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COVID-19: Arco helping UK get back to work


Company secures supply of face masks and offers advice on the dangers of fake or counterfeit products

AS the lockdown restrictions in England are eased in a bid to restart the economy, some businesses are making their plans to reopen. The Government has issued a set of guidelines to ensure safe working, but many business owners and managers are concerned about how these should be met and the measures they need to put in place to comply and to fully protect their people.

With an expectation that where social distancing is not possible, the use of face coverings may be required to decrease the risk of transmission of infection from the wearer to others, leading UK safety company Arco have secured a supply of 40 million Type II masks and 90 million Type IIR masks.


These are currently being delivered to the company’s 400,000 sq ft National Distribution Centre in Hull, where work has begun within the newly extended building to get the first 19 million masks out of the door, to customers across the country as quickly as possible.

With their in-depth understanding of workplace safety and expertise in product sourcing and advising on product selection, Arco have been one of the key suppliers to the NHS, ambulance services, local authorities and other public health bodies in the UK and have made a significant contribution to support the UK supply chain for critical equipment.

Now, the company has developed a set of expert advice sheets to ensure a safe return to the workplace. The ‘toolkit’ is aligned with government advice and covers topics such as Managing Risk, Cleaning the Workplace, Working Safely During Coronavirus, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – what to wear and how to use it.

It is important, say Arco, that the right type of respiratory protection is specified for the job, to ensure that the higher levels of protective equipment are issued only where necessary and critical supplies are not diverted from where they are needed most. The company’s freely available guidance offers expert advice on when to specify a respirator or a mask, selecting the right Type II mask, plus a set of guides and FAQs for end-users. 

Arco have also expressed serious concerns about the quantity of non-compliant products that are now on the UK market, many of which have fake test certification and do not meet UK standards. These products could potentially put workers at risk, rather than protect them.

With their own independently accredited on-site product testing laboratory, Arco say they are uniquely positioned to advise on fake and counterfeit products that are finding their way into the marketplace, and are using their wealth of technical knowledge on product quality and conformity to assist the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and Trading Standards in their effort to keep non-compliant products out of the supply chain.

David Evison, Arco’s managing director, said: ‘Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working with our customers in the NHS, ambulance services, local authorities, care homes and other frontline services to provide a range of PPE and other products to the staff who have been working tirelessly to help others in their fight against the disease.

‘As lockdown eases and businesses get back up and running and we restart the economy, our experts are best placed to help business owners get their workplace ready and keep it safe for their people when they return. We will play our role in making work a safe place for everyone and in ensuring that the products we supply are the right ones for the job and are fully compliant.’


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