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Arco Professional Safety Services News

A team of fearless work-at-height trainers from Arco Professional Safety Services have taken second place in a gruelling rope rescue competition.

The Prusik Rope Rescue Event 2024, held at the Avonmouth Dock in Bristol on May 18, featured nine teams from around the UK taking part in rescue challenges while sharing knowledge and learning in technical rope rescue.

The Arco team, made up of work-at-height trainers Rob Messenger, Jack Ball, Peter Hancock, Nat Smart, Bartek Biela and Ian Moss, faced stiff competition, including teams from emergency services and other private rescue providers.

Each team had to pass three rescue “evolutions”, facing challenging scenarios such as rescuing a casualty from a narrow walkway suspended at the end of a shipping crane.

The teams had 60 minutes to complete each evolution. If a team declared they could not manage the rescue, the clock stopped and it became a training exercise, with the assessor coaching the team through the rescue.

Rob Messenger, Arco’s team leader on the day, said: “When the teams assembled on the quayside, it quickly became apparent they were all highly capable and well-drilled in technical rope rescue.

“Prior to each rescue, the team leader was given four minutes to brief the team on the scenario, rules, or restrictions.

“We decided that, when our briefing time was up and the rescue time started, we would not rush away, but instead confirm understanding and then conduct the rescue.”

Putting their skills and expertise to the test and passing all three challenges, the Arco team were overjoyed to be named overall runners-up.

The top three teams were awarded a kit bag donated by Never Let Go.

Rob said the event was great for the team’s continuing professional development, as their technical rescue knowledge and expertise was bolstered with lessons learnt.

He said: “We spoke to many of the other teams, looking at how they used their equipment and how we have rigged ours.

“Our product knowledge was improved too, with workshops provided by the suppliers and distributors. Some of the innovations had a clear role within some of our customers’ workplaces.

“When we were announced as second place, we were chuffed to bits. It really felt that our efforts and personal time spent training had been rewarded.”

Arco Professional Safety Services’ complete range of workplace environment solutions includes comprehensive management of working at height challenges.

Arco’s expert trainers ensure people have the proper preparation to do their jobs safely, catering for most industry sectors.

Their working at height training expertise includes:

  • Rooftop safety
  • Telecoms climber
  • Rescue from height
  • Fall protection
  • Industrial rope access
  • Ladder safety
  • Rail
  • Warehouse safety

For more information, visit

 ARCO Team Rescue



Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, has completed the installation of fall protection systems on the UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster- brand new Hyperia! Due to open on Friday 24 May, Hyperia is the newest ride at Thorpe Park in Surrey. Built by Mack Rides, the new attraction stands at an intimidating 72m (236ft) and will reach speeds of over 80mph.

The safety systems installed by working at height specialists from Arco Professional Safety Services provide a continuous safe connection on the rollercoaster, allowing maintenance crews to carry out routine and reactive tasks with confidence.

Arco installed Two MSA Latchways BridgeLatch fall arrest and restraint systems along the entire 111m (364ft) incline and crest of the rollercoaster, allowing workers to access the lift portion of the rollercoaster safely. They also fixed MSA Latchways Mansafe fall arrest systems along the station return brake platform and the station exit maintenance platform.

Matthew Glass, fall protection manager at Arco Professional Safety Services, said: “We were thrilled to be a part of this project for the Hyperia coaster, the latest attraction at one of the UK’s top theme parks.

“This installation is the latest in a longstanding partnership with Merlin Entertainments that has allowed Arco, the Experts in Safety, to demonstrate our expertise in working at height safety and love of (safe) thrills.

“I know I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say we are looking forward to getting to experience the UK’s new tallest and fastest ride when it opens.”

Dan Warwick, health & safety director at Thorpe Park, said: “Arco have been an instrumental part of the team, assisting us with the installation of working at height lines – a vital element of the Hyperia ride construction.

“With the ride standing at an epic 236ft tall, these lines will be used to safely enable our engineering team to get up and down the incredible lift hill for all maintenance and daily pre-opening checks.

“The lines will also be used by our staff and guests in the event of an evacuation being required on the ride. As part of this, the Arco team worked closely with us to ensure we have well-planned and expertly curated evacuation plans, which form a critical part of the overall project.”

Arco Professional Safety Services provide consultancy, training, services and equipment to manage the most complex and high-risk, high hazard scenarios, specialising in working at height, confined spaces and respiratory management.


Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco chairman Thomas Martin has been honoured with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising his “exceptional contribution to the safety and health industry over almost four decades”.

