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Thomas Martin Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

02 May 2024

Arco chairman Thomas Martin has been honoured with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising his "exceptional contribution to the safety and health industry over almost four decades".

He was bestowed with the award at last night's Safety and Health Excellence Awards, part of the three-day Health & Safety Event, where Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has made its return for 2024.

Also on the night, Arco, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary, was commended in the Distributor of the Year award, with judges recognising the company's commitment to customer satisfaction and its joined-up approach to safety products and services.

Thomas said he was honoured to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thomas Martin, chairman of Arco, said:

"I've always surrounded myself with experts, and this has enabled me to make an impact on our industry. Market leaders earn the right to comment, and career learnings ensure this is done responsibly. The award celebrates the first 36 years, and there's plenty more to do; I'd better get on with it."

As the fourth-generation leader of the family business, Thomas started his journey in a London advertising agency before joining Arco in 1988. With a clear passion for the business, Thomas assumed pivotal roles within Arco, including Trading Director (Safety) in 1993, Supply Chain Director in 1998, and Joint Managing Director in 2002, before taking the helm as Chairman in April 2017.

Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, host Dara Ó Briain said during Thomas's time as Joint Managing Director and now Chairman, he had helped shape Arco into one of the "premier businesses in health and safety, by both scale and impact".

Testament to this, Arco has led the industry on responses to global emergencies and best practice, pushing for regulatory changes and championing expertise and corporate responsibility.

In 2007, Arco joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) an alliance of companies, trade unions and non-profit organisations that aims to promote respect for the rights of workers worldwide. Arco is the first and only safety distributor to join the ETI.

During the Ebola outbreak in 2015, Arco was the leading PPE partner in the UK's humanitarian response, supporting government agencies with advice on the correct products needed to keep volunteers safe but also in procuring and supplying the products to the front line.

Most recently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Arco stepped up to secure additional PPE for frontline workers, while advising government bodies on PPE regulations and standard.

Following the crisis, Thomas gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on how the Government response could be improved for the future.

Learn more about Arco’s commitment to shaping the safety agenda