Work safely with chemicals, work with NCEC

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2010.

We are pleased to announce that we are running our prestigious annual Hazmat Event again in February 2010. This is proving to be very popular and booking is well under way. So read on to find out more and guarantee your place before they all go.

We have also launched our new and improved website. As well as giving the site a design make-over, we hope the new site enables you to find information quicker and easier than ever. Read on to find out about our free resources.

Do you use hazardous chemical substances? Do you have an effective and robust documentation management system that would pass the scrutiny of a health and safety audit? Read on to find out how NCEC can help you.

If there are any topics you would like us to cover in future newsletters then please let us know. We are also very pleased to receive your comments so call us on +44 (0) 1235 75 36541 or email:

Happy reading.

Boris Salle
Sales Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 75 36541




Model Regulations now available to download

The 16th revised edition of the UN recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations is now available to download from the UNECE in English and French. Hardcopies are also available. Follow the link below to download a copy;

Upcoming changes to the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR)

The environmental Permitting regulations came into force on 6 April 2008 and were designed to combine Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) and Waste Management Licensing (WML) to simplify the application process and create a single, risk-based framework for permitting and compliance. The EPR has now been widened to include the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations (05/05/2009) and the Mining Waste Directive (07/07/2009) with three new regimes due to become part of the EPR in April 2010. The three regimes are outlined below;

- Water Discharge Consents
- Groundwater Authorisations
- Radioactive Substances Regulations Permits
Further information can be found on Defra's Environmental Permitting Programme web pages via the link below;

Does your business require a DGSA?

Did you know that even a 'minor' misclassification can cause an incorrect transport category allocation, which could cause a haulier to breach operational legislation governing vehicle placarding, driver documents and safety equipment?

Since the year 2000, EC Directive 96/35 requires companies involved in the transport, distribution and loading of dangerous goods consigned by road, rail or inland waterway to appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA). DGSAs are responsible for helping to prevent the adverse consequences of the risks in such activities in relation to people, property and the environment.

Did you know that NCEC can act as your DGSA and reduce any of the risks which may be associated with the transport of dangerous goods? We can also assist DGSAs by monitoring compliance and being there whenever a second opinion is required.

For further information, please follow the link below;


23-24 February 2010, Crowne Plaza, Birmingham

The 2010 Hazmat Event promises to be bigger and better than ever before, thanks to continued support from Emergency Services as well as other Hazmat Professionals.

The two-day conference draws on knowledge and experience from a range of Hazmat Professionals, Industry Leaders, as well as NCEC's own Emergency Responders.

Hazmat Event topics include:

- Hazardous Materials Response
- Chemical Exposure and Monitoring
- Emergency Planning
- Developments in Legislation
- Future Technologies
- Practical Case Studies

This Hazmat Event is the perfect opportunity to gain a wider understand of these issues, and more importantly, practical ways to address them.

For more information on this prestigious event go to

A word from our sponsor

Industrial Apparatus Consultants Limited have completed testing of a delivery system for HNS spills on water, as a solution to volatile, floating non-miscible chemical spill, to reduce vapour emission and make spill clean-up safer.  This defines a clear range of products where Imbiber Beads® really bring something useful to safety and environmental concerns.

To find out more click here.


All too often we come across businesses that use hazardous chemical substances that don't have an effective and robust documentation management system that would pass the scrutiny of a health and safety audit. It is not uncommon, for example, to find businesses that have missing COSHH assessments, out of date safety data sheets, incomplete training records etc.

The upshot of this is the risk of improvement notices, prohibition notices or even a penalty/fine. Associated with this are potential wider negative implications for your business including the effects on staff morale, negative PR or even the loss of customers - all of these come with an associated 'cost'. And this is the last thing you want at a time where the current economic climate is already having wider implications on your business.

In recognition of the fact that many businesses do not have a robust COSHH management system, the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) recently added a simple-to-use COSHH module to its online chemical safety documentation management system - ChemeDox®.


Saves you time and money, enables you to avoid the risk of increasing penalties and fines as a result of not having the right COSHH documentation in place, overcomes problems with accessing your COSHH assessments and other important health and safety information.  Allows you to maintain an audit trail of your COSHH assessments and, unlike other systems, keep your COSHH assessments in an easy-to-use, extractable and fully backed-up pdf format.

As the UK's National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) our role is to support businesses in meeting their legal, financial and morale requirements in all aspects of chemical safety. We do this by using our highly skilled internal team in conjunction with industry experts to develop chemical risk management solutions that are cost effective, practical and that help with compliance with legislation.

Interested in finding out more?

Why not sign-up for a FREE trial account - all we need from you are a few SDSs and we will create a FREE trial account for you such that you can see the real benefits of this new ChemeDox® module for yourself.

