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£3billion for your thoughts 05/11/2019

With work related accidents and ill-health estimated to be costing UK businesses £3bn a year, Arco looks at the potential cost of safety to your business. How do you calculate your risk and what can you do to mitigate it?

No matter the size of your business or the industry you work in, good health and safety management is critical to the financial health of your business.  Any workplace accident or injury could have a significant impact, with the potential loss of production time, increased insurance premiums, possible fines and compensation payments all contributing to the ‘hidden’ costs of safety. Although there is a general downward trend in accidents and fatal injury rates, the costs to your business have risen and the HSE calculates that work related ill-health and accidents cost UK businesses £3bn a year.  Even this figures is widely considered to be an underestimation of the true costs.

Good health and safety management means meeting your legal obligations by carrying out the proper risk assessments, managing any of the risk identified, providing employees with information, training and PPE as well as making sure that adequate measures are available in case anyone is injured or taken ill at work. In the last two years, new sentencing guidelines have also made it tougher and more costly for managers, directors and UK companies to ignore their health and safety obligations.

In the current economic and political climate, many UK businesses are looking at ways of reducing business risk, whether that’s in their supply chain, future employment needs or in building confidence with and retaining their customers. This kind of atmosphere often leads to detailed spending reviews, with business owners looking at any opportunity to cut costs.  Investment in PPE and other safety services is often under scrutiny  and health and safety compliance is reduced to a box ticking exercise, rather than being seen as a positive investment that could reduce those hidden costs.

Any cost-cutting strategy will inevitably put the emphasis on price at the expense of quality and it’s here where the compromise is made and those ‘hidden costs’ that may result from a poor health and safety culture, or from using substandard or incorrectly specified equipment  are lurking in the background, waiting to make an impact and potentially break a business.  

Workplace accidents could result in a costly investigation, an increase in insurance premiums, the need to reorganise work plans and recruiting and training new staff. Fines are also on the up with the chance of incurring fines of more than £500k 20 times higher since 2014. If you have an incident, the HSE will now charge you £154 per hour to investigate the issue and for every £1 that is recovered through an insurance claim as a result of an incident, £8 is lost entirely.  Leading safety company Arco is working with businesses across the UK to help identify the true cost of safety.  Arco understands the challenges of purchasing safety products and services and managing costs at the same time.  But it’s the overall cost of safety that many businesses haven’t considered and Arco has provided a wealth of information, including a unique, free to use online tool to calculate the potential cost to your business.  Go to: http://www.costofsafety.co.uk to find out more. 

Then there’s the human cost, when things go wrong and when lives depend on it, health and safety should never be a Boardroom box ticking exercise. The best way to establish good health and safety practices is by working with a partner and engaging with every part of the organisation with an integrated approach to safety. This kind of approach doesn’t have to be expensive, but the risk of treating health and safety investment as a ‘must do’ rather than a ‘must have’ could actually put your whole business at risk.

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More must be done to prevent damaging and costly spills 08/10/2019

Businesses should be better prepared for spills and ensure they have the correct plan and spill kit in place, says UK’s leading safety experts Arco, as recent findings revealed 7 out of 10 companies do not have the adequate provisions in place to defend against spills and manage them effectively.

Spills pose a real risk to businesses. Not only could they cause significant damage to premises, wildlife and the surrounding environment, they can pose a threat to the safety and health of employees and nearby residents.

Recent figures from Ecospill reveal that over 70% of businesses are not fully prepared for a spill, while the Environment Agency reported that, in 2017, there were 1,827 pollution incidents in the waste and water industry alone – over five incidents each day.

Most health and safety managers think they are doing everything they can to properly control their spill risk, and believe they have the correct plan in place to address spills if they occur. But, what many don’t know is that spill kits and plans may not be comprehensive enough to provide adequate protection.

In many cases, when auditing sites for their spill risk, issues have become apparent, such as:

  1. Faulty assumptions have been made: this can be as simple as thinking small spills aren’t significant, when even a small amount of everyday substance such as milk or orange juice can be toxic to the environment  
  2. Spill kit is in the incorrect location: even if spill kits have been supplied there’s a possibility they might not be located in the correct areas, where risk is highest
  3. Spill plan isn’t right for the business and risk: using a ‘one size fits all’ approach can give false confidence in preparedness and be a waste of resources. Different kits are available for dealing with different types of spills
  4. Lack of training: spills can happen suddenly and be extremely disruptive. If staff aren’t adequately trained it can lead to confusion, panic or spill kits being used incorrectly
  5. Spill kit is poorly maintained: if spill kits have been exposed to the environment, or have drawn in too much moisture, they may be unusable

Without adequate spill control and prevention measures, the effect of a spill on a company’s reputation, including environmental, can be momentous. Companies can lose business as a result of bad publicity or because environmental permits have been revoked. A major oil company saw a 40% drop in sales due to a large-scale offshore spill.

