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Arco Colleagues Receive Medal Honours for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

24 May 2022

Three colleagues from Arco Professional Safety Services, Mike Clayton, Bartek Biela and Rob Messenger, are being awarded the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of their life-saving voluntary work with Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation and the Staffordshire Search & Rescue Team of Lowland Search & Rescue, respectively.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal is a recognition of exemplary service by members in frontline emergency roles, prison services and the Armed Forces with at least five full years of voluntary service. The three colleagues have utilised their expertise in the safety sector to support emergency services in life-threatening situations in some of the country's most inhospitable environments, including the longest cave rescue in Welsh history last year.

Within Arco, Mike is an Equipment Department Manager and is responsible for the selection, procurement and delivery of the equipment in Arco's Professional Safety Services business. Externally, Mike is the Chairman of Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation and the National Equipment Officer for the British Cave Rescue Council.

Mike commented:

"I am proud to receive this medal as recognition for all the voluntary work undertaken over the past five years. No one volunteers for cave rescue for reward or honours but to be there to help others in difficulty, however, these acknowledgements are a bonus."

Bartek, a Training Instructor at Arco Professional Safety Services, teaches a wide range of practical work at height and rescue courses as well as the IOSH accredited Work at Height for Managers and Personal Fall Protection Inspection courses. As an avid member of numerus caving clubs in the past, coupled with his expertise in the safety industry, Bartek understands the importance of rescue provisions for outdoor activities which guided his decision to become a Team Leader at Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation.

Bartek said:

"It is a privilege and a great honour to receive the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal. When joining the organisation, I never expected any recognition or rewards as we are only there to help when this is most needed."

Rob, a Work at Height and Confined Space Instructor at Arco, has been involved in several major incidents, large scale missing person searches and operations to provide lifesaving first aid to injured hikers. As a Team Leader of Lowland Search and Rescue Team, Rob is tasked with operational command and control as well as legal compliance with the regulations set by the Charities Commission.

At Arco, Rob delivers comprehensive work at height safety and rescue courses, confined space courses and first aid training as well as bespoke rescue from height training.

On being nominated for his Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal, Rob explained:

"I feel honoured to be recognised amongst the men and women of the emergency services. People don't volunteer because they have the time, they volunteer because they care."

David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:

"We're incredibly proud that Mike, Bartek and Rob have been recognised for their excellent voluntary work over the last five years. They have each made a difference in their commitment to help keep people safe in inhospitable environments.

"As experts in safety, Arco, as a business, encourages its colleagues to share their knowledge and expertise in the communities we serve, including through volunteer work."

Mips and Arco announce Head Protection Education Partnership

24 May 2022

Mips®, a world-leading helmet-based safety technology company, has announced an education partnership on head protection with Arco, the UK's leading safety experts.

The education partnership aims to improve knowledge and awareness around head injuries and their possible causes on construction sites, how incidents occur generally, and what happens, or could happen, to our head when we fall. Arco and Mips® will collaborate on various initiatives, working closely with safety professionals, end-users and industry institutions. Both companies will continue to offer expert advice on the different levels of protection that safety helmets can give the wearer, the role hard hat technology can play, and provide employers and workers with a better understanding of what good head protection requires.

Mips®, already firmly established and well known in sports helmets, motorcycle and popular among skiers and cyclists, has established a strong customer base in its new safety category in 2021. The Mips® Safety System is designed to help reduce rotational motion to the head caused by certain angled impacts. A low-friction layer inside the safety helmet allows multi-directional movement of 10-15mm on certain angled impacts, intended to help reduce rotational force to the head.

Arco, the UK's only integrated services and safety products company, is a leading supplier of PPE, workwear and safety products, offering an extensive range of over 200,000 individual items.

