Welcome to the NCEC Newsletter and thank you for reading 

In this issue, we launch our customer survey for 2015; highlight the importance of telephone response in addition to poison centre support; provide insight into recent interesting calls including chemicals washed ashore, an incident involving a 900v lithium battery and how we deal with non-emergency calls; announcement of our preferred supplier status with the FPS; the hazmat practitioners forum and our new online CLP training course.

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and if there is anything you would like us to feature in the coming months, then please feel free to contact me.

Daniel Haggarty of the National Chemical Emergency Centre

    Dan Haggarty
    Business Area Manager

    E: ncec@ricardo-aea.com
    T: +44 (0) 1235 753654




Interesting calls 


Chemicals washed ashore




NCEC recently received a call, which demonstrates how smoothly an incident can be managed with the right emergency response plan. Drums of our client’s products were washed ashore onto a beach and the local Fire and Rescue Service were mobilised.

NCEC’s responder was able to identify the contents of the washed up drums as a cleaning chemical and provided immediate advice to the Fire Service on the hazards of the product. The cleaning chemicals were of low hazard and this knowledge allowed the Fire Service to begin recovery safely, without having to resort to cumbersome chemical protective suits.

We immediately notified our client, who liaised with the Fire Service to assist them in disposing of the chemicals. As more drums of different products were washed ashore we advised the Fire Service of their hazards and kept our client updated. Using the information gathered by NCEC’s responders, our client was able to identify the vessel the drums had originated from and conduct an inventory of the barge to determine whether any more drums were missing and could be discovered by the Fire Service.

A well thought out emergency response plan is essential for any company responsible for chemicals and NCEC provides the crucial link between responders on scene and that response plan.



Chemicals washed ashore


900 volt lithium battery


Most of the emergencies NCEC assists with involve consumer and industrial products or single chemicals, the properties of which are all well understood. However, every so often we receive a call on something quite novel, such as a recent call from a Fire and Rescue Service. They were attending an incident where an experimental, 900 volt lithium battery had exploded during testing.

This presented an interesting challenge for the Fire Service, as they were concerned that the battery may be giving off hydrogen fluoride gas. NCEC’s responder discussed the situation, explaining that gas tight chemical protective suits would be necessary to protect the fire crew from the gas and that specialist medical treatment would be required if anyone was exposed. The battery also presented an electrocution risk, as it could not be grounded and was still connected to the laboratory’s test equipment. Damaged lithium batteries can react violently with water and if it caught fire it would need to be extinguished with a dry agent or cement dust.

NCEC’s responders are there to help in all chemical incidents, from a simple exposure to a household chemical to an experimental battery threatening to simultaneously poison, electrocute and violently react.



900v battery - FRS attend the scene


Non-emergency information on chemicals


NCEC frequently receives calls for non-emergency information on chemicals, to allow clients to prepare contingency plans or understand the potential implications of an event. One such call recently came from a Fire and Rescue Service, who were considering the dangers of wooden blocks stolen from a disused World War II facility.

They were concerned that the wooden blocks may have been treated with an arsenic based preserver and wanted to know what risks this may pose if the blocks were used as a fuel. NCEC’s responder explained that arsenic is now banned from wood treatment products in the EU; the wood would give off toxic fumes on combustion, which would be particularly dangerous if burnt on an open fire. They also explained that the ash would be contaminated with arsenic residue which would be easily inhaled or contaminate the skin. This would pose a significant risk to the thieves.

Even if you don’t have an emergency, NCEC is available to assist you plan for chemical incidents so if the worst does happen you can be confident that you’re fully prepared.

  non-emergency calls  

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FPS Preferred Partner 


FPS Preferred Partner


NCEC is pleased to announce that it has been awarded preferred partner status by the FPS, the trade association for the oil distribution industry.

FPS provides a collective voice for the industry at national level, services to assist members in optimising their business efficiencies and promotes best practice within in the industry.

Mark Askew, FPS Chief Executive commented:

“The Oil distribution industry is dependant in no small part to the companies which supply services too it. The FPS Council, on rare occasions, bestows on a supplier the accolade of Preferred Partner. A Preferred Partner, in the FPS Council view, is a company who has been members of the FPS for at least 8 years, provides a key service and is seen to be a leader in its field of expertise. NCEC met all of these criteria and have exceeded the basic requirements for this award.”

NCEC will be exhibiting at the FPS Expo, stand B11, 22 and 23 April.


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NCEC host Hazmat Practitioners Forum 

  Hazmat practitioners forum  

NCEC welcomed representatives of the UK fire and emergency services to its offices for the inaugural Hazmat Practitioner’s Forum. The cross-section of hazardous material responders and managers discussed the practical issues they are facing and provided NCEC with a steer on the development of its core services for the emergency response community.

In addition, the Forum discussed revisions to the Emergency Action Code (EAC) list for 2017, including whether the use of “Liquid Tight Suits” was appropriate given the availability and standards of modern Personal Protective Equipment. The Forum was well-received by delegates as a networking and learning event and will be repeated next year.


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Customer survey 

  Customer survey  

We are continually looking at ways to enhance and develop our services and solutions for our customers and the industry. As part of that commitment, we ask our customers to provide feedback on how we are performing and areas they would like to see us develop.

If you are an NCEC customer and enter the survey you will also be entered into a prize draw to win a 32gb Apple iPad® with a iOS Chemdata and an open training course.

To enter please choose from either the public sector survey or private sector survey.



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  CLP Training  

​We are pleased to announce the availability of our new online training course - an Introduction to CLP.

Aimed at those dealing with hazardous chemicals, this online based course gives an overview of the new European regulation on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of hazardous materials (CLP).

For full course details or to book online, please click here

Forthcoming training ​

We have also updated our schedule of forthcoming training courses, which you can find on our website. ​ To see the full training schedule please click here


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Questions about NCEC

Would you like more information about NCEC?

Email: ncec@ricardo-aea.com or Tel: +44 (0) 1235 753654