Furthermore, the cost to clean a spill, the loss of material and damage to the environment can all be detrimental. Substantial fines can be issued and payments will be required for legal costs and to restore the environment back to its original state before the spill. Civil claims from residents and/or businesses in the affected area can also incur added costs. In 2017, a major water company was fined a record £20,361,140 for polluting fresh water, while a well-known supermarket was faced with costs of over £16 million in fines, health and safety charges, and environmental costs as a result of a petrol spill.

As such, businesses must do more to protect from the impact of spills and prevent damage to reputation, environment and life. Plus, if working towards ISO14001, businesses must be able to demonstrate commitment to continual improvement in their environmental performance, an area where spill plans can be of benefit.

Niall Robinson, Product and Procurement Manager at Arco, said “It is critical that all businesses ensure they have an appropriate and effective spill plan to prevent this serious risk from occurring. The effects of a spill can not only damage a company’s finances and reputation, but can have an overwhelming impact on employees, local peoples and on wildlife, so should not be taken lightly.”

For more information on how your business can address its spill risk and prevent future spill incidents, please visit https://campaigns.arco.co.uk/preventspills

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Safety expert supports customers' sign safety 28/05/2019

In its latest safety signs and lockout solutions catalogue, Arco aims to increase education surrounding the importance of safety signage and lockout tagout products in the workplace.

As well as featuring more than 5000 safety signs, an extensive range of lockout solutions, posters, labels and stencils, the catalogue will offer customers information about Arco’s custom signage manufacturing service and its free workplace sign survey, which enables Arco to provide tailored expert guidance.

Under The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulation 1996, employers have a responsibility to provide adequate, current and maintained safety signs in circumstances where there is significant risk. The regulation also states that employers are required to ensure their staff are aware of and understand the meaning of individual safety signs and signals by providing training where necessary. 

Both British and European signage standards currently use colour to determine the purpose of safety signs to ensure transparency to all workers:

  • Blue signs denote a mandatory instruction with a specific course of action
  • Red signs can indicate a prohibited action, warn of a potential danger or provide fire safety information
  • Yellow signs indicate where caution should be taken due to hazards in the environment
  • Green signs indicate safe conditions such as escape route or first aid

To request a copy of the new Safety Signs and Lockout Solutions catalogue visit www.arco.co.uk/catrequest or for more information or safety signage, please visit www.arco.co.uk/signs and for lockout tagout solutions, visit www.arco.co.uk/loto.

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A safer vision 24/01/2019

LEADING SAFETY expert Arco is keen to increase both employers and employee’s understanding of the different safety ratings before purchasing safety glasses.

According to RIDDOR, a loss or reduction of sight accounted for 126 of all non-fatal injuries to employees while at work in 2017/18. Experts believe that 90% of those injuries could have been prevented with the correct safety eyewear. 

In recent years, there has been an increase of high street retailers selling prescription safety eyewear, however, without advice from qualified safety experts, employers could potentially be placing their workforce in danger. Those procuring safety glasses, whether that’s the employer or the employees themselves, need to be aware of the level of protection they require. In order to do this, employers should be completing a comprehensive risk assessment as different industries and applications require different impact and chemical protection levels and briefing those that are responsible for purchasing the safety glasses. 

To ensure employers are fully protecting their workforce, they should make themselves aware of the protection ratings under BS EN 166:2001:

  • Soffering the least amount of protection and no impact protection

  • Foffering the lowest level of impact protection

  • Boffers a mid-range impact protection 

  • Aoffering the highest-level protection against speed projectiles 

Arco’s director of QSHE UK & Asia, Neil Hewitt advises, “The thing to remember is that high street retailers and opticians aren’t personal protective equipment (PPE) professionals – and this becomes clear if the focus is around the cost and style rather than the key safety aspects. The lack of understanding of the PPE regulations and standards requirements can put workers at risk of serious, life altering accidents. It is essential that those purchasing or wearing safety glasses are getting the correct protection that they need for the hazards that they are exposed to”

Neil Hewitt also advises that high street safety glasses cannot meet all the requirements for different applications required by EN 166:2001 for high speed impacts. Workers who require both high impact protection above the absolute minimum level of protection and prefer prescription safety glasses will need to also be provided with over goggles and face screens – advice such as this often isn’t offered at many high street retailers as this is not normally part of their product offer and they may not be aware of the full extent of the EN166 product safety standard: “Spectacle type eyewear can only be certified to EN166, level F, which is the lowest impact requirement and not suitable for those using high speed power tools or machining equipment. It’s concerning that high street retailers often don’t relay this message to customers, meaning workers think they are fully protected when in fact they could be far from it.”