Alex Turgoose, PPE Product and Procurement Manager at Arco, said:

"Head injuries are a major problem in the workplace. We are seeing momentum in demand for products equipped with the Mips® safety system from Arco customers, as more manufacturers incorporate the patented Mips®helmet-based technology into their safety helmets. As experts in safety, we understand that each business faces its own unique and complex challenges when managing workplace health and safety. We are passionate about raising awareness of safety risks through expert advice, guidance on hazards, compliance, and best practice to our customers large and small. It's important to us, as an expert safety partner for more than 25,000 customers, that we help educate them to identify, monitor and reduce the risk associated with workplace hazards - especially when it comes to head protection."

Olof Rylander, Senior Business Developer for Safety at Mips®, said:

"We are pleased to partner with Arco and continue to educate the market on issues concerning head protection. Together we will work closely with safety professionals and industry institutions and continue our research into the field of head injuries in construction, the role hard hat technology can play, and provide a deeper understanding of the risks from rotational motion caused by head impacts in construction."

Hard Hat Awareness Week 2022 will take place on the 13th-19th June. Get involved here.

Webinar: Understanding the risks around head injuries in construction - Hard hats and mishaps - Thursday 16th June 2.30pm BST

A new study conducted by Imperial College London at The HEAD Lab tells us how incidents occur generally and what happens when we fall. The study may help us to further understand the risks around head injuries in construction and their causes. The study concentrates on fall accidents from the same level and from height. Register here.

Learn more about Mips® and the products we sell view

  • Arco Donates Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Aid Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine

    03 May 2022

    Arco, the UK's leading safety company, is donating over 80,000 items of essential PPE to global first responder, International Medical Corps, to aid those directly affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

    Partnering with International Medical Corps, Arco has provided 54,000 aprons and 33,600 masks to support healthcare workers on the ground who are providing medical assistance, those caring for Ukrainian refugees in Poland and those helping with search and rescue operations in areas of Ukraine damaged by conflict following the invasion of the country by Russia.

    International Medical Corps delivers emergency medical aid, equipment and training that will allow impacted communities to become self-sufficient and effective first responders themselves.

    Previously, Arco has been called on by the UK government, as an expert safety partner with real-world industry experience, to assist and advise on crises such as the Ebola epidemic, Swine Flu pandemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Arco is keen to offer its support in facilitating humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and has been liaising with the International Medical Corps on fit-for-purpose PPE for both emergency workers and displaced locals, which is critical, as proper sanitation is crucial to prevent the spread of infectious diseases amidst an ongoing medical emergency.

    David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:

    "The situation that is continuing to unfold in Ukraine is heart-breaking."

    "Supporting those in need at times of crisis is embedded in our business' culture and many of our colleagues have either direct or indirect links to Eastern Europe, so we are keen to do everything we can to support those affected by the crisis.

    "International Medical Corps are very experienced in responding to crises and we are pleased that we have been able to arrange the donation of much-needed PPE to help and support their response."

    Rebecca Milner, Chief Advancement Officer at International Medical Corps, said:

    "This generous PPE donation by Arco will help us continue our efforts to provide medical care to the people of Ukraine and the surrounding region. With millions of people displaced and the needs high, it is critical to ensure continuity of healthcare in the midst of this conflict."

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  • HSE Safety Alert for Ear Loop Respirators and Masks

    03 May 2022

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a new safety alert advising that respirators/masks that rely on ear loops do not provide the necessary protection when compared to those that use head straps to achieve an appropriate seal.

    There has been an increase in respirators/masks with ear loops that indicate that they offer the same protection as FFP2 respirators. However, new research, conducted by the HSE, has demonstrated that respirators which rely on ear loops (including those that are provided with additional means of tightening the mask to hold it in place, often known as 'snuggers') do not protect people adequately when used as tight-fitting respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

    Both FFP2 and FFP3 respirators depend on there being a good seal with the wearer's face in order to protect the user's respiratory system. The lack of a tight fit and good seal may lead to the creation of small gaps on the face which will mean that the respirator is not providing the necessary protection. This could increase the risk to the wearer's health, or even life, if the mask is being specified in high-risk areas.

    As part of the RPE selection process, individual wearers should be fit-tested to ensure a good seal and therefore adequate protection. The HSE research showed that in most cases respirators with ear loops did not pass face-fit testing, despite being UKCA or CE marked.

