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News and Updates

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

  • Arco's Campaign on the PPE Procurement Crisis Wins PRCA National Award

    12 November 2021

    Leading safety company Arco announces that its campaign identifying the issues with PPE procurement in the first phase of the pandemic and advice on future preparedness has won the PRCA National Award for the Crisis and Issues Management category.

    Working with its Public Affairs advisors at Dentons Global Advisors Interel and Public Relations agency Houston. Arco, as the UK's leading provider of personal protective equipment (PPE), published a Position Paper: Personal Protective Equipment and the Government's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic that offered insight into its experiences dealing with Government bodies and other agencies as part of the PPE supply chain.

    Proposing 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 provided a strong and authoritative voice in the industry and the report was picked up and read in parliament by MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, Emma Hardy. With support and invaluable insight from Thomas Martin, Chairman of Arco and Neil Hewitt, Director of QSHE UK & Asia, the report shared findings with the independent Public Accounts Committee, and led to Thomas Martin being invited to give expert evidence as a witness to the Committee's inquiry into how the Government procured PPE.

    Thomas Martin, Arco's Chairman said:

    "With over 135 years of experience in the industry our core purpose is to help keep people safe, so we felt that it was our duty to report on our experiences and to support the Government in continuing to deal with the pandemic. We urged the Government to act on our recommendations and the evidence we gave has played a key part in raising awareness for the improvements needed in the regulation and purchasing of PPE and I'm really pleased to see that our work has been recognised with the PRCA National Awards in the Crisis and Issues Communications category.

    I congratulate our partners Interel for devising and driving this project forward and for the ongoing support from our communications consultants at Houston who delivered a superb media campaign."

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  • Are Your Workplace Safety Signs Compliant?

    11 November 2021

    UK Safety Expert Arco Urges Businesses to Review Their Safety Signage

    As businesses continue to reintroduce employees to the workplace, Arco, the UK's leading safety company, is raising awareness of the importance of reviewing safety signage to keep businesses compliant and employees and members of the public safe.

    New workplace layouts designed to adhere to social distancing measures may be obstructing the visibility of signs installed before COVID-19. In addition, temporary closures may have disrupted regular cleaning and maintenance procedures, increasing the likelihood that signs may be dirty, faded or damaged. Safety signs are designed to help identify hazards and provide information on safe routes and access around buildings. However, signage must be adequately cleaned, maintained and updated to work effectively.

    Arco is urging employers to consider whether their signage needs replacing and ensure it is in line with current regulations. Signs must meet the BS EN IS07010 standard to ensure all graphical safety symbols are consistent and compliant. Signs with universal images and symbols are essential in overcoming language or literacy barriers.

    Under the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulation 1996, employers are responsible for providing adequate, current and maintained safety signs in circumstances where there is a significant safety risk. The regulation also states that employers must ensure their staff are aware of and understand the meaning of individual safety signs and signals by providing training where necessary.

    Arco experts offer a specialist onsite survey and build bespoke safety signage plans. Its experts have also developed a downloadable self-survey tool to help businesses assess their initial safety signage requirements. With a comprehensive range of standard safety signage products and a customised solution service, Arco can help ensure companies are compliant with the latest legalisation and standards and, ultimately, keep their people safe.

    Darren Williamson, Arco Product & Procurement Manager for Workplace Safety, said:

    "A small investment in signage can make a huge difference to worker and visitor safety. However, safety signs must be considered an ongoing area of investment and improvement to ensure that they are visible, maintained and compliant with current health and safety standards."

    To request a site survey by one of our experts, or download a self-assessment survey, please visit Site Surveys.

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  • Arco Donates £50,000 Worth of PPE to the Hull & East Yorkshire (HEY) Smile Foundation

    26 October 2021

    Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has donated over £50,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to the HEY Smile Foundation, a leading local charity working with organisations in the health and community support sectors. This PPE will be distributed to local groups and charitable organisations across Hull and East Yorkshire and will help support some of the most vulnerable people in society ahead of the challenging winter period.

    With the Government publishing its COVID-19 response plans for autumn and winter, it's clear that continued vigilance is required as the winter months approach and COVID-19, flu and other seasonal viruses become more prevalent. The donation of PPE stock, including disposable face masks and aprons, will directly support local groups and charities to continue to provide critical services safely throughout this period.

