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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 2022 Year in Review
14 December 2022Read more
This year has seen a mixture of both challenges and opportunities for Arco, our suppliers and our customers as the world emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2023, like other businesses, we will need to face into the challenges of the current economic climate.
However, Arco has strong foundations, built on multigenerational values and heritage, which will support us in our next phase of development and enable us to continue providing outstanding levels of service for our customers across the country as well as providing us with the platform to put in place the building blocks for the future.
Arco Appoints New CEO to Lead the Business in Next Phase of Development
12 December 2022Read more
The Board of Arco is pleased to announce that Guy Bruce has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding former MD, David Evison, who has recently retired, to help lead the company in its next phase of development and accelerate its ambitious plans for growth.
Guy joins the business from Equans, where he was the Interim Managing Director, and prior to that the specialist building materials distributor SIG plc. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the industry, with significant achievements in delivering transformative growth across distribution, retail, service and manufacturing businesses, both domestically and internationally, within private and public companies.
Arco is an expert in keeping people safe at work, focusing on joined-up safety solutions, which start with mitigating risks through to providing training and equipment. Arco plays a leading role within the industry, helping to shape the UK's health and safety agenda.
Arco's strategic plan, Destination 2025, sets out how it will grow over the next three years and adopt new and innovative ideas to futureproof the business.
Guy will develop this strategy further by maximising the potential of the significant investments undertaken by Arco over recent years and by accelerating digital transformation, enhancing customer experience and driving sustainability. As an advocate of collaborative working, Guy will also increase engagement between the business and colleagues, strengthen supplier partnerships and work closely with customers.
Commenting on Guy's appointment, Thomas Martin, Chairman at Arco, said:
"I am thrilled to have Guy in post at Arco to help take our family-owned business forwards. Guy is a proven leader and his experience in delivering transformational growth throughout his career will be very beneficial to Arco as we continue delivering remarkable and effortless experiences for our customers, and ultimately keeping people safe at work."
Commenting, Guy Bruce, said:
"I'm delighted to be joining Arco at this exciting phase in the company's history. The chance to lead the transition from family-run to family-owned is unique and the prospect of accelerating our plans for growth are exciting.
"As we re-focus our efforts following the Covid-19 pandemic, Arco, like other businesses, will need to face into the challenges of the current economic climate. However, our foundations are strong, built on multigenerational values and heritage, and will support us in continuing to evolve the business and build for the future."
PPE Procurement Statement December 2022
09 December 2022Read more
As the decisions around the awarding of PPE contracts during the pandemic make the news again, we thank Karl Turner, MP for East Hull, for acknowledging the difficulties we faced at the time in supporting the national effort to supply PPE and protect lives.
With over 135 years of experience as a safety expert and PPE supplier we were in a strong position to procure and distribute PPE that was compliant with the correct safety standards and that was ethically sourced.
Having previously supported the UK Government to assist with advice and product procurement during crises such as the Ebola epidemic and Swine Flu pandemic, we were frustrated that we were unable to work with central government to supply PPE where it was needed most.
We accept that this period was a challenging time for the Government, but we are pleased that the "VIP fast-track lane" for awarding PPE contracts was ruled unlawful. The awarding of contracts opaquely to organisations with no history or experience in PPE supply and manufacture meant that public money was spent on contracts where some suppliers imported inappropriate or non-compliant products. This left them unable to fulfil orders or supply appropriate PPE, increasing the risk to care home staff, NHS workers and the public.
The lack of preparation for a health emergency prior to the pandemic put lives at risk, we have always felt that it was important to learn from what went wrong and to take steps to rectify these. Our Chairman, Thomas Martin, gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee in 2021 to share our experience in dealing with central government during the pandemic. Our position paper: Personal Protective Equipment and the Government's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic shares our experiences during the pandemic and proposes a 10-point set of recommendations that will help prevent a repeat of the issues that continue to come to light today.
We acknowledge the positive and constructive way in which the Department for Health and Social Care has engaged with the content of our position paper so far and we urge Ministers to consider its remaining recommendations. Most urgently, we are calling for a register of accredited Category II and III PPE suppliers. This will ensure we can be better prepared for any future emergencies.
