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Pierre Noël, Safety Manager and Chief Elf at North Pole

A Compliance Christmas Carol

19/12/2016

The NCEC team is proud to have made a charitable donation to Berkshire Women’s Aid (BWA). BWA is a wonderful charity local to our Head Office in Harwell, UK, which provides support to women and victims of domestic abuse in the Berkshire area. A team of volunteers also collected donations of food parcels and Christmas gifts for women and children seeking refuge at Christmas time. 

This year, instead of sending Christmas cards to its clients and stakeholders, NCEC brings you a light hearted ‘Compliance’ Christmas Carol - with thanks to Charles Dickens. Merry Christmas.


Holding up his hands in a last plea to have his fate reversed, Scrooge saw an alteration in the phantom’s hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed and dwindled down until suddenly he was returned to his own bedchamber – the once inexorable spectre faded into nothing.

Yes. It was his own. The bed post, his own. The dressing gown, his own. The bed curtains, the smart phone, the plasma TV mounted on the wall, his own.

“I will live in the past, the present and the future as the spirits have entreated me”, Scrooge repeated, as he anxiously fumbled with his phone, scrolling through his contacts for the number of his global HSE officer, Bob Cratchit.

“Bob, what is today?”

“Sorry?” came the startled voice of Bob Cratchit from the other end of the line.

“What is today?”

“Not entirely sure I understand the question, you’re phrasing things kind of weirdly...”

“What is today?”

“It’s Christmas Day sir. We’re just in the middle of opening presents with the kids. Has there been an incident?”.

“Why, I haven’t missed it! The spirits did it all in one-night Bob, well of course they can, can’t they?”

“Are you ok sir? Obviously I’m more than happy to talk, but Chris is duty manager over Christmas so if there is an emergency he’s probably a better person to con-”

“Bob, here’s what I want you to do,” interrupted Scrooge. “Tomorrow morning go into town and purchase that global regulatory compliance in the shop window.”

“I’m sorry sir, again you’re not being entirely clear.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge, “I am in earnest. Purchase me that global regulatory compliance package hanging in the window and tell them to bring it here.”

“Sir, that doesn’t make any sense. I submitted a business case two months ago to improve the resilience of our emergency response, comply with shipping into Asia and reduce the uptime of our on-shift duty manager. Is this your way of saying I have approval for the proposal?”

“Bob, tell me - what of Tiny Tim?”

“Tiny Tim?”

“His limp, has it worsened?”

“Do you mean ‘Tiny’ Tim Mcpherson the six foot–five warehouse foremen that had a barrel dropped on his toe during that spill on site in November?”

“Assure me, Bob, that I may still have time to change the fates that the spirits have shown me.”

“Well, he’s still pretty sore over the toe, and was none too happy that a mixed load was being shipped without correct documentation, but he’s not planning to sue or anything if that’s what you mean. I had suggested to you that we implement some dangerous goods handling training for seasonal warehouse employees but you said we didn’t have the budget.”

“Yes, Bob, my good fellow. And that’s why Bob, I intend to raise your budget for the next half year and every half year onwards.”

“Wow, sir, I don’t know what to say. Have I finally convinced you of the commercial and social benefits of proactive investment in systems to safeguard the wellbeing of people, the environment, assets and reputation?”

“No – spirits told me to do it.”

“Oh yes, of course.”

“A Merry Christmas Bob,” said Scrooge “God bless us, everyone”

Scrooge was better than it all, and infinitely more. He provided Bob the top down support he needed to implement a professional 24-hour system for chemical emergency response, comply with poison centre, REACH and global regulatory requirements and meet the stringent industry demands for responsible care. And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep best practice in all his principles and procedures, across his supply chain.

May that be truly said of us, and all of us! Merry Christmas.

Everyone at NCEC would like to extend their warmest wishes for the festive season, and a prosperous and peaceful new year.

We look forward to supporting you and your organisation in 2017.

Kind regards

The NCEC Team

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