the Hull area to develop essential literacy skills and the confidence and love for reading they need to succeed at school and in life."
Arco Partners with The Constellation Trust to Provide Learning Opportunities
Arco, the UK's leading safety products and services company, has launched a partnership with The Constellation Trust to provide learning opportunities for pupils across the trust's network of primary and secondary schools in the region and to ensure that every child is connected.
Arco and The Constellation Trust's partnership will see students develop knowledge as to what it is like working for one of Hull's top employers through meetings with Arco industry experts and visits to the company's new Blackfriargate office and its National Distribution Centre (NDC).
The partnership also supports Hull City Council's ambition that every child in the city is connected by being able to access the right technology to support their education, with Arco supplying 60 laptops that will be used at Rise Academy and Rokeby Park Primary School for one-to-one sessions between teachers and students. Additional devices provided to Sirius Academy West will be housed in the school's new dedicated IT suites, featuring Arco's brand colours and company imagery, and will aid in catch-up work in English and maths.
While Arco's purpose is to keep people safe at work, the company has always recognised its responsibility to the communities in which it operates.
Arco is committed to making a meaningful difference and lives this through a range of activities and initiatives, from colleague volunteering, partnerships, and charitable donations.
One of the aims for the business is to nurture future talent, such as through its Future Experts programme.
Since launching in 2016, the business has recruited almost 40 apprentices. Arco's donation and partnership with The Constellation Trust demonstrates a strong commitment to investing in the future generation and the digital stars of the future.
David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:
"As well as ensuring pupils at Rise Academy, Rokeby Park Primary School and Sirius Academy West are connected, our partnership will see us working together to provide learning and development opportunities for students, delivered by Arco experts, which will showcase the world of work and bring the experiences of work and education closer together.
"The establishment of the new Arco Suite at Sirius Academy West is a great honour for our business and will have a real impact on supporting student learning and the development of digital skills."
Dr Cathy Taylor, CEO of The Constellation Trust, said:
"The launch of this new partnership with Arco is a really exciting opportunity for the Trust. Like Arco, The Constellation Trust is embedded in the communities we serve, and we are always looking to work with partners to provide opportunities for our students, so they develop not only through learning but also through experiences.
"We look forward to working with Arco on various projects and initiatives in the future as we develop our partnership further."
Gemma Ransom, Head of School at Sirius Academy West, said:
"We live in a digital age and the capacities of the present and future students require an ability and technical skill way beyond what was imaginable even five years ago.
"A strong ICT infrastructure is absolutely imperative for young people and their learning to enable them to achieve and be the best they can be.
"The donation of laptops, housed in our wonderful new Arco Suite, will ensure that Sirius Academy West students can do just that.
"We are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of Arco and their desire to improve the academic outcomes of young people in Hull."