He was bestowed with the award at last night’s Safety and Health Excellence Awards, part of the three-day Health & Safety Event, where Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, has made its return for 2024.

Also on the night, Arco, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary, was commended in the Distributor of the Year award, with judges recognising the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its joined-up approach to safety products and services.

Thomas said he was honoured to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thomas Martin, chairman of Arco, said:

“I’ve always surrounded myself with experts, and this has enabled me to make an impact on our industry. Market leaders earn the right to comment, and career learnings ensure this is done responsibly. The award celebrates the first 36 years, and there’s plenty more to do; I’d better get on with it.”

As the fourth-generation leader of the family business, Thomas started his journey in a London advertising agency before joining Arco in 1988. With a clear passion for the business, Thomas assumed pivotal roles within Arco, including Trading Director (Safety) in 1993, Supply Chain Director in 1998, and Joint Managing Director in 2002, before taking the helm as Chairman in April 2017.

Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, host Dara Ó Briain said during Thomas’s time as Joint Managing Director and now Chairman, he had helped shape Arco into one of the “premier businesses in health and safety, by both scale and impact”.

Testament to this, Arco has led the industry on responses to global emergencies and best practice, pushing for regulatory changes and championing expertise and corporate responsibility.

In 2007, Arco joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) an alliance of companies, trade unions and non-profit organisations that aims to promote respect for the rights of workers worldwide. Arco is the first and only safety distributor to join the ETI.

During the Ebola outbreak in 2015, Arco was the leading PPE partner in the UK’s humanitarian response, supporting government agencies with advice on the correct products needed to keep volunteers safe but also in procuring and supplying the products to the front line.

Most recently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Arco stepped up to secure additional PPE for frontline workers, while advising government bodies on PPE regulations and standard.

Following the crisis, Thomas gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on how the Government response could be improved for the future.

Learn more about Arco’s commitment to shaping the safety agenda 

Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco Professional Safety Services has this week joined TikTok and Instagram

Followers can expect to see expert safety insights, product showcases, in-office challenges, exclusive looks behind the scenes, and much more.

The move into new social media channels is part of Arco’s continuing efforts to engage with customers across a wide range of platforms and reach its customers wherever they are.

The coming weeks will also see the launch of the Arco video podcast, featuring conversations with a varied line-up of guests, who will offer their perspectives on key topics in the world of safety.

Follow Arco Professional Safety Services on the social media channels below:











Arco Professional Safety Services News

UK’s leading safety company will showcase responsible ranges and joined-up safety solutions at the NEC in Birmingham

Health and Safety event stand

Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, will be exhibiting at this year’s Health & Safety Event, scheduled to take place from the 30th April to 2nd May at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

The event takes place during a momentous year for both Arco and the health and safety industry, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) and Arco’s 140th anniversary.

Arco’s interactive exhibition can be found in Hall 4, Stand 4/G100 and has been designed to take visitors on a journey through the hierarchy of control, emphasising the importance of a joined-up approach to safety management. With a focus on consultancy, training, expert advice, compliance and sustainability, Arco aims to demonstrate its unparalleled safety expertise.

Visitors to the Arco stand can expect immersive experiences, including virtual reality demonstrations where they will be placed in realistic environments, highlighting hazards within working at height and confined spaces. The stand will also showcase Arco’s award-winning Responsible hi-vis and Responsible workwear product ranges, as well as its product-assurance process and independent UKAS-accredited laboratory.

Ahead of the event, Arco has been shortlisted in four categories for the 2024 Safety and Health Excellence Awards. Arco is nominated for: BSIF Product Innovation Award Safety Product Category (Non-PPE), Campaign of the Year, Distributor of the Year and Marketing Campaign of the Year, as well as sponsoring and judging this year’s inaugural Sustainable Company of the Year award. The winners will be announced during the award ceremony that will take place on the second night of the three-day Health & Safety Event.

Gareth Wray, Marketing Director at Arco, commented: “We are thoroughly excited to be attending The Health & Safety Event during such a special year for Arco and the industry. We have gone above and beyond to create a truly engaging experience for visitors, showcasing our expertise not only in sourcing and delivering quality and compliant products, but in driving forward sustainable practices and offering joined-up safety solutions.

“We look forward to interacting with the many attendees and sharing our expertise to drive positive change in safety practices.”


View Arco’s joined-up approach to safety management and our responsible approach to sustainability.


