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Tough foot forward 27/07/2018

Arco has launched its new collection of slip-resistant footwear, introducing new athletic styles from the TROJAN range. These are 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. Between 2014/15-2016/17, an estimated 979,000 working days were lost due to such incidents equating to an average of 8.8 working days lost per case. To help reduce these accidents and ensure workers are protected from injuries, it is critical they wear the 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. Products in TROJAN’s new range include:

TROJAN Nireus S1P Safety Hikers - This hiker is suitable for workers who want the protection of a traditional safety boot that looks casual, but which has a range of safety features. The fashionable exterior conceals the steel toecap, penetration-resistant stainless steel midsole and antistatic properties. The outsole is said to provide superb resistance to slipping.

TROJAN Nireus S1P Safety Trainers - These lightweight safety trainers offer protection while still looking stylish. Featuring an outsole that provides excellent slip-resistance, the trainers have antistatic properties, a steel toecap and a penetration-resistant midsole, which are both hidden within the trainer. 

TROJAN Pandia II S3 Safety Boots – These high-top sneakers are lightweight and durable and with an outsole that provides excellent resistance to slipping, they are suitable for workers who need reassurance that their shoes have good grip. The aluminium toecap and composite midsole means that workers will be able to wear them all day without the risk of pain or discomfort. 

TROJAN’s slip resistant footwear is tested by replicating various potential hazards in the workplace. The level of slip is then graded on each shoe using the following codes: SRA, SRB, SRC, highlighting whether it will protect workers on ceramic tiles, steel floors, or, whether they are suitable for both. The new TROJAN range provides complete SRC protection. 

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CE is no guarantee 29/06/2018

CE markings are no guarantee of safety, according to Neil Hewitt, divisional director, Quality and Technical Standard at Arco. Here, he discusses the potential risks for your business

Although we enjoy the benefits of working in one of the safest places in the world, with the lowest incident rates of work-related deaths in the EU, there’s a gap in the compliance process that is putting UK workers at risk of injury, even though they are using CE-marked PPE they believe will protect them.

As a health and safety manager, you may believe that you and your people are fully protected and compliant when you specify or buy PPE. The reality is that some CE marked PPE is failing, putting wearers at risk of injury and businesses and individuals at risk of loss of reputation, fines and even possible imprisonment.

The evidence is undeniable: Independent laboratory testing in 2017 showed that around 40% of non-metallic footwear and 30% of rigger gloves failed surveillance testing, despite carrying the CE mark.  

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. Without a robust process in place, accidents and injuries could be life changing and not just for end users but for the individuals (and the businesses they work for) who are involved in specifying and purchasing the equipment. www.arco.co.uk

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Cut protection range 16/07/2018

Arco, the UK safety expert, has launched its new range of cut protection safety gloves, providing workers with its most comprehensive hand protection range to date, meeting the revised EN 388:2016 standard whilst educating employers about the changes to cut level testing.

Between 2016/17, there were over 17,521 non-fatal injuries affecting the hand and wrist. 12,325 of these instances resulted in workers needing to have over seven days’ absence. Hand injuries continue to be the leading cause of workplace injury and these could be prevented through workers wearing the right gloves for the job, with proven protection that is compliant to safety standards.

Arco’s high cut resistant gloves continue to offer high level protection and undergo rigorous testing in the company’s independently accredited Product Testing Laboratory to ensure this.

Arco’s  high cut protection range, Cut 5E, however, has been re-designed to clearly highlight the level of safety it provides on the back of the gloves, in-order to increase understanding about the protection levels which is a key requirement in the revised standard.

There are 11 products in the range that has been revamped to become more lightweight, comfortable and durable, whilst still achieving high cut protection levels in line with the new protocols of EN 388:2016.  The gloves are also available in various coatings including: polyurethane, sandy foam nitrile, nitrile dots, latex and leather.

EN 388:2016 superseded the original cut glove standard from 2003 and tests gloves against mechanical hazards such as abrasions, blade cuts, tears, punctures, and impact. The new cut testing process is designed to better stimulate real-life situations, such as an accidental cut, and is particularly relevant where injuries are likely from heavier objects or undergo greater force.  By 21st April 2019, all safety gloves must be compliant to this standard.

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Cut protection safety glove range 19/06/2018

Arco has launched its new range of cut protection safety gloves, providing workers with its most comprehensive hand protection range to date, meeting the revised EN 388:2016 standard whilst educating employers about the changes to cut level testing.

Between 2016/17, there were over 17,521 non-fatal injuries affecting the hand and wrist. 12,325 of these instances resulted in workers needing to have over seven days’ absence. Hand injuries continue to be a leading cause of workplace injury and many of these could be prevented through workers wearing the suitable gloves for the job, with protection that is compliant to safety standards.

Arco’s high cut resistant gloves continue to offer high level protection and undergo rigorous testing in the company’s independently accredited Product Testing Laboratory to ensure this.

Arco’s high cut protection range, Cut 5E, however, has been re-designed to clearly highlight the level of safety it provides on the back of the gloves, in-order to increase understanding about the protection levels which is a key requirement in the revised standard.

There are 11 products in the range that has been revamped to become more lightweight, comfortable and durable, whilst still achieving high cut protection levels in line with the new protocols of EN 388:2016.  The gloves are also available in various coatings including: polyurethane, sandy foam nitrile, nitrile dots, latex and leather.

EN 388:2016 superseded the original cut glove standard from 2003 and tests gloves against mechanical hazards such as abrasions, blade cuts, tears, punctures, and impact. The new cut testing process is designed to better stimulate real-life situations, such as an accidental cut, and is particularly relevant where injuries are likely from heavier objects or undergo greater force. By 21st April 2019, all safety gloves must be compliant to this standard.

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PPE Regulations advice 19/05/2018

Arco is helping buyers navigate the complicated waters of the new PPE Regulation, offering clear guidance.

The new PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 brings about the most significant changes to the rules on PPE, since the introduction of the first Directive over 20 years ago. 

The changes are designed to ensure ongoing product safety and assurance and to better reflect the needs of those buying and using PPE to keep them safe at work. 

From 21st April 2018, the transition requirements of the new Regulation came into force and all those responsible for the purchase of PPE, need to ensure that their suppliers are able to meet the new Regulation requirements.  Arco has published an up to date summary of the Regulation, available free on the company’s website, which will help purchasers understand what the requirements mean for them.  The document includes key dates, a summary of the changes, advice on working with a trusted supplier and guidance on how to check that any PPE complies with the new regulation.

The rules of the new Regulation apply to the whole supply chain, not just manufacturers and clearly define that an importer or distributor who markets PPE products in Europe under their own name, brand or trademark, becomes liable for the full manufacturer’s obligations.  As the industry leader, Arco has  a well-established 5-step product assurance process and has also published all declarations of conformity at https://conformity.arco.co.uk/.

Neil Hewitt, Arco’s Divisional Director of Quality and Technical Standards, said: ”The new PPE Regulation puts the obligation on everyone involved in the manufacture, supply and distribution of PPE, including Arco, to ensure their products meet with the required standards, that they keep technical files and records and that they carry out sample testing on their PPE where appropriate.  With the investment we’ve made in product assurance and our own laboratory, we are well placed to meet the new obligations and to assure customers that they are buying from a reliable, fully compliant supplier.  The new regulations have introduced significant changes for both suppliers and buyers and we’ve put together some useful resources that are free to download from our website, to help customers navigate the new rules and we urge them to make sure they keep their people safe by working with a trusted supplier.

For more information, please go to the dedicated section on the Arco website for more information: www.arco.co.uk/regulation

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Superbrands list 23/03/2018

Arco has announced that it is on Britain’s Superbrands business list for the third consecutive year, demonstrating its position as a leading safety company with a dedication to keep workers safe.

The Superbrands list is an annual initiative, celebrating the UK’s leading business-to-business brands. In this year’s selection process, Arco was judged against more than 1500 companies from 62 sectors for factors such as quality, reliability and distinction.

Arco distributes a range of 170,000 world-class quality assured branded and own brand products and can deliver expert advice, training and consultancy. It also has its own Product Assurance Laboratory to test equipment, ensuring optimum safety is achieved.

It offers expert advice in areas such as skin safety, confined spaces, working at height and Face Fit Testing, where experts provide on-site training and education about how to ensure the appropriate management of such issues.

Lee Morton, Head of Brand & Proposition Development at Arco, said: “We are supremely honoured to have been named one of Britain’s Superbrands for the third consecutive year. It goes without saying that the core foundation of our industry is to ensure worker safety.  As the UK’s leading safety company, producing quality products that meet or exceed health and safety standards is at the heart of this commitment and is reflected in the investments we are making in quality and product assurance.” 

The identification of Superbrands is completed through a rigorous survey of 2500 business professionals from across the UK that is assessed by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA) and the independent voluntary Business Superbrands council.

Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive of TCBA and Chairman of the Business Superbrands Council said, “A potent reputation is a critical advantage for a company. As an annual barometer of brand strength, those companies performing well in this year’s Business Superbrands survey can take confidence in their reputation. Being a leading Business Superbrand is not just about being the most well-known, but also about standing out from rivals and being perceived to consistently deliver a good quality service or product. The fact that the Business Superbrands process canvasses both business-to-business marketing experts and business professionals reaffirms on all counts that the brand is performing well”.

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Hose catalogue 24/03/2018

Arco Hose Division, the UK safety experts and one of the country’s largest industrial hose distributors, has recently launched its new hose catalogue, designed to ensure companies are equipped with the latest and most compliant hose solutions.

The 68 page catalogue offers customers access to over 3,000 product lines and 600,000 metres of hose including ducting and fitting products for general purpose, as well as hose products specifically designed for the food and drink, oil and chemical industries.

Providing products that are designed to enhance workplace safety is now a key addition in the catalogue. A new ‘workplace products’ section has been added, featuring lockout tag out, industrial matting, spill control and industrial lubricants and adhesives. Solutions can also be made to suit individual specifications, from high-risk chemical transfer hoses to general purpose industrial tubes.

With over 200 years’ of hose experience, the Arco Hose Division reinforces its core principles of quality, safety and service through the investment of swagers, chop saws, coilers and hose pushers, all of which enable the team to deliver enhanced customer service. Arco experts can also externally crimp hose assemblies from 6mm to 305mm and internally swage 52mm up to 305mm.

With some of the most renowned manufacturing facilities in the UK, Arco has a range of fixed and portable hydrostatic testing equipment allowing the experts to pressure test all hose solutions manufactured, ensuring complete safety for the intended application. Tests are also conducted by the National Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD) trained fitters.

www.arcosafety.ie/catrequest

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Stepping up the ladder regulations: Are you protected? 07/03/2018

Arco is offering customers free advice on how to ensure their ladders and stepladders are compliant ahead of the revised European regulation on portable ladders being enforced this year.

  

The new regulations seek to reduce ladder accidents, improve worker safety and simplify the ladder selection process. Working at height can be extremely hazardous if the appropriate safety features are not factored in.

Previous British standards for portable ladders and stepladders, BS 2037 and BS 1129, are being revised and replaced with a single British and European standard, BS EN 131. The updated standard contains two categories: EN 131 Professional, for industrial and trade, and EN 131 Non-Professional, for domestic and DIY use. 

There are a number of changes that both companies and employees should be aware of including all ladders now having to adhere to the same minimum weight capacity of 150kg, whether it’s for domestic or professional use, and the introduction of cycle durability tests to check product durability. Extension ladders over 3m will also now be required to have a wider base to reduce slips and the risk of ladders flipping or toppling. 

Although the new standard does not apply retrospectively and ladders built to the previous standard will still be legally available on the market during the transition period, Arco encourages companies to update their purchasing policies, ensuring EN 131 professional ladders are specified when replacing existing ladders. 

In order to ensure its customers comply fully with the latest standards, Arco’s product range of warehouse steps, ladders, platforms and podiums is already compliant to BS EN 131. Arco’s experts can also provide a free-onsite survey, assessing height risks and identifying the most appropriate equipment needed for the task, whilst its Training and Consultancy service offers three informative training courses, educating staff about how to effectively work with ladders. The courses include:

  • Ladder and Step Safety – This is aimed at supervisors and all employees who have to use ladders and steps.
  • Working at Height – This is aimed at those required to use Personal Fall Protection Equipment (PFPE) in order to work safely at height. 
  • Mobile Access Towers - Provides the correct skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to safely oversee the work of operatives on site ensuring that work is properly planned and organised and that those involved in carrying out the work are competent and properly trained, and that towers are correctly inspected and maintained. 

Arco has produced a guide and infographic on the new standards, which can be easily downloaded.

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Be prepared to weather the storm 06/12/2017

Stay safe and prepare for extreme weather conditions - Arco, is urging businesses to prepare for the winter months now, and ensure safety items are maintained and in good working order.

Arco has put together advice sheets for business winter weather needs, including advice against flooding, effective salting and how to be weather warning aware. 