    The delivery to the HEY Smile Foundation was facilitated by Arco's delivery partner XPO Logistics and Men in Sheds, in Hornsea, has offered to store the 16 pallets of PPE to enable Smile to promote and distribute to groups where it is most needed.

    Andy Owen, Head of Sector - Healthcare at Arco, said:

    "Arco is delighted to have made this donation of PPE to the HEY Smile Foundation to distribute for community use. Our core promise is Your World Made Safer. We know that this donation will help a number of charities and local groups to continue their work safely, providing support to some of the most vulnerable people in Hull and the East Riding over the coming winter months."

    Tessa Wray, Smile's Business Developer, said:

    "Receiving donations of this nature enables Smile to identify organisations that would benefit most from them. Working with our trusted partners, we're able to distribute donations to organisations efficiently, ensuring surplus goods are re-used to benefit the community, saving charitable organisations' money and, at the same time, supporting Arco's charitable objectives and ethos.

    Going into winter, respiratory conditions are going to be a major challenge for the NHS. This is a very welcomed donation for charitable organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups across Hull and East Yorkshire."

    Anna Harvatt, Community Engagement Manager at Arco, said:

    "As an active supporter of a range of community partnerships, Arco was pleased to make this donation of PPE, including disposable masks and aprons, to the HEY Smile Foundation to support charities and local groups across the communities of Hull and the East Riding.

    Supporting our communities is a really important part of Arco's culture and ethos and is driven by our core goal of keeping people safe."

    Voluntary and community organisations looking to stock up on disposable masks and aprons this winter, should contact Michelle Barnes at HEY Smile Foundation at

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  • Arco Announced as a Finalist in the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2021

    11 October 2021

    Arco has been confirmed as a finalist in the Commercial Development of the Year category of the prestigious Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2021, with this year's awards ceremony taking place at the Emerald Suite at Headingley Stadium on 17 November 2021.

    Over the past 18 months, Arco has completed two major developments in Hull. Investing £30 million in its National Distribution Centre (NDC) extension and £16 million in a new office.

    With longstanding ties to Hull 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 across the city 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. Accessibility played an important role in the building's design, with level access to the main entrance, lifts to all floors and an open plan interior for accessible mobility.

    Sustainability was at the forefront of Arco's requirements while designing the new building. The development transformed previously disused land, allowing Arco colleagues to remain close to Hull's centre and able to access all the facilities it has to offer. All construction materials, fixtures, fittings, paint and furniture used are free from toxins, invisible pollutants and harmful chemicals or fibre. All materials were also sustainably and locally sourced, wherever possible. The development has been awarded a 'very good' BREEAM rating for its environmental impact. Arco also uses renewable sources for its power and high-efficiency heating and lighting equipment to significantly reduce the development's carbon footprint. Its completion marks a major milestone in Hull's rejuvenation.

    Arco also recently completed an extension development to its NDC, 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:

    "It is a real privilege to have been announced as a finalist for these prestigious awards.

    "We have invested £46m in our new collaborative workspace in Blackfriargate and on futureproofing our commitment to customers through the extension of our National Distribution Centre.

    "These investments play an important role in the way we support our customers and have been developed with sustainability at the forefront of their design.

    "As well as providing a timely boost for the region's economy and offering employment and training opportunities, these investments enable us to continue fulfilling our core purpose: to keep people safe at work."

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  • On Her Majesty's Safety Services

    29 September 2021

    Dressed in tuxedo and bowtie, Steve Dawson from Arco Professional Safety Services was pictured climbing a ladder below one of the pods on the London Eye on Tuesday morning, ahead of the film premiere of Britain's most famous secret agent at the Royal Albert Hall.

    As experts in safety and working at height, Arco Professional Safety Services provides consultancy, training, services and equipment to manage the most complex and high-risk, high-hazard scenarios, making the team perfectly placed to undertake this stunt at one of London's most recognisable and iconic landmarks.

    Steve Dawson, working at height training manager at Arco Professional Safety Services, said:

    "It's been a real privilege for Arco, as the UK's leading safety company, to partner with the team at the London Eye to deliver this exciting event, safely."

    "Working at height is what we are trained to do and to demonstrate our skill and expertise, working with the London Eye, is testament to the trust that the organisers have put in us."

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