Work safely with chemicals, work with NCEC

NCEC is pleased to bring you the July newsletter.

This newsletter features plenty of legislative news regarding ADR, RID, IMDG and COMAH. So if you transport by any of these means then read on for details of the changes in legislation.

Worried about trying to save money and still be compliant?  NCEC can now audit your Health and Safety and Environmental processes and come forward with specific recommendations that are tailor-made to your organisation's requirements and budget.  We can also help businesses that use common chemical substances with our new ChemeDox® Team module.

Do you want to get the recognition you deserve for your environmental excellence?  Then read on to find out more about the Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards and how to enter.

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 3654 or email:

Happy reading.

Boris Salle
Sales Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 75 3654




NCEC warns hauliers that they may face tough penalties from VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) since the introduction of the Graduated Fixed Penalties and Deposits Scheme at the end of May.

The new scheme extends the previous fixed penalty scheme used by police forces in England, Wales and Scotland. Drivers can now be issued fixed penalties by a VOSA enforcement officer for violations found at the time of inspection, graduated according to the severity of the offence. 

VOSA use 'offence bands', ranging from a verbal warning (band 0) up to court prosecution (Band 5). Additionally a driver's licence may be endorsed for some offences, as well as Prohibition Notices issued to prevent an unsafe vehicle continuing on its journey. In relation to the transport of dangerous goods in bulk, prohibition notices will be issued for the absence of an emergency contact number, or lack of adequate response, and other violations including lack of placards or insufficient driver's training.

If you don't already have an emergency telephone number or need help with compliance then drop us an email: or visit to see how we could help.


 Changes to ADR/RID from January 2011

The regulations for both road (ADR) and rail (RID) transport of dangerous goods relating to provisions for the transport of goods packed as limited quantities (LQs) are being changed from January 2011. LQs refer to small packages of dangerous goods in combination packs, such as bottles of bleach supplied in cardboard boxes to retail stores. The changes include a requirement for placarding for vehicles over 12 tonnes unladen, which are carrying more than 8 tonnes of LQ goods.  Vehicles and containers must be marked 'LTD QTY', or according to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code, if there is a sea journey. However this requirement only applies if more than 8 tonnes of LQs are being transported on a vehicle over 12 tonnes unladen and if it is not already carrying orange plates for full dangerous goods. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in the operator being prosecuted. The consignors will also need to provide the total gross mass in advance but a formal dangerous goods note will not be needed.

 Another change to regulations is the introduction for ADR/RID of the related excepted quantities (EQs). These are used for small sample quantities of dangerous goods.  These are typically the package inners, up to 30g or ml, and outers, up to 1kg or litre, which have been used in air transport traditionally up to now. The number of dangerous goods EQ units must be recorded on any transport document and a maximum of 1,000 packages are allowed per unit. Non-UN tested packaging is allowed if a red hatched EQ mark is present. Another addition is the need for tunnel codes to be entered on transport documents, unless it is known that the goods will not travel through a restricted tunnel. A change that will only affect ADR relates to the provision of instructions in writing, also known as Tremcards. Previously these instructions had to be in the main languages of all the countries the goods vehicle passed through by the consignor. Now the instructions only need to be supplied in the language of the vehicle driver before departure and furthermore it has been clarified that these instructions are not intended for emergency responders but for the use of the driver only.

 IMDG changes come into effect from 31 December 2009

A major change to the IMDG code for all sea transport comes into effect from 31 December 2009. For the first time marine pollutants will be classified meaning that there will be no separation between 'marine pollutant' and 'severe marine pollutant' and as such all marine pollutants will be indicated by a 'P' in the dangerous goods list. Alternately the consignor self-classifies the goods according to 2.9.3 of the IMDG code. Consequently the ‘·’ symbol for marine pollutants will no longer be used, as self-classification by the consignor is now emphasised, though a non-exhaustive list of marine pollutants will still be included in the code index. The traditional half diamond symbol for marine pollutants will remain in use till the end of 2009 after which the new GHS (UN Globally Harmonised System for Hazard Classification and Communication) full diamond symbol will be used. You can view the new GHS labels at

Also training of shore-side personnel in the packing or loading of dangerous goods will become mandatory, as opposed to recommended from the 1 January 2010, as the legal status of that part of the code has changed.

 Changes to COMAH

The HSE has released advice for inspectors regarding changes to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) arising from changes to the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations. The changes potentially mean that sites storing products containing relatively low concentrations of strong biocides may now fall within the cope of COMAH. Examples could include large distribution centres or retail and wholesale warehouses.

The changes to CHIP are regarding the classification for environmental hazards. The latest amendment includes a lowering of the thresholds for the environmental R-Phrases, R50/53 and R51/53. As a consequence, some products containing low levels of strong biocides that were previously unclassified (or at least classified to a lower degree) will now be classified as R50/53 or R51/53.

COMAH requires that sites containing hazardous substances that go above the tonnage thresholds stated within the regulation have to follow its provisions. This generally means a much higher level of reporting, planning and control measures and having to produce a Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP). The current threshold under COMAH for environmental hazards are 100/200te for R50/53 and 200/500te for R51/53, meaning that sites storing large quantities of previously unclassified biocide products may now find themselves having to satisfy the requirements of COMAH.

HSE have published details:


Official H&S data indicates that a small company can spend up to £315 per employee per year on uninsured loss for accidents; at the same time a good H&S audit followed by the implementation of appropriate measures could save anything up to 50% on insurance costs (

NCEC can audit your H&S and Environmental processes coming forward with specific recommendations that are tailor-made to your organisation's requirements and budget. You could save money by using the most up-to-date safety data management technology, as well as achieving government targets for carbon emissions - without breaking the bank. By making your workplace greener and safer you even reduce energy costs.

We will take a staged approach to your requirements, providing you with tangible evidence of accrued benefits at every phase of the process.


NCEC has launched another new variant of ChemeDox® to benefit groups of businesses that have common suppliers and common chemical substances.  Known as ChemeDox® Team, this product variant offers the same functionality as ChemeDox® Gold but comes with the standard ChemeDox® COSHH module.

For more information on Chemedox® visit

The principal benefit to the customer is one of further cost savings, as NCEC is able to pass on the additional savings from managing the common Safety Data Sheets to the customers.

So if you feel that you are part of a group that could reap the benefits of ChemeDox® along with the additional cost savings 'for example a trade association, technical collaboration or supply chain' that could reap the benefits of ChemeDox® along with the additional cost savings please contact us on +44 (0) 1235 75 36541, or email us at chemedox@the-ncec-com


The inaugural Emergency Planning Society Awards Dinner took place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry recently and NCEC was put forward for two awards.

 NCEC's Chemical Emergency Response Team were finalists in the 'Team of the Year' category (sponsored by HPA -

The Emergency Centre is staffed 24/7 and handles over 4,000 calls per year relating to all types of incidents involving hazardous goods, whether in transit or in use.  Our team of Emergency Responders are all graduates in a chemistry-based subject. They have all undergone our intensive three-month training programme, and passed an exam, prior to joining the shift system.

When one of our chemical emergency lines is called it will be picked up directly by an NCEC Emergency Responder. They would ask questions about the incident to establish what the risks are to the public, property and the environment. Using their expertise, product-specific information (SDS) and the extensive resources at the Centre, they provide straightforward advice on the best course of action to take. Their advice will help to minimise the impact from these risks and speed up the resolution of the incident. 

NCEC has supported the emergency services for over 36 years as the provider of the national Chemsafe Level 1 scheme ( The majority of the calls that we now handle are on behalf of clients of our Carechem 24® service.  Subscribers to the service are entitled to display NCEC's emergency telephone number on all product related documentation such as REACH compliant Safety Data Sheets, product labels, transport documents etc.

For more information on Carechem 24® visit

 HERS (Hazchem Emergency Response Service)

Recent changes to the 'Instructions in writing' legislation now means that there is less product specific information readily available at the time of a chemical transport incident, particularly when packaged goods are involved. As a consequence there is now a greater emphasis on access to specialist information via emergency telephone numbers.

This was recognised by Ali Karim, MD of specialist pallet network The Hazchem Network, as a potential weakness in the provision of response information should an incident occur with one of their member's vehicles, many of which operate on overnight trunk routes.

