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News and Updates

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

  • UK Safety Expert Arco Donates £10,000 to Domestic Abuse Charity, Refuge

    24 May 2021

    Arco, has donated a further £10,000 to Refuge, England's largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services, supporting over 7,000 women and children on any given day. The UK's leading safety company's second donation takes its total contribution to Refuge to £15,000 in the last 6 months.

    Whilst Arco's core purpose is to keep people safe at work, it has always recognised its responsibilities to the communities within which it operates. The safety expert is committed to making a meaningful difference by supporting causes that keep communities safer, including those whose work focuses on personal safety, preventing violence, and helping the victims of abuse. Arco fulfils this mission through its compassionate workforce which has demonstrated great dedication to support causes through personal fundraising alongside company-wide partnerships and relationships.

    Arco's Community Panel encourages colleagues to offer guidance on the larger charitable donations it makes, and which areas the company should support. This year Arco has run two "Coronavirus Grant" schemes which invited employees to apply for grants of £1,000 on behalf of organisations and charities in their local communities that required vital funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations from the Coronavirus Grant Schemes now total £106,000. The schemes add to Arco's Community Grants programme, which encourages employees to apply for grants up to £500 for causes close to their hearts, with the grants being reviewed and awarded by Arco's Community Panel each quarter.

    Earlier in the year, one Arco colleague applied for a grant for Refuge, highlighting the incredible work it does to support vulnerable women and children following her experience with the charity. The application led Arco's Community Panel to support Refuge with a £5,000 donation in December 2020. Following the tragic events reported in the press the company has decided to donate a further £10,000. Through publicising our donations, we hope that raises the awareness and is a reminder that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of age, race, gender, faith or class, and how survivors can bring great change and awareness.

    David Evison, Managing Director of Arco, says:

    "Over the last year or so, the world has experienced a time unlike any other, resulting in each of us having to overcome unfamiliar challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, for those suffering at the hands of an abusive partner, the challenges have been unprecedented. We're grateful for the opportunity to support Refuge, a charity with a purpose that aligns with our own, to keep people safe."

    Charly Meehan, Refuge's Head of Corporate Partnerships, says:

    "Domestic abuse is a life or death issue. We are still working around the clock to ensure we can provide both immediate and long-term support for women and children who need us and may be experiencing long-term complex effects of lockdown. We couldn't have done this without supporters like Arco. Thank you for your commitment to our mission: changing society so that no-one has to live in fear of violence or abuse."

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  • High Praise for Arco's £30m National Distribution Centre Extension

    17 May 2021

    The UK's leading safety company, Arco, has been highly commended by SHD Logistics in their "New Facility Award". Following a £30 million investment to extend its National Distribution Centre (NDC), Arco has supplied PPE to the NHS, front line responders and critical industries throughout the pandemic.

    The scale of its response to the COVID-19 crisis has been facilitated by its NDC extension which has trebled Arco's storage capacity with an additional area of 220,000 square feet in size and standing at an impressive 22 metres high. The investment will ensure that Arco can future proof its commitment to customers through improved logistical and storage capabilities and meet its ambitious growth plans.

    Arco reviewed its supply chain strategy to ensure it could meet its customers' evolving service requirements and have the capacity to meet demand. Cost and service analysis led to the extension of the existing NDC to increase pallet storage capacity, and a £22m investment was approved for the build and £8m for the internal fit-out. The build of Arco's new extension, known as NDC2, began in March 2018. The extension supported £4m worth of investment in 2016 to Arco's original facility which doubled the number of packing benches alongside software and conveyor system updates. The resulting increase in picking and packing capability improved the throughput capacity and enhanced Arco's capabilities to meet next day deliveries.

    Now completed, the NDC and extension have a combined floor space of 400,000 square feet. The extension can hold 40,000 pallets and is the company's main storage facility with bespoke racking commissioned to accommodate larger products. To easily and efficiently manage product movement between the two buildings, Arco introduced a new replenishment conveyor system. Today, 2.7km of conveyor carry products around the building.

    To support Arco's sustainability vision, natural daylight illuminates the facility and daylight harvesting LED lights activate when needed, limiting electricity usage.

    Planned Go Live and COVID-19

    To deliver a seamless transition and mitigate risks of day-to-day operations and customer service, the transition to the new building was planned to take a phased approach, with stock being transferred from the third party providers by June 2020.