Arco Professional Safety Services News

Abseiling The London Eye On Live TV

How Arco experts safely abseiled The London Eye to give the iconic structure a fresh coat of paint on BBC Breakfast.

Working at height specialists from Arco Professional Safety Services abseiled down the London Eye with BBC Breakfast presenter John Maguire to give the iconic attraction a fresh coat of paint on the first day of spring.

Positioned high above the capital, the Arco team worked at heights of 68m from the hub of the London Eye to help safely carry out the abseil and painting on live TV. The team had to utilise a range of work at height kit to ensure safe access and egress, including fall arrest lanyards, work positioning systems and personal suspension (abseil) equipment.

The full paint refresh, which takes place every three years, requires around 5,000 litres to cover the entirety of the 135m high observation wheel – roughly the equivalent of painting 1,660 cars. Taking a team of eight painters working five nights a week for six months, this iconic London landmark requires a staggering 9,360 hours of painting maintenance to look its best.

The Arco team consisted of Steve Dawson, work at height training manager, and Level 3 IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) training instructors Pete Hancock and Chris Fricker.

Steve Dawson said: “The London Eye has been a great partner of ours for the past 20-25 years and it was a pleasure to work with the team on this event to showcase a British landmark and ensure it was carried out safely and securely.

“This event showcases the truly bespoke offering that we are able to deliver at Arco and demonstrates the strength and breadth of expertise within our team.”

Arco Professional Safety Services covers a complete range of safety solutions, including working at height, confined spaces and respiratory services. Visit for more information.

London Eye


Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco Professional Safety Services is now an accredited provider of Lifting Engineers Equipment Association (LEEA) working at height training courses. This makes the safety services company the first UK training course provider to be accredited for working at height & rescue by the LEEA.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the world as the leading trade association for all those involved in the lifting industry. Arco Professional Safety Services has been a trading member of this body since 2013 and offers a variety of working at height training courses that cover safe working practices and the correct usage of fall protection and fall arrest equipment. With working at height instances becoming more frequent in the lifting industry, the LEEA has collaborated with Arco Professional Safety Services to ensure those in the industry are trained in safe working methods.

The LEEA accredited working at height training courses that Arco Professional Safety Servies offers are:

  • Working Safely at Height (one day)
  • Rescue at Height (one day)

The Working Safely at Height course aims to educate delegates on the correct use of harnesses and fall protection equipment through both theoretical and practical training and assessments. The Rescue at Height course provides the knowledge and practical experience to perform rescues at height, examined through a simulated rescue under the supervision of an instructor.

Arco Professional Safety Services offers the two courses at all five of its Safety Centres located across the UK meaning all LEEA members can access the courses in a location convenient to them, with the reassurance that the training they receive will be of identical merit and content as their colleagues nationwide. In some cases, the training can also be completed at a customers’ site.

Steve Dawson, Training Manager at Arco Professional Safety Services, commented: “As working at height experts, we are always keen to expand and strengthen our safety training offering. Through discussions with the LEEA, we understood that working at height safety was a growing concern in the lifting industry that Arco Professional Safety Services was well placed to address.

No matter the industry, working at height safety should be a priority for all employers and this accreditation allows us to train and educate more people in the importance of correct working practices which we take pride in.”

To find out more about Arco’s working at height training offer, visit: or to discuss booking one of the LEEA accredited courses, email

Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco Professional Safety Services Training Instructor, Bartek Biela, embarked on a pioneering expedition to Gunung Mulu National Park to support cave work efforts which could potentially lead to future confirmation of its status as the largest cave system in the world by volume.

3D laser scanning was used to measure the volume of sections of the Clearwater Cave system and unveiled a vast connection, almost a kilometre long, leading to a chamber previously believed to be a dead end in earlier expeditions, adding a new layer of mystery to the intricate Mulu cave system. Today, larger passages are harder to find but the systematic approach employed to surveying of the smaller openings allowed the cavers to add hundreds of meters of new data to the master survey.

The three-week expedition, which comprised of 22 dedicated cavers and scientists to survey the caves, undertake scientific research and exploration, has also led to significant findings on the condensation corrosive effects to fabrics and plastics.

Agents that are present in the Mulu caves environment have been found to cause significant degradation of glued seams, stitching and other man-made polymers. These acidic gases are being tested by UK and American cave scientists to establish the causes of significant degradation of glued seams, stitching and other man-made polymers.

