Lanes jet vac fleet supports filling station refurbishment

Jet vac tankers operated by Lanes Group plc have been used to fill fuel storage tanks with water so construction workers can begin a project to refurbish a filling station.

The safety measure is needed to eliminate any residual risk of fumes in the empty tanks igniting while the filling station, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, is being modernised and refitted.

Retail and forecourt construction specialist William Southern had a window of just one day to fill the fuel storage tanks, and turned to Lanes to carry out the task.

A specialist fuel management company first removed all fuel, cleaned the tanks, then surveyed them. This gave the garage owner assurance that they were ready for Lanes to take the next step, by filling them with water.

Following the completion of a specific risk assessment and method statement, three Lanes jet vac tankers operated in relay to pump 127,000 litres of water into the underground fuel tanks at the filling station.

Each jet vac tanker had to empty five loads of water to complete the task.

Lanes East London Area Development Manager Steve Murrells said: “Our jet vac tanker units are best known for cleaning wastewater drains and sewers.

“But they are ideally-suited for a much wider range of water vacuumation and pumping tasks. Filling fuel storage tanks like these is just one of them.”

With the filling work overseen by a William Southern supervisor, the fuel tanks were first thoroughly vented, then continuous gas monitoring was set up.

Thanks to the water extraction licences held by Lanes Group, the jet vac tanker operators could take potable water from a nearby wash out hydrant, and deliver it to the fuel station forecourt.

Once renovation work has been completed, Lanes will vacuum the water out of the fuel storage tanks, and take it to an authorised waste site for safe disposal.

William Southern will then dry the tanks before they are refilled with fuel, ready for the filling station to reopen.


New manhole safety device could save lives

Independent waste management group CSG, whose business includes a major off-mains drainage maintenance operation, plans to deploy a new “potentially life-saving” device specifically designed to prevent falls into open septic tank manholes.

The Manhole Safety Barrier (MSB) has been devised in-house by the company’s health & safety manager Kevin Mooney who said early trials of the device carried out by CSG operatives had produced “a very positive response.”

It reduces the opening size of a manhole and minimises the risk of an operator being able to fall through to the bottom of the pit. But the barrier still allows unimpeded access for emptying and clearing equipment like vacuum pumps.

The barrier consists of one fixed position tube and two which are hinged and allow the frame to form a cross shape which is designed to be securely locked into position from corner to corner of the manhole. It takes only minutes to assemble.

Septic tank clearance is one of CSG’s core activities. Each year, the company’s 45 specialist drivers carry out around 55,000 tank clearances, sometimes in remote rural areas where the operatives usually work unaccompanied, often when the customer is not at home.

Operatives have to stand over the open pit and have an unobstructed view of the operation during the emptying or jetting process.

“Working over open manholes means there is the potential for the operator to fall into the pit. Many of these pits are deep and with an oxygen depleted atmosphere. There is also the possibility of hitting your head during the fall, and there is rarely a means to climb out, so a device like this can potentially save lives,” said Mr Mooney who designed and built the prototype himself.

Mr Mooney said it was not practical to remove the risk entirely, but it was essential to minimise the potential of a fall into these openings, particularly when there were site hazards such as lifted manhole covers, slippery conditions and even hoses which could cause trips.

Accidents of this kind were very rare and CSG had never experienced one, he said. But there had been a number of fatal septic tanks falls reported from around the world.

“But effective health and safety programmes are not just about responding to known accident statistics. It’s just as important to anticipate potential problems and devise the methods to prevent them before they happen.

“What you have to look at is the potential consequences of this kind of accident which could be fatal. We’d prefer to protect our staff now rather than wait for an accident.”

Fareham-based CSG has had the device independently load tested and certified by independent experts SWL Rope Lifting & Testing Ltd. and now plans to produce a full user guide for drivers and arrange manufacture of the device which will then be included as standard equipment on all its of vacuum tankers.


Ansell introduces world’s thinnest chemical resistant disposable glove

Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, announces the introduction of Microflex® 93-260, the thinnest chemical resistant, single use glove available on the market today. This breakthrough solution offers tough protection against a broad range of chemicals, while still providing the dexterity and tactility of a thin, disposable glove.