    However, on March 11th 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, 12 days later the UK went into lockdown. Arco responded quickly, with the new facility providing immediate capacity, becoming involved in the procurement, stocking and distribution of over 140m face masks, 18m gloves, over 0.5m coveralls and 0.5m hygiene products, including hand sanitiser.

    Arco became a key supplier to the NHS, ambulance services, local authorities, other public health bodies and critical industries such as food supply. The logistics team doubled the size of the nightshift, moving from 24/5 to 24/7 operation. This was achieved within 48 hours under strict control measures: social distancing, increased cleaning regimes and 30-minute gaps between shifts to reduce exposure and contact. In the first 12 months of its NDC expansion being operational, Arco has delivered 52,194 pallets and just under 2 million parcels across the UK and Ireland.

    The teams involved in the operations were recognised earlier in the year by Safety and Health Practitioner for their COVID response and work to raise safety standards across the UK. Arco was awarded SHP's prestigious "Most Influential Team in Health and Safety" award.

    Arco is delighted to have its National Distribution Centre praised by SHD Logistics, achieving Second Place in the highly competitive "New Facility" award category.

    Neil Griffiths, Divisional Director of Logistics, said:

    "To have our logistical, supply chain and distribution expertise validated by such a credible body is wonderful. We're incredibly proud of what we've achieved over the last 14 months. Our NDC extension and the expert team have enabled us to make a significant contribution to support the UK supply chain with critical safety equipment throughout the pandemic. Our thanks to SHD Logistics for recognising us in the New Facility award category and highly commending the work we do to keep people safe."

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  • Arco Shares How Its Suite of Mental Health Training Courses Can 'Change Lives and Save Lives'

    08 April 2021

    On hearing the phrase "you saved my life" I became instantly dedicated to improving my knowledge around the wellbeing and mental health of people.

    Mark Nixon, Senior Health, Safety and Wellbeing Consultant and Trainer at Arco Professional Safety Services, Shares Three Key Areas of Focus for Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace.

    I have been a passionate Occupational Health and Safety Professional since 1995, but something changed five years ago. I was fortunate enough to be able to prevent a young individual from committing suicide. On hearing the phrase "you saved my life", I made a commitment to improving my knowledge around the wellbeing and mental health of the people I work with every day and the employees in my clients' organisations. I now deliver Arco Professional Safety Services suite of courses to clients and instruct the MHFA Two Day Adult Mental Health First Aid course. The feedback for these courses is breathtakingly positive; quite simply, the courses change lives and save lives.

    Mental distress across the nation is at an all-time high compared to pre-pandemic levels. As individuals face grief, forced isolation, an economic slump and unfamiliar ways of working, we can help organisations make the decisions that will strengthen, rather than harm, an already vulnerable workforce. Beyond the human cost, better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year. There are three key areas that demand organisations' attention to support and improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace: the business, the managers and the individuals.

    The Business

    The 'Hierarchy of Controls' is an approach to risk reduction that has become entrenched in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) sector. It aims to provide a consistent structure for managing safety, ensuring effective control measures are put in place to eliminate or reduce workplace hazards. However, mental wellbeing is one of the only areas of health and safety where the 'hierarchy of control' does not apply. At Arco Professional Safety Services, we have developed an alternative hierarchy that better suits the aims, problems and solutions in this critical area. Key principles include:

    • Prevention is better than cure. Recovery takes far longer than prevention and the costs to individuals' livelihoods and businesses are far greater
    • Failing to maintain health and wellbeing increases the likelihood of poorer mental health
    • Enhancing and maintaining overall health and wellbeing increases the likelihood of better mental health

    The Managers

    How much stress a team faces is dependent on factors such as resource availability, workload, corporate culture and the strength of their support system. Managers are ideally placed to help handle employee stress as they have a greater understanding of the people in their team, their roles and the stress risk factors. In as little as one day, we can help managers acquire the knowledge and confidence to manage mental wellbeing proactively. We recommend a ten-point action plan that can help managers support their teams more effectively. Key actions include:

    • Carry out Stress Risk Assessments based on the Health & Safety Executive's (HSE) Stress Management Standards (HSG218) to establish and resolve the causes of stress in the workplace and use the HSE's 'Talking Toolkit' to engage with individuals about the topic and make reasonable adjustments
    • For non-work-related stress, managers can use a coaching approach (ask rather than tell) to help employees identify what is causing their stress, why it's stressful to them, how they can tackle it and where they can go for help and support
    • Managers can encourage employees to complete a Wellness Action Plan (WAP), which can be used to promote wellness in already healthy employees and help those suffering or returning from a mental ill-health absence

    The Individuals

    There are many ways for individuals to manage stress, from guided breathing to decrease stress hormones and lower blood pressure, to understanding the importance of positive psychology. We teach recognised models such as PERMA as part of our mental health training courses to help achieve positive mental wellbeing. PERMA can help increase wellbeing by encouraging individuals to focus on living meaningfully, establishing supportive relationships, accomplishing goals and being fully engaged with life. Another key aspect of positive psychology is resilience, defined as the ability to cope with and recover from adversity.

