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News and Updates

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

For press and media queries, please email PressandMedia@arco.co.uk

  • HRH The Princess Royal Visits Our New National Distribution Centre in Hull

    17 September 2020

    The visit by the Princess Royal officially marks the opening of Arco's latest £30 million investment into improving its logistical capabilities.

    Arco welcomed her Royal Highness the Princess Royal to its brand new National Distribution Centre extension, which marks Phase 3 of the site's expansion. The Princess Royal toured Arco's state of the art facility and its industry-leading Quality Lab, meeting and talking to a number of Arco employees and commemorated the occasion by unveiling a plaque.

    This was a return visit for the Princess Royal who also performed the official opening ceremony for Arco's original National Distribution Centre in 2003. Phase 3, became operational on the 10th February 2020, marking an important milestone in the company's 135-year history in Hull and is part of a £70m investment programme Arco is making in the region.

    With an area of 220,000 square feet in size and standing at 22 metres high, Phase 3 doubles Arco's warehouse floor space and trebles its storage capacity. The project was delivered on time and to budget, with the original NDC remaining operational, without any impact on customer service. Arco played a leading role in the UK's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the new facility providing immediate capacity, the NDC team responded to dramatic changes in circumstances, introducing new ways of working and bringing the operation online ahead of schedule. Arco were involved in procuring, stocking and distributing critical Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers, including over 140m face masks, 18m gloves, 0.5m coveralls and 0.5m hygiene products including hand sanitiser.

    Arco is the only safety distributor with an independently accredited testing laboratory and has a rigorous five-step product assurance process, ensuring the products it sells, meet recognised European and international standards. They also offer support for customers testing safety products that are available on the market and advise of their compliance. Part of her visit to the Arco laboratory, the Princess Royal was given a live demonstration to show how Arco tests safety footwear to ensure it complies with relevant safety standards. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Arco's safety experts supported frontline responders including the NHS and customers in critical key industries in identifying counterfeit and fake products and advised the Office for Product Safety Standards, the Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards of their findings.

    Thomas Martin, Arco's Chairman, said:

    "We are extremely honoured and delighted to receive HRH the Princess Royal today to celebrate the official opening of Phase 3 of our National Distribution Centre, a significant milestone for Arco. Phase 3 re-affirms our continued commitment to our customers, those who work with Arco and the city of Hull. Our efforts in expanding the business's logistical capabilities will allow us to fulfil our ambitious future growth plans. In a very short time, it has supported our core purpose to keep people safe, enabling us to make a significant contribution to support the UK supply chain for critical safety equipment throughout a global pandemic."

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  • Arco's Type IIR Mask Achieves High Bacterial Filtration Efficiency Performance

    02 September 2020

    Arco's Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask Achieves Consistently High Bacterial Filtration Efficiency Performance in Official Inter-Laboratory Comparison Study

    An inter-laboratory comparison (ILC), also known as 'Round Robin Testing Standards', is an evaluation process that validates:

    • The consistency of Standard's driven laboratory test methods
    • The reliability of Standard's driven performance data across different laboratories

    Inter laboratory comparisons are:

    • Commissioned and funded by the European Standards Authorities and technical committees responsible for writing Standards
    • Undertaken by UKAS accredited independent laboratory test and certification service organisations in the UK

    A basic example of an inter laboratory comparison is the assessment of a standardised laboratory fabric cut test. Each participating laboratory must use the same testing components, which in this scenario would be the same fabric and cutting blade. Other stipulated test factors can include test conditions such as room temperature and air humidity levels.

    The individual results, from each laboratory, are then reviewed to identify any variation in the collated results. The ideal outcome of an ILC is consistent test data submitted from across all the participating laboratories.

    Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)

    An ILC was recently commissioned across several laboratories to assess the bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) test methods of the EN 14683:2019 medical face masks standard.

    The bacterial filtration efficiency determines the level of infective agent retained by the face mask, which directly relates to the amount of bacteria released back through the mask.

    EN 14683:2019 stipulates that the bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) performance of Type IIR disposable face mask must be 98% or greater.

    Arco's Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask

    Arco's Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask was selected as the test subject Type IIR mask by the ILC's coordinating laboratory test provider.

    Six individual accredited PPE test laboratories achieved consistent results with the Arco Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask, all exceeding the minimum performance level of EN 14683:2019's required 98% BFE.

    Across the participating laboratories the highest reported bacterial filtration efficiency result for the Arco Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask was 99.89%, with an average recorded performance of 99.75%

    In these exceptional times, respiratory protective product assurance has never been so critical to the protection of frontline workers.

    The results of the EN 14683:2019 medical face mask bacterial filtration test method ILC clearly demonstrates the consistent bacteria filtration efficiency performance of the Arco Type IIR Disposable Medical Mask and provides specifiers and users with the affirmation that they are in expert hands.

    Inter-laboratory Comparison:

    EN 14683:2019 medical face mask bacterial filtration test method results using Arco's Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask.

    Arco's Type IIR Disposable Surgical Mask Mean (Average) BFE Result

    1. 99.74%
    2. 99.87%
    3. 99.62%
    4. 99.60%
    5. 99.89%
    6. 99.77%
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  • UK Safety Expert Arco Wins £53m Contract to Supply PPE to Scotland's Health and Social Care

    24 August 2020

    The UK's leading health and safety expert Arco, has won a £53m contract for the supply of 232 million surgical masks, 6 million FFP3 respirator masks and 2 million visors over a one-year period to Scotland's Health and Social Care. Working partnership with Scottish Manufacturer Alpha Solway, the essential protective equipment will be manufactured locally and will not be dependent on an overseas supply chain, which could be at risk of the restrictions seen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    To prepare for any future major incidents and be able to respond quickly, Scotland's Health and Social Care will build stock of over 4m FFP3 respirator masks and 3,000 pallet spaces in Arco's National Distribution Centre, which will be continually turned over to keep products in date and the stock levels maintained.

    Arco's recent investment programme in its £30m national distribution centre expansion gave it both the capacity and enhanced customer service requirements to fulfil the contract and its distribution network will ensure that it is possible to get PPE quickly to those who need it most. Scotland's Health and Social Care will also benefit from access to and support from Arco experts who sit on a number of key committees: BSI British Standards, CEN European Standards Committee and the ISO International Standards Organisation. Arco will keep them abreast of any industry developments and will also act as the voice of the health service at those forums.

    As part of the contract Arco will work with Scotland's Health and Social Care Face Fit Testing team and together they will coordinate a face fit testing program on the new masks for over 100,000 RPE wearers. Both Arco and Alpha Solway will work with Scotland's Health and Social Care to introduce new product development forums to develop a new mask for 2021 that will meet the requirements of the wearer in terms of comfort and fit, using the face fit data from records.

    Bryan Lawrie, Commercial Director at Arco said:

    "It is now more important than ever to ensure that the PPE reaching the end user is compliant and offers the correct protection for its purpose. As safety experts, with a wealth of experience and expertise in procuring PPE, including our own independent product testing facility, we are perfectly placed to fulfil this commitment.

    We are delighted to be working with NHS Scotland and look forward to establishing this long-term relationship by guaranteeing the supply of certified products, helping to save lives."

    Stephen Binnie, a Director of Alpha Solway said:

    "We are delighted to be working with Arco to supply this order, and that our partnership has allowed us to fulfil this vital contract for NHS Scotland. Not only are we meeting a large proportion of the Scottish health and social care sector's PPE needs until 2021, but we are also creating 200 jobs in the region, in addition to the 50 jobs already created this year."

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  • New Expert Advice on First Aid in the Workplace

    20 August 2020

    Employers have a legal requirement to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. The right form of first aid can save lives and prevent a minor injury from becoming a major one. To support businesses in their provision of first aid and first aid training, we have created expert advice to help.

    The First Aid at Work Regulations 1981 state that employers are duty-bound to provide adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to enable first aid to be delivered, in the event that an employee is injured or becomes ill at work. With over 70,000 non-fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain each year, correct and compliant workplace first aid provision and training is crucial.

    Our free first aid expert advice offers comprehensive advice and guidance on a range of topics within the first aid field, helping employers understand their obligations and the expertise, support and range we can offer.

    The advice includes:

    • An overview of first aid regulations and standards, including British Standard vs HSE compliant first aid kits
    • How businesses can select the right first aid kit, including size guidelines
    • First aid training requirements
    • A selection of our first aid kits and training sources

    To help employers with their first aid supplies, we have a new fully comprehensive range of first aid products, including general purpose first aid kits, such as BS8599-1:2019 Workplace First Aid Kits, and more specific ones to help comply with the latest update in regulations, such as BS8599-1:2019 Critical Injury Pack for trauma or catastrophic bleeds. To help employers comply with first aid training regulations, Arco Professional Safety Services also has a full programme of courses, aimed at organisations of all sizes. These include courses on First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work.

    Niall Robinson, Product & Procurement Manager of Workplace Safety at Arco, said:

    "No matter how big or small your business is, accidents and injuries can occur at any time. It's imperative that all employers ensure they have the correct size and number of first aid kits and that they check these regularly, as well as having suitably trained first aiders to treat your employees. With our new First Aid expert advice, we hope to assist as many businesses as possible with their first aid needs - hopefully saving the lives of numerous employees in the process."

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  • Arco Joins Forces with SafeContractor

    31 July 2020

    Arco, have joined forces with the UK's leading contractor health and safety accreditation, SafeContractor.

    SafeContractor verifies member's health and safety compliance and connects contractors to leading organisation.

    This enhances member's profiles to hundreds of companies that only work with SafeContractor verified businesses and gives clients the peace of mind that their health and safety practices are compliant with the law.

    SafeContractor is recognised by hundreds of organisations and has over 33,000 members.

    The benefits of the Arco and SafeContractor alliance include a member 10% discount off all Arco purchases on-line, in store and through the CEC. As well as expert health and safety advice and a dedicated Covid-19 hub for guidance across the pandemic.

    Learn more about SafeContractor.

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