To sign-up for a free trial account or to find out more about ChemeDox® and the SDS Distribution module contact us on +44 (0) 1235 75 3654 or email


The Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC (BPD) concerns the following: authorisation, placing of biocidal products on the market, recognition of authorisations between Member States and the establishment of a list of active substances which may be used in biocidal products.

Biocidal products containing active substances listed in BPD must be registered according to BPD before being placed on the market.

However, the BPD establishes transitional measures allowing Member States to continue to apply their current system, or practice, of placing biocidal products on the market. These measures apply to products containing "existing active substances" as defined by Commission Regulation 1451/2007/EC. Those existing active substances are under review for inclusion in the BPD and as soon as the review process has been completed the products have will have to either be registered under BPD or withdrawn from the market.

The existing active substances are under review for particular product types and applicants may withdraw a substance or a product type for a substance from the biocides review program.

Therefore, placing a biocidal product on the European Union market may be fairly straight forward, or may involve significant effort to keep a close watch on the existing active substances review process and dealing with existing registration schemes in different Member States.

Learn more about how NCEC can help, call us on +44 (0) 1235 75 3654 or visit


The Hazchem Emergency Response Service (HERS) was shortlisted in the 'Safety' category at the Energy Institute Awards in London on 19 November 2009.

HERS is a fully integrated chemical incident response service for the packaged goods industry. The scheme is supported by NCEC, The Hazchem Network, Braemar Howells and the insurers, OAMPS. When the dedicated HERS telephone number is called, advice is given on personal and environmental protection - if a specialist clean-up contractor is required, one of Braemar Howells rapid response teams would be mobilised.

For more information please visit:


Insecticide Contamination

A call was made to request advice on the hazards of an insecticide product after someone was admitted to hospital, heavily contaminated with the product. Advice on the hazards of the product and how to wash it off were initially provided. The incident had involvement from several organisations including the Police, Hospital staff and the Health Protection Agency. To help to resolve the incident the NCEC responder also provided information on protective clothing that could be worn to protect people helping in the treatment of the person from the chemical product, and disposal advice for contaminated clothing and equipment.

Phenol spillage at a Pharmacy

NCEC provided advice to firefighters called to assist with a phenol spillage at a Pharmacy.  The chemical had been spilled affecting staff at the Pharmacy staff and contaminating equipment.  The responder provided information on the hazards of the substance, using NCEC's Chemdata software.  Further advice on the potential effects on the people exposed to the spillage and appropriate techniques for cleaning up the spillage were provided.

Chemical tanks involved in a fire

NCEC were called to provide advice on the potential reactivity of two chemical products stored next to each other at a location where a fire had occurred. During the incident the tanks had been kept safe from the fire by cooling with water. However as part of the investigation following the incident, information was required on what would have happened if both tanks had released their products. The responder team provided information on the hazards of both products, and issues of potential reactivity if they were mixed and the effects that this could have had on the fire.


The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CBS) calls on industry to improve Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Nonconductive Flammable Liquids. This is in light of their investigation into the causes of an explosion and fire at the Barton Solvents distribution facility in Valley Center, Kansas in July 2007.

The explosion was found to been most likely caused by a static spark, which ignited the vapour-air mixture of naphtha in a holding tank. The spark is believed to have originated from a loosely linked level-measuring float within the tank.

The CSB determined the MSDS for the naphtha did not adequately describe the explosive hazard or the precautions necessary to prevent ignition from static electricity, nor did it warn that the solvents could form a highly explosive vapor-air mixture inside a storage tank.

Following the incident, the CSB reviewed 62 MSDSs for some of the most widely used nonconductive flammable liquids in industry, such as VM&P Naphtha, hexane and toluene. Most failed to recommend specific precautions beyond bonding and grounding. As a result, the CSB issued recommendations to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and others to improve the required information contained in MSDSs addressing specifically nonconductive flammable liquids which are routinely shipped to distributors. The CSB also recommended to all six major oil and chemical industry associations to ask their member companies to comply with this request.

To view the CBS report and case study, as well as a computer animation depicting the sequence of events that led to the explosion and fire, go to


We are pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved website. As well as giving the site a design make-over, we hope the new site enables you to find information quicker and easier than ever.

We see our website as an ongoing project to deliver you useful information as well as resources and tools to help you with chemical health and safety.

NCEC aims to make continuous improvements to the site but are keen to hear your comments so please let us know what you think of it by using our feedback form.

As well as giving information on products and services, NCEC still provide a wide range of free resources such as:

- EAC List 2009 pdf
-  A tool for easy interpretation of legislative codes regarding carriage, supply and exposure limits
- Hazmat Forum
- Hazchem Guide
And more.

Take a look at the new website or view free resources.