Bartek Biela, Training Instructor at Arco Professional Safety Services, commented: “I am immensely grateful to have received the invite call to be part of this amazing opportunity, that would give me a chance to meet and cave with the original explorers of the area, an opportunity that one does not refuse.

This expedition has delivered promising insight into the cave system and important, possibly even groundbreaking scientific research, not to mention the beauty of the underground landscape that I have had a chance to photograph”.

Richard Walters, the Expedition Surveyor said: “Acknowledging the challenging conditions of Mulu, renowned for its punishing environmental factors—extreme heat, humidity, mud, and frequent rainfall—these explorers faced the rigorous task of navigating caves that often require multiple days underground. Despite these barriers, the cavers emerged with compelling results that suggest the Clearwater Cave system may be the largest by volume in the world.”

As part of Arco Professional Safety Services’ sponsorship, the expedition was equipped with eleven tackle bags which proved to be extremely durable in the corrosive environment of the Mulu caves.

  Mulu CavesMulu Cave



Arco Professional Safety Services News

Arco Professional Safety Services has launched its new website, making it easier for customers to access essential safety services, information and equipment.

As well as a more modern look and feel, the site offers better user navigation and a smoother experience on mobile devices.

Key improvements of the new website include:

Expert advice Person using Arcoservices website
Easier access to consultancy advice, training, support services and equipment across Arco Professional Safety Services’ areas of expertise, including working at height, confined spaces and  respiratory protection.

Improved search and enhanced filtering options to help customers find the right courses, as well as a more efficient booking system.

Equipment shop
A better shopping experience with improved product search and filtering, making it easier to find and purchase safety equipment.

Equipment hire
More information on the equipment available to hire and the option to hire directly from the website, a feature that was not available on the previous site.

Jamie Sadler, Commercial Director at Arco Professional Safety Services, said
: “This new website provides a seamless and intuitive platform for our customers to access our essential safety services and resources with ease.

“The team has been hard at work on the site behind the scenes, and we’re thrilled that customers can now enjoy the many improvements it offers.”

Existing customers will be asked to reset their passwords when signing in to the new site for the first time. All other existing sign-in details will remain the same.

Arco Professional Safety Services provide consultancy, training, services and equipment to manage complex and high-risk, high hazard scenarios.


Explore the new website: Arco Professional Safety Services

Arco Professional Safety Services News

UK’s leading safety services company begins offering new option to its Rooftop Worker Scheme training course approved by the Mast & Tower Safety (MATS) Group and accredited by Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR).

Arco Professional Safety Services has created an industry approved blended learning option to an existing working at height training course. The course aims to provide delegates with the skills and experience required to safely access flat roofs in protected and unprotected areas. The blended option allows delegates of the course to complete the educational section of the course online, previously the entire course had to be completed in-person in a structured one-day session.

This blended learning version of the Rooftop Worker Scheme provides a flexible learning approach with bespoke integrated virtual reality exercises. It is also more cost effective than the traditional course at a 20% reduced rate while offering the same quality of learning, experience and certification.

As a blended learning course, participants will be required to complete seven online modules and a practical training and assessment session at one of four possible sites. The online portion of the course has training material that can be accessed by delegates as often as required. Once completed, candidates have 90 days to attend a practical assessment at one of Arco’s state of the art Safety Centres in Stafford, Bracknell, Trafford or Linlithgow (Scotland).

Topics covered in the Rooftop Worker Scheme syllabus include:Rooftop Training Image

• Legislation for working at height
• Risk assessment awareness
• Rooftop hazards and control measures
• PPE – pre use checks and fitting harness, helmet, fall arrest and work positioning lanyards
• Safe use of portable ladders
• Edge protection
• Horizontal and vertical systems (fixed and temporary)
• Climbing techniques using harnesses, lanyards, and fixed systems
• Awareness of emergency procedures

Falls from height continued to be the number one cause of work-related deaths in 2023 according to the latest statistics from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Steve Dawson, Manager – Working at Height Training at Arco Professional Safety Services, said: “When it comes to working from height, regard for safety is paramount. We’re proud to be able to offer this brand-new training course carefully designed with the considerations to keep people safe when working on rooftops.

As industry leaders in working at height practices, Arco understands the necessity to provide these learning opportunities with specialist support to ensure the safety of workers where it matters most.”

This course is designed for all personnel that are required to access flat roof areas using a variety of access systems and harness-based fall protection equipment during their duties. The Rooftop Worker Scheme certificate will be valid for three years upon completion of the course.

To find out more about this course, see upcoming course dates and to enquire about booking, visit: