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News and Updates

All the latest news and updates from the UK's leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment

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  • Arco Extends Partnership with Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity

    06 April 2022

    Arco has extended its support of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, the only charity that provides emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families.

    The construction industry has one of the worst suicide rates in the UK, with two construction workers taking their own lives every working day, on average. The charity was created to combat this and provides a free and confidential 24/7 helpline which provides emergency financial aid and support on a huge variety of emotional and physical wellbeing issues. They also offer a free self-support app, a text HARDHAT support service and free mental health and wellbeing training.

    Reliant on the generosity of its donors, Arco's continued support will help ensure that the Lighthouse Club has a sustainable income to grow and deliver its critical services, including its ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat' campaign.

    The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health by signposting the construction community to pro-active resources, including interactive wellbeing sessions and the MHFA England approved Mental Health First Aider Course.

    Dave Cox, Head of the Construction Sector at Arco, said:

    "Construction is vital to the UK economy and its workers are the lifeblood of the industry. Having initially supported the Lighthouse Club with a community grant during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted that Arco's relationship with the charity has become a more enduring partnership. We look forward to continuing to support the Lighthouse Club's critical work in the year to come."

    Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club, said:

    "We are delighted to have Arco as a company supporter. With Arco's sponsorship, we can continue to make a meaningful difference and deliver the emergency emotional and financial support that the construction community so desperately needs."

    For further information about the Lighthouse Club, visit: www.lighthouseclub.org

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  • Arco Colleagues Spring into Action to Ensure Pickering Park is Ready for Visitors

    29 March 2022

    Colleagues from Hull-based safety company, Arco, have spent a day volunteering in the community to make sure Pickering Park is ready for the spring.

    A team of 11 helped tidy up and undertake general maintenance and gardening work to the park's sensory garden.

    The day was organised by the Hull & East Yorkshire Smile (HEY) Foundation and run by The Friends of Pickering Park, a community organisation that works with local people to improve the park for the whole community.

    As a fifth-generation family business, Arco is committed to being a responsible company and encourages its colleagues to share their experience, skills and knowledge in the community by providing two days of paid leave each year to support volunteering opportunities.

    Anna Harvatt, Community Engagement Manager at Arco, said:

    "All of our colleagues are given two days each year to volunteer. They really enjoy giving back to their local communities and charitable organisations and their time and skills make a huge difference.

    "The past two years have seen such opportunities limited, due to the pandemic, so it is great that we can now start to get back out and about.

    "I'd like to thank our team of volunteers for all of their hard work and our partners at HEY Smile Foundation and Friends of Pickering Park for organising the day.

    "The sensory garden looks fantastic and is ready for the spring and summer and to be enjoyed by visitors once again."

    Tessa Wray, Smile's Business Developer, said:

    "Following the pandemic, it's great to see corporate teams once again given the opportunity to down tools in the office and put their time and skills to good use in the community. The last couple of years have been challenging for charitable organisations for reasons such as: lack of fundraising, disruption to service delivery and access to volunteers.

    "I'm certainly seeing an increased appetite for volunteering by businesses, who are keen to see their teams coming back together following long periods of home working and at the same time giving back to communities where employees live and work."

    Carole Parker, Trustee of Friends of Pickering Park, said:

    "The sensory garden was created in 2012 on a disused bowling green.

    "Due to Covid-19, we haven't been able to tend the garden and, consequently, the garden has overgrown and become unmanageable. But, thanks to the HEY Smile Foundation and the commitment of Arco staff, we now have a team of enthusiastic volunteers from the business helping us in the sensory garden."

    Pickering Park was founded by philanthropist Christopher Pickering and officially opened in 1911. It is a popular green space in the city with an aviary, fishing lake, playgrounds, outdoor gym and a paddling pool, which is open during the summer.

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  • Arco Funds New Service by Ayrshire Cancer Support to Assist Children Affected by Cancer

    22 March 2022

    Ayrshire Cancer Support has received £6,650 in funding from Arco to create a new support service for children and young people.

    Ayrshire Cancer Support has operated in the local area since 1982, providing emotional support and practical assistance to cancer sufferers and their loved ones across Ayrshire. The charity provides a range of free therapeutic services, organises hospital transport and a variety of counselling and support group services through its Kilmarnock centre. The charity also launched an appeal to raise £1.8 million to carry out extensive building works to its recently purchased building in Ayr, which will become an additional centre where all children and young people's services will be undertaken.

    Arco's donation has contributed towards a range of developing services, including a newly hired Children and Young People Lead. This position will play a pivotal role in assisting the charity to provide well-being services and meaningful collaboration with children and young people. This will include building on existing children's services and connecting with the wider community to build an effective support network.

    Sandra McCall, at Ayrshire Cancer Support, said:

    "We are delighted that Arco have helped us to fund our children and young people service which will support not only children diagnosed with cancer, but children and young people who are bereaved or affected by a parent, sibling or grandparent diagnosed with cancer.

    "The aim of this work is to make a significant difference to children and young people's mental health and well-being, by supporting them to feel better able to cope with the practical, emotional and psychological challenges associated with their or a family member/friend's cancer diagnosis. The charity will also help them to better understand and make positive changes to their thinking, behaviour and relationships."

    Bryan Lawrie, Commercial Director at Arco, said:

    "Arco is committed to the communities we work in and especially in terms of supporting organisations, projects and initiatives that help children and young people to achieve.

    "Cancer affects many people, whether it is a personal diagnosis or that of a family member or friend. Ayrshire Cancer Support provides emotional support and practical help to those affected by cancer and improves the quality of life of those living with cancer.