To offer UK businesses additional information when purchasing safety glasses, Arco experts have created the following easy Step by Step guide:

  • Complete a risk assessment: Employers need to carry out a risk assessment that clearly identities which rating employees require, as well as identifying whether they will require over-goggles. 

  • Equip staff with safety information:If not purchasing prescription safety eyewear from safety experts but instead high street opticians, ensure employees understand what rating they are required to specify during the ordering process. Those working in an opticians may not be trained to understand the safety UK regulations so, therefore, won’t be able to offer expert safety advice regarding different working conditions. 

  • Check the markings on the glasses:Many employees and employers aren’t aware what the marking on the glasses mean. If employers are worried about the glasses that have been provided to their workforce, they can easily check the letters on the lenses to check for the ratings. See below graphic for guidance. 

  • Think about where you buy your safety glasses from:Safety equipment should be procured from safety specialists. This means the correct advice is being conveyed and the risk of serious injury is reduced. 

For more information regarding Arco’s prescription safety eyewear range, please visit www.arco.co.uk

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Free advice on employee wellbeing this winter 10/12/2018

A person’s body temperature is affected by more than the environment alone. Health and lifestyle factors contribute significantly to the way individuals perceive cold.

Some individuals will feel excessively warm while carrying out the same task in the same environment. Safety company Arco stresses that being uncomfortably hot, wet or cold can cause irrational and unsafe behaviour as employees take shortcuts to avoid being exposed to these conditions for long periods of time and their ability to make decisions deteriorates.

In its latest educational campaign, Arco is emphasising the importance of layering this winter to ensure workers remain comfortable throughout the colder months as well as remaining safe. Employers need to recognise that in order for employees to work at their optimum productivity level, they must be able to maintain a comfortable body temperature. It’s also vital that employers understand that allowing workers to continue working in uncomfortably wet or cold conditions is detrimental to their wellbeing and can become a safety risk. 

One of the most effective ways to protect employees against their thermal environment is to provide them with a suitable layering system. A layering system simply means providing different garments so workers can adapt what they wear to the changing weather, their work activity and their personal needs. Multiple layers are also more effective and less cumbersome to wear than a single bulky item.

This includes: An outer layer to shield against wind, rain and scuffs with breathable properties to help prevent overheating; an insulating mid later to provide warmth and comfort; and a base layer to offer additional thermal properties but also wick sweat away to help keep workers dry.

To ensure employers are fully educated on protecting workers from the winter elements, Arco has created a dedicated section on its website and a free expert advice sheet for customers to download. Additionally, Arco has launched an all seasons, 3-in-1 jacket that offers extreme versatility by providing two layers that can either work separately or together to offer an enhanced level of protection. 

In order to give customers a choice of waterproof clothing, Arco’s GORE-TEX Fabric product range allows wearers to work in ultimate comfort while protected from the wind and rain.

Tested to almost eight times the minimum standards, Arco's GORE-TEX outdoor clothing range guarantees water from the outside will never penetrate, wind cannot pass through and perspiration from inside escapes easily ensuring the body is kept warm and dry. 

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Award for ‘CE failings’ Campaign 10/12/2018

Arco, a UK-leading supplier of safety products and services, has received a Gold award for its ‘CE is No Guarantee’ Campaign, at this years’ International B2B Marketing awards.

Arco became aware of dangerous gaps in the CE marking process for safety equipment that was allowing unsafe products to go to market. To ensure future safety and generate awareness leading to real change, and that workplaces across the UK become safer for workers, Arco decided it had no choice but to expose its findings by raising industry and government awareness. 

The thought leadership campaign needed to cut through bureaucracy and drive real change. With around 600,000 workers each year reporting that they have suffered an injury at work, the consequences of failing to apply due diligence to PPE purchasing are huge. 

Central to the campaign activity was a short, compelling documentary film which brought together legal experts, brand owners and health and safety specialists to examine how this was happening to legitimately CE marked safety equipment. The campaign resulted in a number of product recalls and competitor statements, inspired senior industry stakeholders to become involved, and ensured questions were asked in Parliament about post-Brexit safety legislation and the safety of workers. 

The campaign was further supported by smart use of challenging online banner messaging and ad placement, plus an emotive brand campaign highlighting the risks of non-compliant safety equipment.

