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  • UK Safety Expert Arco Supports Hull's Future Talent with New Ron Dearing UTC Apprentices

    08 September 2021

    Arco, the UK's leading safety company, opens its doors to new apprentices as four Ron Dearing UTC students join the team.

    With longstanding ties to Hull since its first shop opened on Queen Street in 1893, the new recruits further demonstrate Arco's commitment to the city and its significant investment plan to support the growth of its business, including expanding its digital capabilities.

    The four apprentices will be working in a range of roles in Digital; Chloe Marshall will be working in the Project Management Office (PMO), Ben Maycock and Kai Ingram will be taking on engineering roles and James Swinbourne will be joining Arco's cybersecurity team.

    All four recruits have been selected from Arco's community partner Ron Dearing UTC, a technical college situated in the heart of Hull. The college works in partnership with the University of Hull and the region's leading employers to 'do education differently' to ensure that every student fulfils their academic, social and creative potential, including those disaffected with traditional education.

    Specialising in "STEAM": Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, the school's mission is to help local young people build lucrative careers in the engineering, digital and creative sectors, contributing to the Humber region's economic development.

    With a shared goal to secure a strong pipeline of talent in the city, Arco has been supporting Ron Dearing UTC with apprenticeships, participating in recruitment and careers events and contributing in leading roles on the school's board and business-led working groups.

    Each apprentice will receive guidance from an Arco business mentor as well as first-hand support from former Ron Dearing students who are already working in the business. This support structure will provide a strong foundation as the apprentices complete Arco's two-year 'Future Experts' programme. The programme, first launched in 2016, has now taken on nearly 40 apprentices to develop the next generation of talent.

    Neil Cavill, Head of Business Improvement at Arco, and Governor at Ron Dearing, said:

    "We are delighted that Chloe, Ben, Kai and James have joined us and chosen Arco to start their careers. It's clear that the skills and experience that they have gained at Ron Dearing will stand them is good stead as they begin working life with us. We are looking forward to seeing them grow and develop over the coming years."

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  • Leading Safety Expert Arco Donates £72,000 Worth of PPE to Charity Leonard Cheshire

    08 September 2021

    Arco, the UK's leading safety company announces that it has donated over £72,000 of PPE supplies to Leonard Cheshire, the UK's leading pan disability charity. Leonard Cheshire employs 4,500 front line staff to support over 3,000 people with disabilities to live as independently as they can. Their work includes operating 120 residential care homes across the UK, which house around 2,700 residents. Arco's donation will help continue to protect the care home residents and frontline staff.

    At the start of the pandemic, Leonard Cheshire launched an emergency appeal for support to protect its staff and residents from Coronavirus. In May 2020, Arco was proud to donate £4,000 worth of stock including 150 boxes of face masks and 700 visors.

    With government restrictions now lifted and care home visitors able to see their loved ones in person, having access to PPE and sanitation equipment continues to be crucial. In order for its staff to continue providing the best care and support, they need access to PPE. Arco recognised this need and is delighted to have been able to make a significant donation, including hand sanitiser, P3 masks, disinfectant wipes and disposable gloves. The stock will be distributed nationally by Leonard Cheshire to its care homes and community carers where it's needed most to ensure they can continue their vital work.

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

    "We're delighted to be able to give a second donation to Leonard Cheshire. For many in care homes, residents rely on care staff for all their personal care and maintaining good hygiene remains a challenge. The safe operation of Leonard Cheshire's care homes is crucial at this time and having the correct PPE will enable staff and care residents to remain protected."

    David Evison, Managing Director, Arco said:

    "Arco's purpose is to keep people safe at work and PPE plays such a critical role in doing this. Whilst the supply of PPE is much more readily available than during the peak of the pandemic, we hope through our donation that all colleagues and residents at Leonard Cheshire continue to be protected and kept safe. The care sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and we're grateful for the opportunity to support Leonard Cheshire in the life changing work it does."

    Hugh Fenn, Managing Director of Community Services at Leonard Cheshire said:

    "This is a significant donation and we are immensely grateful for Arco's generosity in donating PPE supplies to keep people safe. Whilst restrictions have now been lifted, we continue to do everything in our power to protect the vulnerable people in our care, as well as those who look after them. Our sincerest thanks to Arco and their product experts involved in making this happen."

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  • Safety expert Arco keeps Yorkshire Air Ambulance flying high with £75k pledge

    30 July 2021

    Hull-based safety expert Arco has renewed its long-standing commitment to Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) with £75,000 worth of support pledged over the next three years. The new agreement will raise Arco's total contribution to £300,000 since its partnership with the charity began nearly a decade ago. The pledge not only includes the financial contribution but, Arco has also supported the design and provision of specialist clothing which will help YAA provide its lifesaving emergency service to five million people across Yorkshire.

