Reset Password

Welcome to our new website

If you have previously had an account with us, please use the forgotten password link to reset your password here. This does not include the password for our CAT system, your existing password will still work. Thank you.

BAE Systems Services Limited, Govan and Scotstoun

CLIENT: BAE Systems Services Limited, Govan and Scotstoun

Client Brief

BAE Systems is the largest defence contractor in Europe and among the world’s largest defence companies. With multiple sites and 34,000 employees across the UK, BAE Systems’ safety services needs are complex and varied across their Air, Land and Sea divisions.

Arco Limited and Arco Professional Safety Services, have a well-established and trusted business relationship with BAE Systems and have contracts in place for the provision of safety products and learning and development services. We have also provided Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Services to BAE facilities for several years including face fit testing and RPE maintenance.

Arco Professional Safety Services has been in discussions with BAE Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, responsible for naval surface ships within their sea division, to develop and implement a respiratory management programme that would streamline and enhance their current regime. An effective respiratory management programme has six key components which include careful product selection, RPE training, face fit testing, inspections and maintenance, record keeping and suitable and sufficient storage of equipment.

This project focused on the thorough inspection, maintenance and record keeping for all items of RPE, in line with their responsibilities under COSHH 2002 Regulation 9, HSG53 and manufacturers guidance.

The scope of the project included significant numbers and variety of RPE, including Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), Full Face Masks, Blast Helmets, Air-Fed Hoods and Airline-Fed Breathing Apparatus.


Arco Professional Safety Services’ Solution

As experts in respiratory protection, with extensive knowledge of the regulations, we provided BAE Govan and Scotstoun with guidance surrounding their legal requirements for RPE inspection and maintenance and supported them in implementing a compliant respiratory inspection and servicing procedure.

Initially, to gauge an understanding of the current condition of the RPE and level of maintenance required, we carried out an assessment to inspect a set number of powered units and reported the findings back to BAE.

This assessment enabled us to accurately determine the man hours required to carry out and deliver a full programme of inspection and maintenance.

Currently, all RPE is collected from BAE Govan and Scotstoun sites and taken to our Safety Centre in Linlithgow, inspection and maintenance work is carried out by two dedicated, qualified and competent RPE technicians, with weekly reports issued to the customer. The inspections include periodic replacement of parts as agreed such as filters, sweatbands and face seals. The servicing also includes the replacement of damaged or deteriorated parts that effect the performance of the RPE such as seals, visors and hoses.

Due to the scale of the project, the level of support required and the need to cover varying shift patterns it was recognised that ‘onsite facilities’ would be a huge benefit. BAE identified suitable areas on-site and Arco Professional Safety Services are providing guidance on the internal fixtures and fittings required to ensure a suitable and sufficient RPE workshop.

Additionally, we have worked with the manufacturer to agree and set up a streamlined ordering process, whereby the replacement parts are delivered directly to the new respiratory workshops at the BAE sites, speeding up delivery, increasing efficiency and limiting business downtime.

The team capture all RPE inspection and servicing records on our Customer Asset Tracking (CAT) system for COSHH compliance, where the records are retained for five years. The team capture all RPE inspection and servicing records on our Customer Asset Tracking (CAT) system for COSHH compliance where the records are retained for five years. The system provides “real time” access to the inspection history of each RPE unit, including the serial number, details of any work carried out and parts changed, when and by whom. This information is shared weekly with BAE Govan and Scotstoun to discuss trends and consider future education for RPE wearers.


Benefits of Our Solution

Implementing a respiratory management programme and ensuring all RPE is inspected in line with legal requirements, ensures the condition of the RPE is suitable to provide adequate protection for the specific hazards, and minimises the risk of respiratory illness in BAE’s workforce. We have identified with BAE the more frequently used RPE that requires monthly inspection and the RPE where inspections may be extended to three monthly.

The future development of the on-site respiratory workshops will optimise the current RPE inspection and servicing procedures, limiting business downtime, and minimising the amount of travel to assist with the reduction of our carbon footprint.

Given the long latency of respiratory illnesses, the effects of poor RPE protection are not often seen until it’s too late, making it challenging to engage with employees as the risks are not immediately visible.  Therefore, part of the implementation includes plans to support BAE employees with respiratory training and guidance to increase their knowledge and understanding of respiratory legislation, respiratory hazards, and how to store and maintain the equipment correctly. This support will involve regular and ongoing communications with workers and the completion of Arco toolbox talks and will contribute to a more engaged workforce and the ongoing improvement of the safety culture across the BAE business.

Additionally, through the on-site respiratory workshops, the Arco Professional Safety Services RPE technicians will have an increased presence and visibility among the BAE team, with an increased opportunity for conversations with RPE users, which is likely to further enhance the safety culture.

Arco Professional Safety Services offer respiratory expertise across all the elements that make up an effective respiratory management programme. Face fit testing is required for all tight-fitting face masks to ensure that the respirator fits correctly and therefore protects the wearer. Proud to have one of the largest mobile BSIF Fit2Fit accredited face fit testing team in the UK, Arco Professional Safety Services are working with BAE Govan and Scotstoun to support their current face fit testing regime across the workforce.



“Arco Professional Safety Services have an in-depth understanding of our business and the specific respiratory hazards our people face. We have an exceptionally close working relationship with them and see them as an extension to our team.”

“By choosing Arco Professional Safety Services to help us implement a respiratory management programme and developing our RPE inspection and maintenance procedures, we are confident that we are not only complying with legal requirements, but we are also protecting our employees from respiratory illness and keeping them safe at work.”

– Tom Lagan, Production Manager, BAE Systems