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Arco named as Most Influential Team in Health & Safety

Fri 11 Dec 2020
posted by Arco Professional Safety Services

Arco named as Most Influential Team in Health & Safety


The SHP Award for Most Influential Team in Health & Safety has been announced, with the team from Arco being crowned the winner.

SHP Awards Most InfluentialNew for 2020, SHP’s Most Influential Team award recognises the team that has worked together most effectively to improve occupational health, safety and/or workplace wellbeing. This could be within their own industry, within society or in health & safety profession more widely.

The Arco team was chosen as the winner from a list of six finalists for SHP’s Most Influential Team Award, by the SHP Awards judging panel. Most Influential Team is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, in collaboration with the HSE and IATP.

Arco’s NDC2 became operational on 10 February 2020. On 11 March the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and a week later the UK went into lockdown. PPE was in short supply and while the government looked to solve the stock shortage – the Arco team, with critical worker status, got to work fast, ensuring the National Distribution Centre was fully operational and, importantly, that it was COVID-secure.

Arco NDC2

The judges were impressed with the ‘fantastic’ response to the pandemic under ‘immense pressure’ from the government and the ‘significant challenges’ it caused to its key workers. Arco’s operations went from 24/5 to 24/7 in less than two days, causing ‘disruption’ in order to maintain service and cope with demand, which saw dispatch capabilities more than double. The team successfully distributed 300 pallets a day with 8,000 parcels, distributing over 140m face masks, 18m gloves, over 0.5m coveralls and 0.5m hygiene products.

Arco’s ‘important and leading’ work in identifying PPE that did not meet the required standards and people’s needs, and its work educating other bodies was also highlighted. Judges also noted this is something that Arco have been relentless about even pre-pandemic. Arco experts sit on a number of key committees including the BSI British Standards, CEN European Standards Committee and the ISO International Standards Organisation who work tirelessly to uphold the standards of the profession and raise awareness around the dangers of fake PPE, including encouraging those in need of critical supplies to ask for the correct supporting documentation and providing advice on how to do so.

Arco pack

During the second wave of coronavirus, Arco continues to play a leading role advising and supporting public bodies, as well as customers in critical industries, on the testing and supply of quality PPE. In due course there will be a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic. This is the right course of action, since it is only by understanding what happened that Arco believes we can draw the necessary lessons to be better prepared for the future. Arco will be submitting evidence of its own experiences during the crisis and the lessons learned, focussing on the need for better coordination and engagement with external stakeholders, including suppliers and those procuring equipment across the UK safety industry.

In August, Arco won a contract for the supply of 232 million surgical masks, 6 million FFP3 respirator masks and 2 million visors to Scotland’s Health and Social Care. Alongside its commitment to supply customers with PPE over the course of the pandemic, the judging panel picked up how Arco has donated pallets of hygiene products to a local charity working with residents, community groups and local businesses to alleviate food and fuel poverty, particularly prevalent over the last 6 months. The firm also recently announced a £250,000 donation to the National Emergencies Trust to help support future national disasters, as well as 42 grants of £1,000 donated to local charities nominated by Arco colleagues.

Arco NDC2

Neil Griffiths, Divisional Director of Logistics, said: “As a logistics team, we have expertise in, and are ultimately responsible for the receipt, storage, picking, packing and distribution of products to keep our customers safe.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Arco chartered 10 aircraft and 35 special airfreight shipments full of vital equipment.

“Our customers include the NHS, ambulance services, local authorities, and other public health bodies and critical industries. With key worker status, the team has worked tirelessly to create a COVID-secure environment in our National Distribution Centre, so that we can continue to operate safely and effectively and continue supplying PPE and products to protect our customers and the country.”

“We are delighted to be honoured with SHP’s award for the Most Influential Team in Health and Safety. The response from our logistics team throughout the pandemic has been tremendous. They have worked tirelessly, working additional shifts,  weekends and bank holidays with COVID-secure measures to ensure we were able to protect our customers and front line responders. This award and the recognition is truly a testament to their dedication to keep people safe. Thank you to SHP, the judges, HSE and IATP for your comments and for the acknowledgement of Arco’s work.”

David Evison, Managing Director, added: “Receiving this award is a great honour for Arco, and recognises both the expertise and the contribution that we have made throughout the pandemic.  Our expertise is evidenced throughout every stage of the PPE supply chain and I’ve been impressed by the way the whole company has worked together. Colleagues have gone the extra mile to keep people safe and support local communities. Our thanks to SHP for endorsing our work to keep people safe, guide the Health and Safety industry and support the communities which we operate in.”

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