    Individual resilience will differ from person to person and throughout a person's lifetime. It is not a fixed trait; it can be taught and developed over time with experience. Dr Lucy Hone, researcher and resilience expert, outlines three key traits of resilient people:

    • Resilient people understand that bad things happen to everyone
      Every life will come with ups and downs and understanding this is critical to a balanced response to fortune and tragedy
    • Resilient people can focus their attention skilfully
      Being able to view a situation 'as-it-is but not worse than it is,' is a vital skill for resilience and mental wellbeing. In addition to the things that may not be going so well, individuals can focus their attention on extracting the positives, otherwise termed as 'benefit finding'. We recommend individuals ask themselves, 'what has gone well today and what is still right with me, others and the world?'
    • Resilient people ask if what they are doing is 'helping or harming?'
      We encourage individuals to identify their unhelpful thoughts, self-talk and behaviours and choose more helpful, realistic and empowering alternatives

    Ultimately, mental health is not only a major issue in the workplace, but a major opportunity to take stock and ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the wellbeing of our colleagues. Five years ago, a near-tragedy cemented my belief that with the right support in place, positive mental health and wellbeing can be achieved and sustained.

    Mark Nixon is a Senior Health, Safety and Wellbeing Consultant and Trainer at Arco Professional Safety Services. Arco Professional Safety Services offers specialist courses including Mental Health First Aid, Mental Wellbeing Awareness and Stress and Mental Wellbeing for Managers. Its highly experienced trainers can help build bespoke programmes to meet client needs, whether that means delivering training on the client's site or at one of its national safety centres. The expert in safety can also provide training online via its specialist video conference service developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure businesses can continue training while maintaining social distancing.

    For more information on the mental health and wellbeing training courses available, visit the dedicated course finder at Arco Professional Safety Services.

    Alternatively, to contact Arco Professional Safety Services call 0330 390 0822 or email info@arcoservices.co.uk.

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  • Arco Donates an Additional £64,000 to Support Local Community Organisations and Charities

    24 March 2021

    Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has played a key role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the company's commitment to supporting the communities it serves has gone further. Through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and the Arco Community Panel, Arco delivered a programme of charitable support during 2020, with a number of initiatives focused on those needing support due to pandemic. This was achieved through a newly created Arco Coronavirus Grant scheme which made donations of £42,000 to support local charities helping those most in need, all nominated by Arco colleagues.

    Arco launched its second Coronavirus grant scheme in February, inviting colleagues to apply for 50 one-off grants of up to £1,000 on behalf of organisations and charities in their local communities. The Community Panel asked that applications were focussed on critical areas particularly affected by the pandemic including support for victims of domestic violence, homelessness, food poverty as well as care homes and charities supporting mental health and wellbeing. After receiving many high-quality applications, the panel decided to award 64 grants of £1,000 to organisations all over the UK and Ireland.

    The 64 grants will provide help and support to a number of great causes across the UK. Recipients of the grants include:

    • Mental health and wellbeing: Falkirk's Mental Health Association, Scotland
    • Victims of domestic violence: Black Country Women's Aid, West Midlands
    • Homelessness: Homeless Mobile Run, Dublin
    • Foodbanks: Rutland food bank, Rutland
    • The care home and hospice sector: Velindre Fundraising, Wales

    The company has now donated a total of £106k through its Coronavirus grant schemes following applications made by colleagues.

    David Evison, Managing Director at Arco has previously described the Arco Community Panel meeting as one of his 'favourite meetings each quarter.' Evison said:

    "These unprecedented times have impacted many people in our local communities and through these grants we are able to help those who need it most. Arco is continuing support local communities and national organisations through our two Coronavirus Grant schemes, and we look optimistically towards a reopened future, following the Government's Roadmap plan to ease lockdown restrictions. We extend our commitment to keeping people safe throughout the communities we serve, assisting in today's wellbeing for tomorrow's future."