Traditional disposable gloves are designed to provide protection against chemicals for only short periods of time – in the event of a splash; while chemical gloves typically have a thicker, sturdier design for longer lasting protection. The new Microflex 93-260 is a thin, disposable glove designed to offer higher levels of protection against chemicals for longer periods of time than ordinary single use gloves. The glove achieves this through an innovative three-layer design that resists a wide range of aggressive chemicals. Its exterior nitrile layer delivers maximum protection against several organic solvents, while the soft neoprene middle layer provides acid and base resistance. A final interior layer provides a continual dry feel, while also easing the donning and doffing, or putting on and removing, process. The glove is just 0.19mm thick, so it offers this superior protection while also providing enhanced tactility and dexterity for easy handling of small parts and tools.

“There are many jobs in different industries that require people to be reliably protected against chemicals while manipulating small parts and pieces with their fingers,” said Joe Kubicek, President and General Manager of the Ansell Single Use Global Business Unit. “As the thinnest chemical resistant, single use glove available, the new Microflex 93-260 offers the resistance against harsh chemicals that these workers need, with the comfort, fit and feel they need to be more productive.”

The thin design and chemical resistance of the Microflex 93-260 makes it an excellent hand protection solution for a broad range of applications, including laboratory work, paint shop work, assembly and fabrication and general maintenance and repair. The glove is also a reliable choice for aircraft engineers and maintenance workers because it resists common hydraulic fluids used in the aerospace industry. As a thin, comfortable hand protection solution that effectively resists chemicals, workers across a wide range of industries are more likely to wear the glove, ensuring greater levels of compliance with safety programs.

Microflex 93-260 gloves are available in sizes XS to XXL (5.5-11) and feature textured fingers and an extended cuff for added protection. In addition, the glove meets ASTM D 3577, D6977, EN 420, EN 388 Abrasion Level 2 and EN374-JKL performance standards.

More permeation information about the Microflex 93-260 is available through Ansell Chemical GUARDIAN™ which simplifies the chemical glove selection process for a unique set of chemicals. This unique tool offers a personalised glove assessment with expected permeation times, which will facilitate a glove selection. This system currently contains permeation time information of around 6.000 single chemicals and 10.000 chemical mixtures.

For more information on:



Low cost solution to slippery decking

Wooden decking can become hazardous in damp and slippery conditions, creating the possible threat of a slips or falls for anyone walking across the surface. Outside areas where people gather need to be made safe so FibreGrid has come up with a solution to this problem with the development of Anti Slip Standard GRP Decking Strips, part of their affordable  GRP SlipGrip® Standard range. Timber decking becomes safer with these quick and easy to install DeckGrip Strips, which come supplied with decking screws and are pre-drilled.

Available in lengths of 1200mm and 2400mm and widths of 50mm and 90mm, these decking strips are ideal for most decking areas and walkways. They are designed with a chamfered edge to provide additional safety which reduces any possibility of trips and falls.  Unlike other products, no glue is required to install the product.

From an aesthetics view point, given the choice of widths available, DeckGrip Strips are able to complement existing decking areas by making a feature of the Strips against the timber substrate.

Main advantages:

  • This tough safety solution for decking will last longer than the lifetime of the timber. The fibreglass construction won’t rot or warp and will remain safe even in wet conditions
  • The product offers cost effective, low maintenance long term safety
  • Tough enough for use in busy public spaces
  • Rapid, easy installation means it can be done will people continue to use the area while the strips are installed


Taking a stand for public health – Bulk soap is a proven risk

Washroom hygiene has come a long way in recent years, helped by advances in technology and design. Mike Sullivan, Managing Director for GOJO Industries-Europe, explains how the latest systems can help achieve even higher hygiene standards.

Advances in terms of technology and materials have the power to change many aspects of our lives. History is littered with landmark moments when a new idea, manufacturing method or scientific breakthrough helped to re-shape the way we live and work. In public washrooms, for example, we stopped using bars of soap as safer, cleaner and more sanitary options became available.

No organisation would expect their employees or visitors to leave the washroom with more germs on their hands than before they washed them – and this is why the method used to refill dispensers is such a crucial consideration. Yet, despite breakthroughs in hand hygiene, millions of people worldwide are using refillable bulk soap dispensers, even though scientific evidence shows 1 in 4 of these dispensers is contaminated.