Thomas Martin, Chairman of Arco, said:
"Whilst we appreciate there was an urgent requirement for PPE for frontline responders at the beginning of the pandemic and that the Government was facing unprecedented and challenging circumstances, we still believe that, with our track record in sourcing, emergency planning and distribution of PPE, the Government could have engaged more proactively with Arco to benefit from our expert knowledge to support the process.
"We understand that there was a cost of £8.7bn incurred because of the Government buying equipment that was not fit-for-purpose, paying increased prices in a competitive global market and purchasing products that subsequently had passed their expiry date. Of most concern was the £2.6bn that was spent on PPE not suitable for use in the NHS.
"We still feel that there are important lessons to learn from what went wrong and Arco remains ready and willing to work with the Government and its agencies to ensure that we are better protected for any future emergencies."
You can read Arco's position paper in full, here.
Arco Chairman Recognised in Top 100 Family Business List
11 November 2022Read more
The chairman of Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has been recognised as an 'exceptional individual' within the family business sector after being announced in the inaugural Family Business Top 100.
Thomas Martin was included in the list created by Family Business United, the global voice of the family business community, which showcased some of the best family business individuals across the UK, recognising their efforts and demonstrating their collective importance to the national economy.
Nominations were sought from all corners of the UK and all sectors of the economy, with entrants needing to have worked in a senior position within the business for at least five years.
Arco Brings Its Health and Safety Expertise to New Safety Centre In the South
07 November 2022Read more
Arco has launched its latest safety centre in Bracknell, Berkshire, bringing its expert knowledge, high-quality products and training under one roof to the south of the UK.
Investing over £2million in the project, and bringing 12 new jobs to the area, the new location is a strategically significant move for the fifth-generation family business. Arco's Bracknell Safety Centre will be its largest dedicated safety centre, hosting practical learning environments, including a 20-metre external tower for working at height training and confined space labyrinth training facilities, as well as an on-site safety store where customers can purchase products.
With over 135 years of experience, Arco offers an unparalleled combination of specialist health and safety expertise and knowledge. Arco is an integrated services and safety products business, headquartered in Hull, with over 1,600 employees nationwide. Arco reaches its customers through its website and national network of safety centres and retail stores. As the market leader, Arco is committed to helping shape the UK's safety agenda in order to ensure workers go home safe every night.
At Bracknell Safety Centre, highly qualified experts are on hand to provide Joined-up Safety Solutions, a complete offering encompassing the assessment of an issue, the training of employees and the provision and maintenance of appropriate equipment to protect against future risks, all of which can be organised on-site. The safety centre features advanced practical training facilities, respiratory protection and maintenance workshops, drop-in face-fit testing facilities, six training classrooms and a fully stocked Arco safety store, providing PPE, workwear and workplace safety equipment from the brands like TROJAN, Snickers, Berghaus, Regatta, Puma, DeWALT, CAT, MASCOT and loads more. With Arco's joined-up safety approach, the Bracknell Safety Centre will help businesses mitigate, manage and reduce risks.
Jaime Sadler, Commercial Director at Arco Professional Safety Services, said:
"The new Bracknell Safety Centre is a significant milestone for Arco. As our largest dedicated safety centre, it is ideally placed to bring our industry expertise, expansive product offering and practical training capabilities to more customers, nationally.
"The expansion of Arco's capabilities in Bracknell allows us to provide joined-up health and safety solutions for businesses UK-wide. Bracknell Safety Centre demonstrates the future of health and safety; end-to-end service, combining risk assessment, training and equipment provision all under one roof."
The new Arco location will service hundreds of training delegates each week, bringing more business and activity to the area.
Ben Haughton, Technical Director at Arco Professional Safety Services, said:
"Our safety services teams provide practical advice and bespoke training for a variety of safety-critical industries and scenarios. Seeing, first-hand, the value of practical training facilities at our other safety centres allowed me to design and implement structures and systems unique to our Bracknell Safety Centre.
"A significant number of people are killed or seriously injured working at height or in confined spaces in the UK each year. Despite legislation and health and safety measures, working in these environments still pose a very high risk. Bespoke training to provide people with the correct skills and capabilities they need is essential. A generic 'one-size-fits-all' approach leaves workers and organisations open to huge risks. Dangerous working environments require consultancy and expert support that suits the specific scenario. Whether it is equipment, training or support, our experienced teams offer a complete solution."
For further information about Arco's new Bracknell Safety Centre, Click Here