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ARCO Makes An Impact For Safety Glove Innovations: An Interview With “Mr. Glove”

Posted by Stephanie Briggs on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 | No Comments »

ARCO recently won the “Highly Commended” badge of honour awarded by BSIF (British Safety Industry Federation) for its Glove Liner using XRD® impact protection.  Great news we all agree – great for XRD impact protection, great for Arco too and above all, great for the people wearing the gloves who will hopefully experience less injuries.  We ventured into the Arco annuls for a chat with the “Mr Glove” and the brains behind this latest innovation.

ARCO glove liner



OK, so we call you Mr Glove but what’s your real name?

“Paul Lyons, I’ve often been called Mr Glove, I’m used to it”.


OK, Mr Glove it is then!  You have created a glove that should tackle one of the biggest sources of injury at the workplace – 18,616 workplace injuries involving the hands and fingers at the last count wasn’t it? [p.s. we cheated and looked at your leaflet for that]


The last reliable tally was in 2010/11 but the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations [RIDDOR] changed the criteria.  Before you would report such an injury if you were off for three days and over, it changed to seven days about 18 months ago.  So now it looks like no one is getting injuries when in actual fact the incidences haven’t gone away just the reporting’s changed.


But have you considered that maybe they’re reducing because of the great Glove Liner you’ve produced? 

Well, that would be good wouldn’t it!  But as we only launched the glove in April this is unlikely.  If anything, there seems to have been a rise in hand injuries, I’ve no idea why, I’d hazard a guess that with the economy picking up the incidence of knuckle wrap and back-of-hand injuries have escalated which has led to an influx of impact gloves flooding the market.


Good play on words “hazard a guess”!  But hang on a minute, isn’t the Arco Glove Liner “another impact glove on the market”?

What are out there are essentially big chunky gloves.  We’ve got 84 pages of gloves in our catalogue and we struggle to keep it down to that many!  So many specialist areas for a safety glove – gloves for welding, thermal gloves – the list is endless and all are specified because of the properties they cover.  But if someone needs impact protection because risk assessment tells them to, their only recourse is to go to the very chunky expensive products.  Our glove is a unique offering.  The great thing about the Arco Glove Liner is that it uses XRD® technology that is a flexible, open cell material solution that firms upon impact and gives great impact protection for very little loss in dexterity.

Additionally, “liner” is the operative word meaning you can wear it under any other brand and it adds impact protection without compromising the other safety standards that you have had to take into account. Now, if you’re told you need to add impact protection to your already well-researched, accredited safety glove you can add it for £5.99 with our Glove Liner, job done.


So what is XRD® Technology and why did you choose it?

It’s a leading figure in impact protection – have you seen the videos?  Worth a look.  I believe the team has also set up an XRD Impact Institute where they will work with you to ensure your designs incorporate all your needs from aesthetics to the proper level of impact protection.  They also can provide suggestions for ways to meet various ASTM and EN impact standards.  I worked with Paul Gower who is the UK sales manager, good guy.


So you weren’t swayed because he was called Paul too!  Are you an inventor then?

Well, not really, I’ve just been in the business a long time! I’ve been with Arco since 1999 and for much of that period I’ve been a glove buyer or product manager so I’ve seen numerous legislative changes, new materials and tech developments over the years.  My job entails design and spec and I’ve spent hours and hours doing site surveys for all sorts of businesses from metal bashing to nuclear.

I’ve got a NEBOSH safety qualification and a buying qualification.  I’d have a PPE qualification if there was one going.  People are confused by standards: chemical, abrasion, heat thermal, cold thermal.  It’s too much to ask someone running a site to know all that about gloves when they’ve got to consider so many other things – you can’t be an expert on everything.  Someone like me takes all the pain away.


So who would use the Glove Liner?

It’s impact protection for all those incidental injuries you get no matter what you’re doing: a mechanic working in a confined space around an engine block to someone working with girders.  With some exceptions like food production virtually every industry is relevant.  Janitor, chemical plant worker, someone somewhere is likely to bang their hand, we’re not limiting the glove to any specific industry.  And because XRD technology is so thin yet really effective you get protection with an good element of dexterity at a light weight.  This Glove Liner and the XRD foam take the hit rather than your hand and it’s a fairly inexpensive option too.


And Tilsetec, where do they come into all this?

We are in our sixth or seventh year with Tilsetec: whilst we are product specialists they offer yarn specialism and can turn our concepts into products that keep people safe. They manufacturer our own brand products and we are the brand that gets it out there.


OK, we know you’ve been dying for us to ask.  Tell us about your BSIF safety award.

Yes, it was a great accolade in a tough environment.  Being named “Highly Commended” for the BSIF Product Innovation Award means a lot. It tells people that it has industry approval and recognition that it’s been through tests and is definitely something to be considered.  Yep, it definitely gives the product some kudos.


So why hands and not heads!

You ask people to put their hands into hazards but you don’t ask people to put their heads into a moving machine. Everyone needs their hand to do the job of course – apart from grape traders – if you injure your hands your livelihood is at risk.


We’re worried about heads, maybe heads are next?

We’re going to measure the success of this product and focus our efforts on hands at the moment: maybe we’ll apply XRD Impact Protection to the palm of the hand, perhaps we’ll have a customer that wants a bespoke solution.  There are definitely opportunities.


OK so now we know what you look like – the man on the far right of the picture right? – but where can we meet you in person?  Well, see the glove anyway?

The regional Health and Safety North Show 7-8 October is our next event.  Would be nice to see you there.  Maybe we can make you a customised hat as you’re so worried about your head.


That would be nice.  Thanks for your time.

Paul Lyons of Arco receives the Award from Alan Murray, Chief Executive,...

Paul Lyons of ARCO receives BSIF Safety Award from Alan Murray, Chief Executive


Stephanie Briggs
Stephanie Briggs is a business owner and marketer. She has worked with ingredient brands, such as XRD® Technology, for over 20 years specializing in the active lifestyle and workwear sectors. Working with leading outdoor brands, Stephanie and her team have helped market and grow Companies that have now become part of the British DNA. She lives in Wiltshire with her husband and two children.

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