Although they are an old fashioned hand washing method, bulk soap dispensers are commonly found in schools, restaurants, office buildings, health clubs, shopping centres and other public places, exposing people to an unnecessary health risk. Organisations, including the World Health Organisation, have recognised the bacterial contamination risk of filling up these bulk soap dispensers and have issued guidelines against it1.

A bulk fill dispenser is one where the soap is poured from a bottle into an open reservoir at the top of the unit. Because the reservoir is open to the environment, bacteria can contaminate the soap, which leads to the formation of a biofilm on the inside of the dispenser. Biofilms are groups of bacteria that coat surfaces and are difficult to wash off or ‘kill’. Because the biofilm is formed on the inside of the dispenser it leads to contamination of any new soap that is subsequently added to the dispenser.

Countless employees and other unsuspecting hand washers are washing using this method every day, potentially putting themselves at more risk than using the outdated bar of soap. Hands can have 25 times more germs after washing with contaminated soap. This can make people sick from fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, or eye infections due to the level of pathogens found within the soap. The young, elderly and immunocompromised are at greatest risk.

So can the dispensers be disinfected?

Recontamination can occur even after cleaning and soaking the bulk soap dispenser in bleach, so it’s not a case of simply disinfecting the dispensers to remove the risk. A study found that, after multiple cleaning methods, including bleach based products, contaminated bulk soap dispensers became re-contaminated within 2 weeks of cleaning. Biofilms were found in both plastic and stainless steel bulk dispensers and the dispenser would need to be replaced to eliminate the contamination.

The health of washroom users and the image of building owners is put at risk

Companies invest millions in technology, innovation and recruiting the right people to gain competitive advantage, and it’s easy to understand why attention to these areas is so important. Sometimes however, the significant difference a relatively small investment in providing access to effective hand hygiene systems can make is overlooked.

Washroom facilities are a major source of complaints in office buildings, with extreme temperatures (47%) and unclean / understocked washrooms (32%) being the top two grievances. Upgrading health and hygiene facilities provides building owners and managers with a clear opportunity to increase overall tenant satisfaction and will leave users with a positive lasting impression.

Refillable bulk soap dispensers are messy, labour intensive and prone to environmental and deliberate contamination. Time and effort is required to pour the soap and clean up spills, drips and stains. Parts can wear out or break and need to be replaced. Permanent nozzles can easily clog, causing complaints that the soap has run out. Once bacterial contamination occurs, dispensers must be replaced. All these factors work against efforts to create a healthy, productive building environment.

The right refills

This doesn’t make for comfortable reading, but there is an alternative. Sanitary sealed refills are increasing in popularity because the product inside is protected from contamination, as it is factory sealed and includes a fresh valve with each refill. All GOJO and PURELL® refills are SANITARY SEALED™. This means that the soap is never open to the environment and so cross contamination from the air or other sources is prevented. The hygiene and health benefits are obvious – and in addition they also make for efficient use of time for hard-pressed maintenance staff, because they are so much simpler and quicker to replace.

By investing in the best hand hygiene solutions, organisations not only protect their facilities, but also demonstrate their commitment to improving the well-being of end-users, and their dedication to providing the very best service.

For more information on GOJO dispensers and formulations call +44 (0)1908 588444, email or visit


Not all PPE Equipment is created equal

Neil Hewitt, Divisional Director Quality and Technical Standards at Arco discusses the issues of non-compliant, CE marked, Personal Protective Equipment and the steps the industry can take to minimise the risk of these products entering into the European market.

Despite Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having the required EC type approval and CE mark, recent tests have indicated that some of the products you assume to be safe, may not actually be fit for purpose.

The seriousness of this issue was recognised by the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), when it wrote to its members saying: ‘This situation poses an obvious risk to end users, and is a timely reminder that only relying on CE certification for certain product types is no guarantee of ongoing quality assurance.’ Furthermore, the BSIF is calling on all those in the industry to make certain and ensure their supply chain routes are fully aligned to provide safe, legal and fit for purpose PPE. As the UK’s leading safety company, with representation on the BSIF’s Federation Council, we take these issues very seriously.

In February of this year, the new PPE regulation was adopted by the European Parliament, reclassifying some products, introducing a five year limit on CE certificates and clearly identifying the obligations of all economic operators in the supply chain. Economic operators include manufacturers, distributors and importers. It also clearly defines that an importer or distributor who markets a product in Europe under their own name, brand or trademark becomes liable for the full manufacturer’s obligations. Although this will be a good step forward for the industry, the period for these changes to be implemented could take until 2018, and we need to act now.

The United Kingdom is one of the key regional markets for PPE in Western Europe, where the supply of high quality and reliable products continues to be the number one customer consideration when purchasing PPE equipment. With the continued growth of the industry and employer’s increasing concern for the safety of their employees, the importance of robust legislation to protect workers is of paramount importance.

The document that currently underpins the legislation is the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. The role of which is to ensure that suppliers of protective equipment follow the correct approval procedures before placing the product on the market. Category two and three items of PPE must follow an EC type approval and carry the ‘CE mark’ to prove certification. Whereas category one or minimal risk PPE are self certified and CE marked by the manufacturer after they assess the product against the essential health and safety requirements of the PPE directive. However, worrying data has emerged that with the growth of the industry, comes the increased risk of CE marked products that do not conform, which could result in an individual not being adequately protected during an accident.


There appears to be procedural weaknesses within the EC type approval and CE marking process. These weaknesses can allow a less reputable manufacturer or importer to gain CE certification for products they wish to market and then subsequently make changes to the product. These changes could impact on the product’s safety performance as further testing may not be conducted as the CE certificate is already available. Although, manufacturers of category three PPE are required to have a third party monitoring process in place for the actual product or a quality management system, there is no third party production monitoring process for category one or two PPE. It is up to the manufacturer to ensure the product continues to conform to the standards. Currently the UK’s competent authorities for market surveillance of PPE are under increasing pressure due to reduced budgets and this may be exploited by less reputable manufacturers.


An example of these failures came to light when Arco performed a number of tests on safety footwear toecaps, products at the front line of safety across a wide range of industries. Traditionally toe caps were made from steel to ensure toes were not crushed in the event of an accident, but non-metallic materials have entered the marketplace, offering lightweight design and the ability to minimise disruption in security areas and specialist manufacturer where metal detection is required. Some of the non metallic toe caps in terms of construction are made from composite glass fibre and others are injection moulded thermoplastics.

Arco carried out product assurance compression testing, in our UKAS and SATRA independently accredited lab, on own brand footwear along with a sample of footwear currently available on the market. During the testing, it became apparent that the safety footwear using some injection moulded plastic toe caps in their construction performed significantly worse than the fibreglass composite toe caps during compression testing. What does this mean for the wearer of the boots? If the foot is compressed, these substandard toes caps would not protect the wearer as intended, resultant injuries being broken bones or even amputation. The use of a thermoplastic toe caps in safety footwear construction is not immediately evident and purchasers are relying on the CE mark being accurate.

This worrying issue has compelled Arco to assure our customers that we do not allow the use of sub-standard thermoplastic toe caps in the construction of our own brand products. We have also highlighted the issue to all proprietary footwear brands in the Arco catalogue and have requested they confirm the type of toe cap used within their footwear.


As the UK’s leading distributor, we take the issue of safety very seriously and are the only distributor in the UK to have invested in developing our own Product Assurance Laboratory for the testing of PPE. With our own brand product offering, we comply with the obligations laid down by the EU Parliament. We ensure continued conformity via an internal testing program within our own laboratory and where necessary third party accredited testing laboratories.

We are also members of the BSIF Registered Safety Suppliers Scheme (RSSS). Companies displaying the scheme’s logo have signed a binding declaration that the safety equipment they offer meets the appropriate standards, fully complies with the PPE regulations and is appropriately CE marked. As a manufacturer, importer and distributor and being very close to the market, we recognise our responsibility to be involved in market surveillance activity carried out by the competent authorities. We are prepared to participate actively with the authorities and provide all necessary support and information.