Those concerned about the risks of failing CE marked PPE leaving their workers and business exposed can visit www.KnowYourRisk.co.uk to watch the short film and get a free risk profile to find out how exposed they are. 

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Arco encourages breathalysers for staff 20/11/2018

ARCO IS encouraging the use of breathalysers in the work place this festive season.

December is statistically the worst month for drink driving in the UK, and over 20% of drink driving offences occur in the morning.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure, the health and safety of employees. UK businesses are being advised to adopt a drug/alcohol screening for employees this winter.

Arco recommends that breathalysers are an ideal solution in the workplace as a means of screening and urge businesses to take responsibility to provide peace of mind for workers and employers.

Arco provide a range of breathalysers including the new Drager Alcotest models. 

  • 45A1700 – Drager Alcotest 5820

  • 45A1800 – Drager Alcotest 6820

  • 45A2000 – Drager Interlock 7000

For more information on alcohol testing and Arco’s range of breathalysers, please visit www.arco.co.uk/breathalysers

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Support for World Heart Day 24/09/2018

UK safety expert Arco will support this year’s annual World Heart Day on Saturday 29th September 2018 by offering a 20% discount on a range of defibrillators across the month of September. 

As Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of premature death in the UK, Arco is keen to educate its customers on the facts and potential dangers SCA can pose in order to help them prepare for all eventualities.

SCA is an abrupt loss of pulse and consciousness caused by an unexpected failure in the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood to the brain and around the body. Yet, with proper immediate treatment, many lives can be saved. For victims of SCA, defibrillation is a crucial stage in a sequence of events which need to occur to ensure the victim is fully resuscitated. 

The need to act quickly is supported by the survival rate to response time statistics. For example, if a defibrillator is used on a victim within 3-5 minutes of collapsing, survival rates can be as high as 50-70%. However, the likelihood of a successful resuscitation decreases by around 7-10% with every minute that passes and unfortunately, after 10 minutes without defibrillation very few attempts at resuscitation are successful. 

Whilst first aid courses and defibrillator specific training is available, circumstances often dictate that no trained operator is present on site when an emergency strikes. With this in mind, the latest defibrillators in the Arco catalogue are purposely designed so that everyone, including the untrained user, can easily access the equipment. It is important to note that defibrillators are completely safe to use and will not allow a shock to be given unless the heart's rhythm requires it. Furthermore, the machines are designed to be stored for long periods without use and require very little routine maintenance. Arco hope that by educating the untrained user, they will feel more confident to use them in a crisis. 

Niall Robinson, product & procurement manager at Arco, said: “With a wealth of expert information from our in-house specialists, we want to stress the importance of education surrounding defibrillation, with the premise that workers can be more proactive in the early stages of SCA. We are delighted to be taking part in increasing the awareness of this tragic cause of death and hope that in doing so, more lives can be saved in the future.”

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Take your safety to new heights 17/09/2018

Safety company Arco is encouraging its customers to embrace technological advancements into their businesses by launching a range of drones that could be used to carry out otherwise hazardous tasks, safely and cost-effectively.

The use of drones within a commercial environment is increasing and is likely to significantly change the working practices of many businesses. According to a recent report, the use of drone technology could drive cost savings of £16bn each year with an estimated 628,000 people working in the future drone economy,  including building and programming these new devices.  

There are a number of dangerous tasks where the benefits of using drones are already becoming apparent, for example building inspections and site surveys, offshore oil rig inspections, wind turbine inspections, and agriculture.

To fly a drone commercially a pilot is required to complete drone training and then apply for a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO), from the Commercial Aviation Authority (CAA). It is essential those flying the high-tech equipment understand the rules and regulations they must adhere to. 

To ensure drones have a positive impact in the workplace and are used safely and in accordance with the regulations, customers can purchase Arco’s drone products with training to enable pilots to comply with safety standards. The training courses are provided by an accredited training facility and are available to purchase with or without the drone.

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Arco puts its toughest foot forward 24/07/2018

ARCO LAUNCHES its new collection of slip resistant footwear, introducing new athletic styles from the TROJAN range.

The range is designed to meet the needs of today’s workers for modern, athletic footwear that prioritises comfort without comprising safety. 

Slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces. To help reduce these it is critical to wear appropriate safety footwear that has been tested to comply with the relevant safety standards.

The new range of TROJAN footwear exceeds these standards and has been tested in the company’s independently accredited Product Assurance Laboratory, achieving EN ISO 20344:2011 and the EN ISO 13287: 2012 standard for slip resistance.

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