The sheets can be found on the Arco dedicated winter webpage – www.arco.co.uk/winter – including recommendations of essential workplace safety items such as grit bins, blue de-icing salt that is easier to see, salt spreading equipment, shovels, heaters and accessories. Arco also offers a downloadable, easy-to-use ‘Salt Calculator’ app, available from the App store or Google Play, that provides instant calculations for the quantity of salt required for each site, with personalised weather warnings that are tailored to your location.

Being well prepared to deal with extreme weather events can save businesses time and money and will help maintain a safe working environment.

Flooding:
Flooding can cause a huge amount of damage, not only to the property and its contents but it can also affect safety and hygiene standards even after the water is pumped out. By taking early action most businesses can save between 20 - 90% on the cost of lost stock and equipment, according to the Environment Agency.

Effective salting:
Salt is the most cost effective de-icer available to make roads, pavements and walkways safer as it reduces ice and adds as much grip to the surface as possible. Pre-salting will save time, money and injury.

Weather warnings:
Arco recommends that businesses monitor the probability of extreme weather conditions and advises that they sign up to flood warning services and weather updates for their region. Warnings can give an indication on the likelihood of severe weather and the impact the conditions may have. It is important to be aware and be prepared.

Niall Robinson, Product & Procurement Manager for Arco, said: “As the big chill approaches, we want to make sure our customers are ahead of the game when it comes to protecting their businesses against extreme weather. We have a comprehensive range of solutions to keep workplaces both safe and open throughout periods of extreme weather, and the experienced Arco team are on hand to provide expert advice for all winter business requirements.”

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PPE: No room for doubt 30/10/2017

Two years on from raising concerns that some safety footwear with EC type approval and CE marking is not fit for purpose, Arco has evidence of products that failed safety testing and which are still being sold. Neil Hewitt, divisional director quality and technical standards at Arco, discusses the need for employers to be vigilant when purchasing PPE

Arco’s test has found that not only are some CE marked safety footwear models continuing to fail standard safety tests, but has also identified samples of non-compliant leather gloves. This suggests that as Arco extends its testing, it is likely that further failures may be exposed. 

What’s the problem with CE Marking?

The current EC type approval and CE marking process appears to be allowing less responsible manufacturers or importers to gain CE Certification for products they wish to market. The manufactures will subsequently make changes to the product due to market pressures and not retest the altered products. Even though the product should be retested when significant changes are made, this may not be happening for category two items.

During compression testing on non-metallic safety footwear in 2015, it was apparent that, despite being CE marked, some samples of safety footwear with injection moulded plastic toe caps performed significantly worse than the fibreglass composite toe caps and that, if compressed, these substandard toes caps would not protect the wearer’s foot as intended, potentially resulting in severe injuries if an accident occurs

Concerning results

More than two years on, further market surveillance has discovered a number of safety footwear styles on the market are continuing to fail standard safety tests according to EN ISO 20345: 2011. In one example, three non-metallic footwear styles from one brand showed significant failures on 14 of their products. The failing results are some of the worst Arco has seen with many toe-caps losing structural integrity through cracking; an injury while wearing this footwear is likely to fracture the bones of the foot, leading to possible amputation.

The fact that the products are still available on the market despite the manufacturer being aware of these failing suggests that the distributors in question do not have robust Quality & Product Assurance processes and are contravening the PPE legislation EU2016/425.

Leather gloves

Random sampling of a leather glove supplied by one distributor was found to contain excessive levels of Azo dyes, substances restricted under REACH when in contact with the skin due to some being found to be carcinogenic. For this reason, testing is required to ensure that the products meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 REACH. 

Challenge suppliers

Unfortunately, some of the substandard products Arco identified in its testing have come from well known industry distributors. Of further concern is the fact that all of the manufacturers whose products failed the tests two years ago were advised of the results, yet some of these same products are still available to buy.

It can be extremely difficult for those buying PPE to identify true product compliance but there are three simple steps that can be taken to increase performance confidence:

•  Ask suppliers for a declaration of conformity showing original certification for the PPE  

•  Ask suppliers to define their process for sample testing to ensure safety products continue to meet the required standards

•  Ask suppliers to define their process of quality assurance to ensure products are being manufactured as originally certified.

There is no room for doubt when it comes to employee welfare. If those responsible for buying PPE only do business with manufacturers and distributors who can prove they are reputable suppliers, operators compromising on standards will be forced to change their practices, helping to drive substandard products from the market and ultimately ensuring the UK workforce stays protected. 

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