Welcome to the NCEC Newsletter and thank you for reading 

 

We have another full newsletter this month.
In this issue, we provide details of how you can contribute to the biennial Emergency Action Code consultation; discuss the consultation document on the European Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP); and announce details of the latest version of Chemdata® and the winner of the customer satisfaction prize draw.
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.

We have another full newsletter this month.

In this issue, we provide details of how you can contribute to the biennial Emergency Action Code consultation; discuss the consultation document on the European Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP); and announce details of the latest version of Chemdata® and the winner of the customer satisfaction prize draw.

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.

Dan Haggarty Director of Chemical Risk Management at NCEC


Dan Haggarty
Director: Chemical Risk Management (NCEC)

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


Have your say

Emergency Action Code 2015 consultation

Richard Davey Speaks about Chinese Chemical Regulations

The EAC list was devised in the 1970s to act as a quick reference tool for members of the emergency services so they could find information on what to do when they encountered incidents involving bulk loads of dangerous goods. The display of EACs is compulsory for bulk loads of dangerous goods for UK-registered vehicles on domestic journeys and is used in numerous other countries. The system was designed to be simple and not rely on members of the emergency services having prior knowledge of the chemicals involved or any expertise in dealing with emergencies involving specific chemicals. 

Because the information is basic, it is really only designed to be used in the initial phase of an incident. These initial actions and recommendations can be superseded as more information becomes available, but the EAC should provide a good starting point. Since the EAC system was devised, much has changed in the way of training and operational practices, but little has changed with EACs. 

EACs are also used by the emergency services in different ways. For example, some fire services in the UK use the codes as the basis of whole incident response, but others use alternative information sources or use EACs in a limited way. 
Since 2011, when NCEC regained the responsibility for updating the list, we have held a consultation every two years in line update of the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). This means that we try to resolve any inconsistencies from previous versions, devise codes for new UN numbers and review the EACs for existing UN numbers where there has been a change to the classification. 
The results of the consultation have an effect on the EAC, especially with regards to raising concerns that would not be resolved otherwise, please visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/YHJQFQX and complete the short consultation questionnaire.

The EAC was devised in the 1970s to act as a quick reference tool for members of the emergency services so they could find information on what to do when they encountered incidents involving bulk loads of dangerous goods. The display of EACs is compulsory for bulk loads of dangerous goods for UK-registered vehicles on domestic journeys and is used in numerous other countries. The system was designed to be simple and not rely on members of the emergency services having prior knowledge of the chemicals involved or any expertise in dealing with emergencies involving specific chemicals. 

Because the information is basic, it is really only designed to be used in the initial phase of an incident. These initial actions and recommendations can be superseded as more information becomes available, but the EAC should provide a good starting point. Since the EAC system was devised, much has changed in the way of training and operational practices, but little has changed with EACs. 

EACs are also used by the emergency services in different ways. For example, some fire services in the UK use the codes as the basis of whole incident response, but others use alternative information sources or use EACs in a limited way. 

Since 2011, when NCEC regained the responsibility for updating the list, we have held a consultation every two years in line update of the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). This means that we try to resolve any inconsistencies from previous versions, devise codes for new UN numbers and review the EACs for existing UN numbers where there has been a change to the classification. 

The results of the consultation have an effect on the EAC list, especially with regards to raising concerns that would not be resolved otherwise, please click here and complete the short consultation questionnaire.

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CLP impact on health and safety legislation

Classification, Labelling and Packaging

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a consultation document on proposed changes to the following health and safety regulations:

 

  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Driving these changes is the June 2015 deadline for all hazardous products sold in Europe to be classified and labelled according to CLP rules. 

The four regulations use chemical hazard classifications to define their scope and reference the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD). However, from June 2015, CLP will be fully implemented and DSD and DPD will be repealed. Therefore, it is necessary to update the UK regulations so they are in line with CLP. CLP was first introduced in 2009 and is in transition to replace DSD and DPD . Currently, substances supplied in Europe are required to be classified and labelled according to CLP rules and, from June 2015, this will apply to mixtures as well.

In the consultation document, HSE states that the proposed changes to the regulations are the minimum that are legally required, with the aim of minimising the cost to business of implementing the required changes.

The consultation document is available on the HSE website and comments are required by 5 August.

If you would like information on how NCEC can help you meet your regulatory obligations through services such as CLP classification and SDS authoring, COSHH management software, and COSHH training and consultancy, then please click here.