    The HSE therefore recommends that ear loop mask/respirators are not used as RPE in the workplace and that duty holders revisit their Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 risk assessment and review their Respiratory Management Programme.

    Adam Willcock, Category Manager for PPE at Arco, said:

    "Arco does not supply respirators with ear loops. We first became aware of this issue in July 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, while we were trying to source FFP2 and FFP3 masks. We have a wealth of experience in respiratory protection and have one of the largest BSIF Fit2Fit accredited teams in the UK. We became aware of the issue of the lack of an adequate seal and failures with face-fit testing. We offer a range of respirators that use head straps to hold them in place, are fully compliant with the relevant standards and are UKCA or CE marked. We always advise our customers to use these and to undertake face-fit testing to protect their workers."

    Find out more about the HSE alert here.

    See Arco’s full range of FFP2 respirators with head straps here and learn about our face-fit testing here.

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  • World Day for Safety and Health at Work

    26 April 2022

    World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 'Open Communication is Crucial in Building a Safer Workplace'

    This year's World Day for Safety and Health at Work focuses on participation and social dialogue to foster a positive safety and health culture.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, developed effective ways of communicating with its colleagues from a safety, health and environment (SHE) perspective and is keen to maintain these high standards in the future.

    However, in recent years, a shift to new forms of working, such as hybrid models, has presented opportunities for workers but also posed potential risks, including a decline in mental health and wellbeing.

    At the peak of the pandemic, psychological distress across the nation hit an all-time high and it is estimated that one-in-six people experienced a common mental health problem. In the UK, that's equivalent to over 10 million people.

    The uncertainty caused by the pandemic meant the way businesses communicated was critical to manage the fears and concerns of their colleagues and it remains just as important today.

    Although restrictions have eased, many businesses continue to operate with hybrid models.

    Jo Heselton, Arco's Group Safety, Health and Environmental Manager, said:

    "There are many days where employees cannot simply look over their shoulder to check on a colleague, so we need new methods to provide consistent support and an open dialogue to ensure our workplace is safe from a mental health perspective."

    Jo has worked in health and safety for over 30 years and her work during the pandemic was recognised by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), receiving a Covid Workplace Champion Award.

    "Mental health should always be a priority for employers and one of the best ways to address this effectively is to have a dedicated team of mental health first aiders. Mental health first aiders act as a first point of contact for colleagues with mental health issues, providing support and guidance."

    As well as dedicated and trained mental health first aiders, a strong and open internal communication system is a critical part of maintaining a positive dialogue and culture. For example, setting up a wellbeing hub that is frequently updated with mindfulness tips, FAQs and employee assistance programmes, such as confidential phone-line support. It's also a great place to share tailored advice for colleagues, with specific information relevant to their team and the potential for employees to share their own stories. Creating guides specifically for colleagues to use and share with friends and family can also help employees feel valued and informed.

    Jo added:

    "As businesses look ahead at the 'new normal' of hybrid working, it's important not to neglect the social and human benefits of the workplace.

    "Assistance during working hours is important but supporting individuals who are isolated should also be a priority for employees' welfare. Colleagues and volunteers from across the business can organise virtual opportunities outside of work hours to promote human connection, for example, cooking and music lessons, quizzes and even seasonal activities like a virtual pantomime! Activities like these provide welcome distractions, and invaluable connections which so many were deprived of during the pandemic."

    In terms of final thoughts for businesses and organisations seeking to build on what they learned during the pandemic and develop best practice."

    Jo said:

    "Ultimately, clear communication, accessible resources and support for team members are the key lessons businesses should take away from the pandemic. Each of these points is not enough on its own; clear resources will do your business little good if no one reads them and even the most supported worker cannot be in all places at once. A combined approach is essential to ensure, in an increasingly hybrid working model, that open dialogue is pursued and encouraged from a variety of angles. Every business is different, and the exact system of support required will reflect that, but it should be at forefront of all businesses priorities."

    Shop our wide range of First Aid and PPE, designed to keep you and your staff safe

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