    YAA needs to raise £12,000 every day to help save lives and keep families together longer. Its air ambulance flights, capable of transforming a 20-mile journey into ten minutes, ensuring those who need assistance in the UK's largest county get the help they need as rapidly as possible. As an independent charity, YAA is reliant on the generosity of its donators to maintain and provide its vital service. Through its principal partnership with Arco, the charity will receive £20,000 a year donation, as well as £5,000 of clothing and products taking the total contribution over the length of the new three-year partnership to £75,000.

    The YAA team often works in extreme conditions and needs to rely on their uniforms and equipment to protect them. As experts in safety, Arco's product credit will help YAA with essential supplies and specialist clothing for staff and volunteers, while the annual £20,000 donation will help keep its aircraft maintained and facilitate its lifesaving work.

    David Evison, Managing Director of Arco, says:

    "Yorkshire Air Ambulance places the wellbeing and safety of people at the forefront of everything it does to save human life across the county and the surrounding area. As a business with its roots in Yorkshire and a dedication to safety, we are extremely proud to support a mission so closely aligned to our own; keeping communities and people safer."

    Katie Collinson, Corporate & Partnerships Manager of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, says:

    "We have been overwhelmed by Arco's generosity since 2012 and we're extremely grateful for the continued support. Like many charities and businesses across the UK, Yorkshire Air Ambulance has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions have affected our ability to hold fundraising events, resulting in a significant fundraising deficit. However, with support from organisations like Arco, we can continue our vital work."

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  • Training for Confined Space Working - Are You Fully Compliant?

    15 July 2021

    Brian Grunes, Arco Professional Safety Services Confined Space training expert offers guidance on the risks of confined space working and the upcoming changes to the City & Guilds training accreditation.

    Q. What kind of working situation could pose a confined space risk?

    The existence of confined spaces in some workplaces can be reasonably easy to identify and understand. Tanks, vessels, sewers among others are known to be confined spaces to people working in those environments; however, the existence of confined spaces in commercial or non-industrial premises are less well known. Service ducts, lofts and void spaces, plant rooms or poorly ventilated rooms can be confined spaces too and often found in commercial buildings, hospitals, universities and residential dwellings. Some confined spaces will also develop during construction, or when work activities such as welding or cleaning is being carried out. These spaces are just as hazardous and demonstrate that systems of safe working must be in place in every environment.

    Q. What are the dangers of working in confined spaces?

    A significant number of people are killed or seriously injured working in confined spaces in the UK each year. Specified risks include: serious injury due to fire or explosion; loss of consciousness arising from increased body temperature; loss of consciousness or asphyxiation arising from gas, fume, vapour, or lack of oxygen; drowning from an increase in the level of a liquid and asphyxiation arising from a free-flowing solid or being unable to reach a respirable environment. These risks occur across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, utilities, maritime, construction, offshore and agriculture. Those at risk include workers in the confined space itself and those who may have to try to rescue them when things go wrong. Despite legislation and health and safety measures, confined space working poses a very high risk and it's important to ensure that the right people have the correct skills and capabilities for the roles they undertake. Training is just one part of ensuring the safety of people working in confined spaces.

    Q. What should you consider when preparing to undertake confined space working?

    Once you have identified that work will be undertaken in a confined space it is important that the right controls are put in place. The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L1010 Safe Working in Confined Spaces provides details on the relevant provisions that must be considered. This includes an initial assessment as to whether the work required could be completed without the need to enter the confined space. If that is not possible, then taking the necessary precautions for safe working in a confined space, which will include training, supervision, ensuring safe access and egress, testing and monitoring the atmosphere before and during the procedure, having a reliable communications system in place and suitable equipment for the job. In the event of an accident you would need to show you have followed the code or complied with the law in some other way otherwise a court will find you at fault.

    Q. What kind of training is needed for confined space working and who needs it?

    Confined space training is essential for those managing or supervising confined space teams as well as those working in confined spaces and for rescue and recovery teams. Confined space training options range from Confined Space Awareness training, through Low, Medium and High-Risk courses, plus Rescue Management and training covering the selection and maintenance of equipment involved in safe confined space working, such as gas monitors, breathing apparatus and personal protective equipment. If the risks are assessed to be too high or the job too complex for in-house teams, you should consider outsourcing jobs to confined space services experts.

    The confined space courses offered by Arco Safety Services are mapped against a range of National Occupational Standards (NOS) used by a range of Awarding Organisations (AOs) to produce assessment criteria for the level of qualification required. The main AO that we use for confined space is City & Guilds, who offer a suite of associated qualifications.

    Q. There's been some updates to the City & Guilds accreditations - could you explain what these are?

    Following the changes made in 2020 to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Confined Spaces, City & Guilds reviewed their Confined Space qualifications and announced a new suite that became available earlier this year. The new 6160 suite of qualifications replace the existing 6150 ones which will continue to be available until 31st December.

    Q. I've only just completed my City & Guilds 6150 (or: My City and Guilds 6150 Qualification is still valid for a year), do I need to complete the new qualification immediately?

    These new qualifications are available now, with the existing qualifications (6150) being available until 31st December 2021. For anyone holding a current 6150 qualification, it will remain valid for three years from its completion so there's no need to undertake the new 6160 qualification until it's due to expire.