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Interesting calls

Incendiary grenades unearthed

Bomb disposal team

A cache of No 76 special incendiary grenades was recently unearthed during building works in Swanage. Dorset Fire & Rescue Service and a military bomb disposal team were mobilised to make the area safe, but contacted NCEC for advice on how what to do if any of the grenades broke while being removed.

NCEC has considerable experience with these grenades, which were issued to Home Guard units in case of invasion during World War II. Drawing on this experience, NCEC’s Emergency Responder recommended that the fire service should put a 300 metre cordon in place to protect the public. 

The fire service also wanted advice on suitable personal protective equipment for fighting the fire if any grenades did break. NCEC’s responder explained that the Emergency Action Codes for the grenade’s constituents indicated that liquid-tight chemical protective suits should be worn but, in this instance, breathing apparatus and fire kit would provide sufficient protection.

NCEC has been supporting the emergency services for over 40 years, gaining detailed experience in highly specialised emergencies, and is proud to be able to use this knowledge to protect responders and the public.

News on the BBC website

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Nitric acid leak

Nitric Acid Leak

Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service  attended an incident involving a leak of fuming nitric acid inside a building that also stored potassium hydroxide. The fire service contacted NCEC for advice on the hazards of these chemicals mixing and suitable extinguishing media if a fire broke out. NCEC’s Emergency Responder explained to the caller that if fuming nitric acid came into contact with potassium hydroxide there would be a violent reaction and recommended that water be used to extinguish any fire.

As the situation developed, the fire service again called NCEC to say that the building had caught fire and a large number of chemicals were involved, including approximately 200 litres of hydrofluoric acid. Our Emergency Responder explained the hazards of the chemicals and emphasised that the hydrofluoric acid represented a significant health risk. Hydrofluoric acid causes severe burns and hypocalcaemia, requiring specialised medical treatment. It was recommended that the medical services be alerted in case of any exposure to the acid. In addition, our Emergency Responder suggested that if hydrogen fluoride was detected in the smoke plume then a water curtain could be used to prevent it from reaching residential areas.

Chemical incidents frequently escalate and timely advice from the NCEC allows responders to make informed preparations and help mitigate the impact of potentially costly incidents.

News on the Leicester Mercury website

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Response to children mixing chemicals

Children mixing chemicals in a sink

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attended  an incident at a derelict house where children had been mixing chemicals in a sink. Suffolk Police had entered the building, but a number of officers had been taken to hospital as a precaution in case of chemical exposure. The fire service contacted NCEC to find out if firefighters would require gas-tight chemical protective suits to enter the building. 

The fire service suggested that the chemical mixture could include cleaning products. NCEC’s Emergency Responder agreed and suggested that the likely hazards would be the generation of chlorine gas and possibly hydrogen sulfide gas. Both gases are highly toxic by inhalation, but present a lesser risk by skin contact when in low concentration. Our Responder advised that fire kit and breathing apparatus would be acceptable protection, provided that any liquid spillages were avoided and gas monitoring equipment was used. The fire service surveyed the building and reported a brown mess in the sink. Nearby containers indicated it was made up of descaler, olive oil, de-ionised water, laxatives, paracetamol and other pharmaceuticals, enamel paint, thick bleach, antiseptic, silver cleaner, fabric conditioner, scouring powder and wood preserver. The fire service gas monitors had not detected any abnormal atmosphere in the building. However, our Responder explained that chlorine could be generated if the cleaning products had been added in a particular order, but that it would have dissipated sufficiently to allow a specialist clean-up team to enter the building.

NCEC’s responders draw on their chemical expertise to provide practical and relevant situation-specific advice to those dealing with chemical incidents, even in complex scenarios with limited information available.

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Understanding China and Korea’s regulatory environment

Richard Davey Speaks about Chinese Chemical Regulations

Richard Davey, NCEC Account Manager, recently presented at REACH24H Consulting Group’s seminar series ‘Understanding China and Korea’s regulatory environment’, which were held in London, Frankfurt and Barcelona. 

There has been significant growth in the number of companies expanding their chemical manufacturing and distribution operations into China and Korea. This has required an in-depth understanding and compliance with regulatory environment that can be complex. To help companies get a better understanding of the fast-developing regulatory environment, REACH24H, NCEC’s commercial partner, developed the comprehensive seminar series that included presentations on:

  • Regulatory change, current progress and proposed changes.
  • Compliance requirements.
  • Hazardous chemical management.
  • Substance notification requirements.
  • Emergency response best practice.
  • Korean REACH.
  • Global mandatory requirements.