  • Identifying true product compliance is difficult for the user. The responsibility falls to the manufacturer, who may not have the resources in place to ensure regular testing. Anyone who has concerns over the safety of the equipment they are being supplied should follow these steps:
  • Ask your suppliers for a declaration of conformity that shows original certification for the PPE you are purchasing.
  • Ask your suppliers to define their process for sample testing to ensure safety products continue to meet the required standards.
  • Ensure your suppliers are members of the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme.
  • Ask your suppliers to define their process of quality assurance at the manufacturing facility to ensure the products are being manufactured as they were originally certified.
  • Always buy from a trusted source.

The UK has a strong health and safety record, of which we are very proud. As a participant in the BSIF’s RSSS and with safety at the forefront of everything we do, Arco will continue to lead the charge, working with the BSIF, to raise the standards of compliance in the UK. As an industry, we must work together. Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors need to have the necessary measures in place to ensure that the products they supply are capable of doing the job intended for. Purchasers need to remain vigilant to safeguard your workers.

About Arco

Arco is the UK’s leading safety company. It distributes quality products and training and provides expert advice, helping to shape the safety world and make work a safer place. Founded in 1884 and with a heritage spanning four generations, Arco integrates traditional family values with pioneering innovation to offer a world-class range of over 170,000 quality assured, branded and own brand products, including personal protective equipment, clothing, footwear, gloves, workplace safety and hygiene products. Headquartered in Hull, Arco reaches its customers through its extensive product catalogue, interactive website and 48 strong trade counter network. The company has sales of over £283m and employs approximately 1600 people. Arco has been accredited a ‘One to Watch’ status in the Best Companies Times Top 100 Survey.

Arco is dedicated to its Corporate Social Responsibility policy and continually demonstrates its support of local business communities and charitable organisations, donating in excess of 1% of pre tax profits annually. In 2007, Arco became a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and in 2010 a member of Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange. Going forward, Arco further demonstrates its position as the UK’s leading safety company as the exclusive supplier of PPE, footwear and workwear to the BLOODHOUND project’s support team involved with the design, build and race of a car to raise the world land speed record to 800 mph in 2015, and 1,000mph in 2016. For more information, visit



Extreme Weather Protection from Arco this winter

Latest reports from the weather forecasters warn that this winter could be one of coldest in recent history, with Britain expecting months of freezing winds and heavy snow. Businesses that aren’t prepared for winter weather not only  run the risk of expensive business disruption caused by site closures and delays but also potential risks for their staff who may be working in conditions which could lead to serious injuries or ill health.

In 2013/14 slips and trips were the most common cause of major injuries to employees with over 21,500 in total reported. Salt is essential for clearing paths and minimising slips, trips and falls during the more icy months. Arco, the UK’s leading safety supplier, offers a range of carefully selected products to help manage potential slip hazards including its new blue de-icing salt that has been screened to produce the most effective spread pattern, increasing pedestrian safety and preventing waste. It is also clean to use, leaving no dirty residue to be trodden into buildings or vehicles and after the winter season there is no residue to sweep away or drains to be cleared.

Working in conjunction with Peacock Salt, Arco’s new Salt Calculator App, is set to help businesses make cost-effective decisions in preparing for extreme conditions. The Salt Calculator App allows customers to calculate the amount of salt required for any particular site, reducing waste and ensuring a safe working environment. The App will also alert customers when conditions are changing, sending a warning based on pre-programmed parameters.

Arco also offers a full range of products to help tackle the harsh winter conditions, including salt spreading equipment, heaters and torches, entrance matting, flooding prevention, snow plough for fork lift trucks, snow shovels, scoops and car accessories.

Liz Johnsen, Product and Procurement Manager at Arco said, “Arco is committed to keep workplaces operating safely throughout the winter and part of this is ensuring that both businesses and employees are stocked up on essential workplace safety items and salt. Arco’s salt spreading and snow clearing products, with the addition of the new Salt Calculator App will ensure that business sites are protected and prepared this winter.”

Arco has created Expert Advice sheets on Extreme Weather, Effective Salting and Flooding. Which offer expert guidance on preparing for extreme weather, practical guidance on dealing with snow, ice and flooding as well as product selection.

To download the Expert Advice Sheets to dealing with Flooding, Extreme Weather and Effective Salting or to find out more about the Salt Calculator App and the winter product range visit or call your local sales office to discuss your requirements.