    Q. Where are your training facilities?

    Training can be delivered at our national specialist training facilities or at customer's premises, utilising either their facility (based on a set criteria) or one of our mobile confined space units. Arco Professional Safety Services currently has four specialist Safety Centres located at Enfield (South), Stafford (Midlands), Warrington (North West) and the newly-opened Linlithgow (Scotland). These centres are purpose-built facilities that have been specially designed to simulate real life hazards in a controlled environment.

    Q. What are the training options at the moment, given current restrictions due to Covid-19?

    Continuing to provide practical skills is essential in critical and high-risk industries and so Arco Professional Safety Services has adapted operations at its training centres to provide attendees with a safe learning environment and the reassurance they need to join safety critical training programmes. This includes new precautions, such as pre-start COVID questionnaires, non-contact body temperature checks, staggered break times to minimise unnecessary people movement and mixing and the use of larger rooms equipped with enclosure screens to ensure adequate social distancing. Arco Professional Safety Services has also launched a number of video conference options including a Confined Space Working Awareness half-day course and blended learning options, mixing online theory with practical learning.

    Q. Do you offer any other kind of assistance for confined space working or emergencies?

    Our services team provide confined space practical advice and service delivery in the areas of supervision, rescue, inspection, surveying & mapping, and cleaning & maintenance. Arco Professional Safety Services also provides 24/7 dedicated standby rescue teams and specialist confined space rescue consultants who are highly experienced in confined spaces safety and provide both 'entry' and 'non-entry' rescue solutions to businesses.

    For more information on Arco's Professional Safety Services Confined Spaces services, please visit


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  • Safety Expert Arco Crowned "Supreme Champions" at Family Business Awards

    07 July 2021

    Arco, the UK's leading supplier of safety products and services, has been crowned with the ultimate accolade "Supreme Family Business of the Year 2021" at this year's Family Business of the Year Awards. As well as taking home the national title, the expert in safety was hailed Yorkshire Family Business of the Year.

    Organised by Family Business United ("FBU"), the virtual awards recognise entrepreneurship, innovation, spirit of family business and community impact.

    Chosen for all it has achieved over its five generations of family ownership, Arco was commended for its commitment to the Health and Safety industry, its people, its strong values and its core purpose; keeping people safe at work. Judges also recognised the company's investment efforts to future-proof the business for generations to come.

    David Evison, Managing Director of Arco, described the investments made over the last 12 months:

    "In 2020, we unveiled a £30m extension to our National Distribution Centre, expanding our logistical capabilities for customers and continuing Arco's commitment to invest in the growing city of Hull. With longstanding ties to Hull since we opened our first shop on Queen Street in 1893, we have also invested in a new purpose-built Industrial Hose facility and £15m state-of-the-art headquarters to ensure the city remains vibrant and commercially successful.

    Our other recent investments include improved digital capabilities and two new purpose-built Safety Centres with specialist facilities where our experts offer real-world training alongside classroom learning to support those working in the most high-risk environments."

    Thomas Martin, Chairman of Arco, says:

    "Everything we do is about understanding how we can be a force for good. Our business growth is driven by the desire to make a positive impact: the more we grow, the more we can help preserve the UK's safety standards. We are absolutely delighted that our people have been recognised for the phenomenal things they do for society, and we are honoured to receive two awards that champion family business. Thank you FBU for the recognition, and for reminding those in government and in business of the importance of the family business sector and the contribution it makes."

    As Doug Ryan, Wealth Management Director at Mattioli Woods, sponsors of the Supreme Champion Award, says:

    "Arco is a multi-generational family firm that has real purpose underpinning everything they do. Family values are firmly embodied in the business and have helped guide them successfully for over 135 years to become a world class business."

    "Arco stood out as worthy overall winners this year. As we all know, people are at the heart of any business and they are the lifeblood of Arco. Their family values define their reason for being and are truly embodied within the heart of the organisation, the people in the Arco workforce. These values have been upheld during the pandemic, the business has stepped up to help communities the length and breadth of the country and over the past few years there has been continued investment to help future-proof the business for generations to come. Arco are worthy winners of this award and all the accolades it sends their way," concludes Doug.

    Ben Fowler, Managing Director of Western Pension Solutions, sponsors of the Yorkshire award and judge adds:

    "Arco is a business that is driven by the why and not the what and the how. They have made significant investment in the governance of both the family and the business and always strive to do their best with growth coming from their desire to make a positive impact on society, something they have been doing since 1884. This is an incredible family business and a great ambassador for the sector, not just in Yorkshire, but across the whole of the UK and beyond."

    As Paul Andrews, founder of FBU and organisers of the awards concludes:

    "Family businesses are the engine room of the UK economy and these awards celebrate their contribution. There can only be one winner and Arco are a fantastic business, great ambassadors for the sector and deserving winners of the 2021 Supreme Champions Family Business of the Year title."

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