NCEC offers a wide range of services to support companies in achieving compliance with their global regulatory obligations including compliance with Chinese and Korean regulations. If you are interested in finding out more information about how NCEC can support your company click here .

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Customer satisfaction survey

Thank you to all of our customers who provided feedback as part of our annual satisfaction survey. The information you provide is invaluable in helping us to continue to develop and enhance our service offerings, and to ensure that we are able to maintain the quality and delivery of our operations. 

The winner of the prize draw for the iPad® with a licence of Pocket Chemdata went to Richard Cropley, Station Manager of Nottingham Fire Service.

Full details of the results of the customer satisfaction survey will be available on our website shortly.

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Chemical spill clean-up contractor search

Richard Davey Speaks about Chinese Chemical Regulations

Further to customer demand, positive feedback in the last customer newsletter and information received in the customer survey, NCEC has developed a subscription-based database to help with identifying and comparing clean-up suppliers for chemical incidents. 

NCEC’s ChemRespond solution includes companies from around the world. This ensures that no matter where or when your incident occurs, you have access to relevant clean-up contractors who can support your business.

ChemRespond benefits include:

  • Reduced administrative overheads for the identification and management of clean-up and remediation suppliers.
  • Impartial supplier information.
  • Efficient supplier comparison functionality, enabling identification of the most suitable remediation companies for your requirements.
  • Supplier information available when you need it most – 24/7 from anywhere in the world*.
  • Scalable payment structure – pay for only the regions you require.
  • Access to over 100 global remediation suppliers.

ChemRespond will be launched in September and if you would like to register your interest in using this new tool, please click here .

*internet connection required

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Chemdata 2014.1

 Pocket Chemdata 2014.1 has now been released for iOS® and Android™ operating systems. 

The iOS version is now available to users in Australia and New Zealand, and incorporates the HAG codes when using English (AUS) as the screen language. 

If you have automatic updates set, you should see your app updated shortly. To check you have the new version go to ‘About’ and check the database version, which should be STD.2014.01.0403 in iOS and EU.2014.01.0403 (AUS.2014.01.0403 for the Australian version) for Android.

A version of Pocket Chemdata based on the Windows® operating system will be released in late August. We are busy testing this new version, which will incorporate Arabic translations. For more information, please email ncec@ricardo-aea.com.


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Hazardous Materials Master Classes

Mike Callan Hazardous Chemicals Master Class

Following the success of his input at the Hazmat conference 2014, Tactical Hazmat have arranged for Mike Callan to return to the UK to deliver his full 8hr and 24hr classes.

In the USA, Mike Callan is a leading figure in the area of Hazardous Materials response with over 40 years of experience as a responder, trainer, author and influencer, driving change within the sector. He served as a Captain with the Wallingford, Connecticut Fire Department for 20 years. In 2010 he was the recipient of the prestigious Norman Y. Mineta Excellence in Transportation Award. In 2013 he was awarded The John M Eversole Lifetime Achievement Award. Given annually by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), this award recognises a living individual who has had an exceptionally distinguished career in the field of hazardous-materials emergency response. 

What will the classes include?  

These events will offer a unique opportunity to view Hazardous Materials response from a different country’s perspective and potentially incorporate some of their approaches and learn from their challenges.  

The events will be hosted regionally for the 8hr sessions with the 24hr session taking place at Tactical Hazmat’s purpose built hazmat training facility in Evesham. 

Who Should Attend?

These sessions will be ideal for anyone involved in writing hazmat policy, involved in training or who respond to Hazmat incidents on a regular basis. 

Venues and Dates 

1 day (8Hr) Master Class 

Tuesday 23rd September 2014 - Avon Fire & Rescue Service Development Centre, Lansdown Road, Lansdown, South Gloucestershire BA1 9DB

Wednesday 24th September 2014 - Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Dunstable Community Fire Station. Brewers Hill Road. Dunstable. Bedfordshire LU6 1AA

Friday 26th September – Yorkshire TBC 

Tuesday 30th September 2014 - tactical Hazmat, The Innovation Centre, Lauriston Park, Pitchill, Evesham, WR11 8SN

Full joining instructions will be sent out prior to the events. 

For more details and to book a place please click here

Quotes about Mike from Hazmat 2014

“He held my attention throughout the presentation. V.Good” - Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

“Very good - inspirational talk” - London Fire Brigade 

“First class” - North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

“Energising and factual. Excellent presentation” - Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

“Mike made this years' conference for me” - Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

“Brilliant Presenter” - Avon Fire and Rescue Service

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