    "We are proud to have helped support the charity in order for it to develop its offer for children and young people. It is great to see that the new member of staff has settled into their new role well and is already making such a positive difference to the lives of so many children and young people in the Ayrshire area."

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  • Business Advice Following HSE Update on Woodworking Safety

    18 March 2022

    Uk's leading safety company Arco shares expert advice following health & safety executive (HSE) revisions to woodworking safety

    From April 2022, woodworking businesses across the UK will be visited by HSE inspectors to ensure duty holders know the risks associated with woodworking and to inspect whether effective controls are in place to protect workers' respiratory health.

    To help businesses prepare, Arco, the UK's leading safety company, is sharing expert advice, ahead of the Health and Safety Executive's updates, to support employers with people involved in wood working.

    In January 2020, the HSE introduced new and revised workplace exposure limit guidance for 13 substances, including wood dust. Wood dust is a hazardous substance and inhaling the fine particles can develop into respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and occupational asthmas. Settled dust contains the fine particles that are most likely to damage the lungs and hardwood dusts, such as oak, western red cedar and iroko, are carcinogens that can cause sinonasal cancer.

    In addition to the respiratory threat posed by wood dust, it is also a fire or explosion hazard. Unconfined wood dust can ignite and spread flames across a cloud in the air, while wood dust that is contained can build up pressure when ignited and lead to destructive explosions.

    The serious health and safety threats demonstrate the essential need for appropriate controls and protective measures for woodworking environments. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) guidelines sets out the legal requirements for organisations to protect their workers' health from hazardous substances. Due to the health risks, wood dust is covered by COSHH and thus risk aversion controls are a legal requirement.

    Kevin Williams, Respiratory Team Manager at Arco Professional Safety Services at Arco said:

    "The risk from wood dust should be minimised, ideally by using methods that do not generate wood dust or by removing it at source. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be issued as a last line of defence once all other control measures are in place.

    "The HSE will expect to see a clear education and understanding of the control measures put in place by employers to protect workers from harm. It is also a legal requirement for all employees to receive appropriate training and supervision for any related equipment to ensure safety standards are implemented accordingly.

    "Workers should also be encouraged to be involved in health and safety as they are often the best people to understand the risks and help find solutions.

    "Through worker involvement you can act together to reduce accidents and ill health within the workplace, by paying attention to layout, worker movement and keeping workshops and storage areas tidy."

    Learn more about how you can make sure your workplace is safe and compliant by reading Arco's expert guidance.

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  • Arco Provides Seed Funding for Polyester Recycling Trial

    15 March 2022

    Nearly 90 per cent of the 33 million workwear garments supplied annually end up in landfills or are incinerated. Many of these items are made from polyester, a plastic-based fabric and industry staple that uses an estimated 342 million barrels of oil every year to make.

    With a limited product lifetime and little to no infrastructure for recycling and manufacturing in the UK, workwear has a high social and environmental impact.

    As the UK's leading safety products and services company, Arco has committed seed funding to partner with start-up company Stuff4Life to support the research and development of a closed-loop, circular economy solution for polyester workwear. The funding will enable Stuff4Life to commission a chemical recycling demonstration plant in collaboration with Teesside University, bringing onboard its academic experts, world-leading research capabilities and state-of-the-art facilities.

    The plant will recover the base compound terephthalic acid (TPA), used in the production of polyester fabric, from recycled workwear. The recovered TPA will then be reincorporated into various manufacturing processes, with the goal being to manufacture new polyester to deliver a "PPE for Life" opportunity in the UK.

    As part of the trial phase, Arco and Stuff4Life will collect, shred and transport up to six tonnes of end-of-line polyester and polyester mix garments. The garments will then be recycled using chemical processes. Several batches of garments with different levels of polyester content will be put through the process and the results analysed, including the TPA quality.

    If the initiative is successful, Arco and Stuff4Life will be able to support a circular economy for workwear. This would see the TPA created through the chemical recycling activity sold back into the virgin polyester manufacturing process, with volumes externally audited and validated.

    Successfully recycling polyester and establishing an onshore UK supply chain would reduce the industry's dependency on fossil fuels and find value in waste. It will also significantly reduce pollution from the manufacturing process as recycled polyester uses 59 per cent less energy compared to virgin polyester. If successful, this will significantly help tackle the world's climate crisis.

    David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:

    "As a fifth-generation family business, Arco has always put corporate and social responsibility at the heart of the organisation. Our involvement with Stuff4Life and Teesside University is an opportunity to make a real difference to the environmental and social impacts of workwear and to use our scale and product development capabilities to drive an effective circular economy, supporting local regeneration and ensuring we protect more people and the planet."

    John Twitchen, Director of Stuff4Life, comments:

    "The humble hi-vis is an essential item for everyone working in hazardous environments, from mending roads and collecting bins to saving people at sea or up mountains. The impact of polyester as a linear make-use-dispose garment is significant, but by recycling it those impacts can be substantially reduced whilst keeping all the performance benefits from using synthetic fibres. We're excited to be working on such an important project with the country's leading safety company."

    Dr David Hughes, Associate Professor in Teesside University's School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, said:

    "Polymers no doubt have a hugely important role in the future of energy, resources, food, health and infrastructure. However, we need to decouple from a use and dispose economy to a circular, sustainable one. This project builds on Teesside's 20 years of experience in research into environmental and sustainable engineering technologies. We are hugely proud to be working with Stuff4life and Arco to make a real difference to the future of polymer sustainability."

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