    Arco continually supports and encourages colleagues to provide their time and skills to local charities and community groups, allowing each colleague an additional two days of paid leave for volunteering opportunities each year.

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  • Mental Health Matters: Safety Experts Share Ten Recommendations

    23 March 2021

    Mental distress across the nation is at an all-time high compared to pre-pandemic levels (1). As individuals face grief, forced isolation, an economic slump and unfamiliar ways of working, organisations must make decisions that will strengthen, rather than harm, an already vulnerable workforce. Beyond the human cost, better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year (2). Arco Professional Safety Services helps businesses with mental health and wellbeing training, strategies, policy development and implementation. The safety expert is sharing a ten-point action plan to help managers support and improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

    How much stress a team faces is dependent on factors such as resource availability, workload, corporate culture and the strength of their support system. Managers are ideally placed to help handle employee stress as they have a greater understanding of the people in their team, their roles and the stress risk factors. In as little as a day, Arco Professional Safety Services can help managers acquire the knowledge and confidence to manage mental wellbeing proactively. As part of its "Stress and Mental Wellbeing Training for Managers" course, the safety expert recommends a ten-point action plan that can help managers support their teams more effectively. Key actions include:

    • Move to a proactive culture rather than a reactive culture by having a company Wellbeing Strategy
    • Utilise mental health and wellbeing policies, become familiar with internal processes and documents around this topic and make them easily accessible using company intranet links to enable fast access
    • Identify and manage issues that are likely to cause stress before they become problematic and intervene immediately where stress or mental ill-health is identified, establishing whether the cause of stress is related to work, home or a combination of both
    • If a person is absent due to ill-health, agree on a method and frequency of contact, discuss what she/he is comfortable speaking about, including what should be kept confidential, then actively engage as agreed
    • Avoid giving advice; give support instead. Colleagues need to feel that they are being taken seriously, are listened to and supported. Managers shouldn't assume that they know how their employees feel; instead, they should ask how they feel. If managers do not feel able to speak with their employees, it is important that they find someone who can, such as a mental health first aider
    • Carry out Stress Risk Assessments based on the Health & Safety Executive's (HSE) Stress Management Standards (HSG218) to establish and resolve the causes of stress in the workplace and use the HSE's "Talking Toolkit" to engage with individuals about the topic and make reasonable adjustments
    • For non-work-related stress, managers can use a coaching approach (ask rather than tell) to help employees identify what is causing their stress, why it's stressful to them, how they can tackle it and where they can go for help and support
    • Encourage employees to complete a Wellness Action Plan (WAP), which can be used to promote wellness in already healthy employees and help those suffering or returning from a mental ill-health absence
    • Reference any internal support services offered, such as employee assistance programmes, HR, Occupational Health 'phone lines, websites or mental health first aid functions and, also, external support including websites, helplines and support groups
    • Utilise phased returns, removal and gradual re-introduction of job-role elements; providing mentors and regular check-ins can all help to prevent relapse and increase the likelihood of a faster and full recovery

    Mark Nixon, Senior Health, Safety and Wellbeing Consultant and Trainer at Arco Professional Safety Services, says:

    "I have been a passionate Occupational Health and Safety Professional since 1995, but something changed five years ago. I was fortunate enough to be able to stop a young individual from committing suicide. On hearing the phrase "you saved my life" I became instantly dedicated to improving my knowledge around the wellbeing and mental health of people, particularly the employees in our own and our clients' organisations. I now deliver Arco's suite of courses to clients and instruct the MHFA 2 Day Adult Mental Health First Aid course, the feedback for which is breathtakingly positive. Quite simply, these courses change lives and save lives."

    With the right support in place, positive mental health and wellbeing can be sustained. Arco Professional Safety Services offers specialist courses including Mental Health First Aid, Mental Wellbeing Awareness and Stress and Mental Wellbeing for Managers. Its highly experienced trainers can help build bespoke programmes to meet client needs, whether that means delivering training on the client's site or at one of its national safety centres. The expert in safety can also provide training online via its specialist video conference service developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure businesses can continue training while maintaining social distancing.

    For more information on the mental health and wellbeing training courses available, visit the dedicated course finder at Arco Professional Safety Services.

    Alternatively, to contact Arco Professional Safety Services call 0330 390 0822 or email info@arcoservices.co.uk.

    Sources

    1. mind.org: Mind warns of "second pandemic" as it reveals more people in mental health crisis than ever recorded and helpline calls soar
    2. mentalhealth.org: Mental health statistics: mental health at work
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