Ali worked with NCEC's Richard Shreeve, chemical clean-up contractors, Braemar Howells and hazardous goods insurers, OAMPS, to create HERS.  Vehicles belonging to members of the scheme can display a placard that shows a dedicated NCEC emergency telephone number where specialist advice can always be obtained. Braemar Howells would be contacted should there be the need for specialist clean-up intervention. Prior to the launch of HERS we received assistance and guidance from DfT, HSE, Police and Fire services.

The HERS scheme came runner up in the 'Initiative of the Year' category (sponsored by VectorCommand - and was described by the judges as an excellent example of co-operation between like-minded companies (


NCEC are still receiving enquiries about the new Hazchem Scale Cards. We'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we haven't forgotten the new GHS Labels! The GHS labels seem to be causing some confusion among those in the chemical industry. For more information on GHS please visit

The new Hazchem Scale Cards include information on:

  • Supply labelling (CHIP and GHS)
  • Hazard Warning Diamonds
  • Hazard Warning Panel
  • ADR (International Operations)
  • and more

For more information on the new Hazchem Scale Cards visit

If you'd like to place an order or request a sample then please call +44 (0) 1235 75 3654.



Swimming Pool Chaos

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue service called NCEC about an incident at a swimming pool. Two chemicals had been accidentally mixed together and the resulting fumes caused nineteen people to be taken to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties and stinging eyes. The NCEC responder identified the gas produced by the reaction as chlorine and provided hazard advice to the fire service, as well as advice to medical personnel treating the injured.  The responder then provided clean-up advice for the two chemicals at the scene, including the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to be worn.

Gas Cylinders Involved in a Fire

A Hazmat Officer from the Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service called NCEC about several cylinders that had been involved in a fire, at least two of which contained acetylene.  The NCEC responder informed the caller of the recommendations for cordons and cylinder cooling and discussed their implications in relation to the scene and the caller's risk assessment.  Then the responder assisted in identifying the suppliers of the cylinders in order to arrange for their safe disposal. When the supplier could not be found, details of a firm who would deal with unidentified cylinders were provided.

Chemicals Found at Residential Address

A call came into NCEC from East Sussex Fire and Rescue regarding the uses of chemicals found at the home of a man who had been detained under the mental health act. The NCEC responders researched the uses of the chemicals and were able provide the caller with their hazards and major uses. The NCEC responders also discussed with the caller the possibility of the chemicals having illicit uses, including whether the material could be used to make explosives.


The 2009 Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards ceremony was held in London on 1 July. The top prizes, presented by Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI, went to Bovis Lend Lease, Pfizer, Sainsbury's with NCR, River Dart, and Toyota Manufacturing UK.  They join a prestigious list of previous BCE Award holders including Innocent Drinks, ASDA, Unilever, M&S, Rolls Royce, Ford Motor Co and the Co-operative Group.

Founded by Sir Peter Parker in 1975, the BCE Environmental Leadership Awards is one of the world's longest running environmental award schemes and provides businesses with the public and peer recognition they deserve for meeting the commercial demands of the present, without compromising the environment for future generations.

You can submit your application for the 2010 BCE Awards from now until 5 October 2009. The scheme is completely free to enter and is characterised by rigorous, independent judging by a panel of 13 business experts - from which worthy projects emerge as esteemed winners.  Winners are also eligible to be considered for entry into the biennial European Business Awards for the Environment.

Full details, eligibility criteria and an application form can be downloaded from the BCE website (

The main sponsors of the 2010 BCE Awards are AEA, Blake Lapthorn, Brunswick, E.ON and WRAP.


NCEC is part of the AEA Group, one of the world's leaders in the field of climate change and energy consultancy - operating in the UK, Europe, the US and China. AEA is the leading provider of advisory services to the UK Government and works extensively with the EU and major private sector organisations. With internationally renowned expertise in air quality and climate change, carbon management, resource efficiency and the environmental impacts of transport, AEA employs many world-leading experts and provides a high-level of policy consultancy and a range of technical services to its public and private sector clients. 

Find out more about AEA at