Work safely with chemicals, work with NCEC

As 2008 draws to a close it has been a special year for us, we celebrated the 35th birthday of NCEC and the 25th birthday of Chemdata.  We held a prize draw for our Chemdata customers so read on to find out the names of the winners.  Our frisbees given away at several of our events proved to be very popular!

We are pleased to announce that we are running our annual Hazmat Event again in February 2009. This is also 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.

To further help businesses to understand the financial benefits that can be realised with ChemeDox®, our simple-to-use web-based service for Safety Data Sheets, COSHH assessments and other associated safety documentation, we have also launched our online cost benefits calculator.  Free to access, this tool allows businesses to obtain an indication of the cost savings potential that is achievable using ChemeDox®.

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 tel: +44 (0) 1235 75 3654 or

Finally, I would like to wish you all the best over this festive season.  Happy reading.

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





Following an agreement established with the Department for Communities and Local Government, NCEC will be taking over the responsibility for printing the list of Emergency Action Codes in the UK starting with the 2009 list. A new printed version in A5 format will be available. More details to follow soon so keep tuned.



 1. The CHiP (Amendment) regulations came into force on 1 October 2008, implementing the 2nd Adaptation to Technical Progress (ATP) to the Dangerous Substances Directive (DPD). For more information please visit our website at

2. Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on Inland Transport of Dangerous Goods has been published in the Official Journal (OJ L260/13). This Directive brings together the current provisions on transport of dangerous goods by road and rail, which implement ADR and RID into national legislation, into a single Directive, together with provisions on transport by inland waterways (implementing ADN).

3.The CLP Regulation was adopted by the Council on 28th November 2008, with official publication in the Official Journal (OJ) expected by the end of December 2008. Chemical suppliers will have until 1 December 2010 to reclassify their substances, and until 1 June 2015 to reclassify their mixtures.

4. The 30th ATP to the Dangerous Substance Directive has been published as Commission Directive 2008/58/EC in Official Journal L 246. The European Commission has published two documents in association with this - FAQs and Background notes.

5. The REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 (No 2852) have been published, setting out how REACH will be enforced in the UK, and the penalties for non-compliance. For more information please visit

 6. REACH pre-registration closed on the 1st December 2008, after receiving an amazing 2,236,625 pre-registrations - a number far in excess of what had originally been predicted. For companies who first start making or importing a substance after this date in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year, the system will re-open for late pre-registrations on 5th January 2009. Further information and guidance on this is expected to be available shortly.

 3.  HAZMAT EVENT 2009

24 - 25 February Marriott Hotel, Manchester Airport

Following on from last year's very successful conference, NCEC is holding its second annual event for those at the sharp end of responding to hazardous materials incidents. This two-day conference will expand on last year's topics covering fundamental themes and providing updates by key speakers on:

  • Hazardous materials response
  • Environmental protection
  • Emergency planning
  • Developments in legislation
  • Future technologies
  • Practical case studies
  • Gas safety

Experienced speakers will provide you with a great forum to gain a wider perspective on both the issues, and ways to address them. The event also provides a good opportunity to exchange views with fellow HazMat professionals.

Join us on the evening of 23 February 2009 for the first HMEPO Forum in the UK. This informal gathering will start with an introduction on the HMEPO Forum with its aims and objectives outlined. NCEC will then launch its new online HMEPO Forum, and you will have the opportunity to network over a few drinks.

This will be the first meeting of its kind and will be the ideal place to meet HMEPOs from all over the UK. It is the perfect opportunity to discuss and debate both national and local issues, compare and contrast procedures and incidents whilst making connections with other Fire Service colleagues.



In the last couple of newsletters we have introduced our new service, ChemeDox® - our online, simple-to-use chemical safety management system that allows businesses to save money and, more importantly, help them comply with appropriate legislation.

ChemeDox® is already receiving a lot of interest from businesses within the manufacturing sector who are looking for a safe, secure and robust system for the storage of their Safety Data Sheets, along with associated health and safety documentation such as COSHH assessments and risk analyses.

In addition, ChemeDox® provides GHS search fields that are updated by our experts, and helps businesses to keep their Safety Data Sheets up-to-date in the light of imminent changes.

To help businesses learn more about ChemeDox® we have redeveloped the ChemeDox® web pages such that they can now access information on, for example, the product benefits and product range. As part of the new web pages we have also provided access to the following downloadable pdfs:

ChemeDox® product data sheet - which provides a descriptor of ChemeDox® and also outlines the ChemeDox® product range
ChemeDox® cost benefits flyer - which outlines the potential cost benefits that can be achieved from using ChemeDox®
ChemeDox® technical data sheet - which outlines the information on the technical aspects of ChemeDox® including security and system requirements.

To find out more visit then ChemeDox® web pages at

If you are interested in finding out more about ChemeDox® the please Contact Us.


NCEC supplies its Cefic Tremcards product to help companies transporting hazardous products to meet the requirements of ADR regulation 5.4.3. This defines the instructions in writing that must be carried by the driver, to provide advice in the event of an accident during their journey.

The 2009 revision of ADR will introduce a big change to the instructions in writing, both in terms of the content and who is responsible for supplying them.

Key changes can be summarised as:
The driver / haulier has to provide the instructions in writing
The instructions are only required in a language that the vehicle crew can understand
There will be one set of instructions to cover all dangerous goods
The complete instructions in writing text will be included in the ADR2009 text.

What does this mean now?
The new instructions in writing will be introduced in ADR2009 from 1 January 2009. There will be a phase-in period where the existing format Instruction (Tremcard) can still be used. The phase-in period will run until 30 June 2009.

From 1 July 2009 the new instructions in writing will have to be used when hazardous goods are transported by road.

What happens to Cefic Tremcards after June 2009?
Cefic Tremcards software will not include the new instructions in writing.
We are providing the opportunity to purchase a perpetual licence for the software (this will run until 2020 – the longest time period that the software will allow).

Advantages of having this licence
Continued availability of the transport emergency information that you have relied on
Allows for a longer period of time to phase-in using the new instructions in writing only
High quality Cefic Tremcard advice and translations will continue to be available in your company

The perpetual licence will apply to the ADR2007 version of Cefic Tremcards and will not be updated.

How do I access the new Instructions in Writing?
The new instruction in writing will be included in the 2009 revision of ADR. The contracting countries to ADR have also agreed to post translations of the new instruction to the UNECE website. Therefore when this work is complete the translated documents will be available through this website “



NCEC has been selected to join the Hazchem Commission of the CTIF (the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services). The Hazchem Commission brings together national experts in Hazardous Materials response, twice yearly, to share experiences of incidents and new operational techniques, and allows a chance to establish and put forward a common stance on issues such as changes to Dangerous Goods regulations.

The 32nd Meeting took place in Stockholm in October. NCEC's Head of Emergency Response, Bill Atkinson, was the representative at the meeting and was soon thrown into the deep end, being tasked with writing a proposal on how a European Emergency Action Code (EAC) system might work.

The next meeting is in June 2009 in Tonsberg, Norway.


Congratulations to the people named below! The draw took place on Friday 28th November and was witnessed by Charlotte Byrne, Business Manager, Harwell Scientifics. The travel bags will be dispatched by Friday 5th December.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the draw for the useful feedback you have provided. Some of your quotes about the benefits for Chemdata will be appearing on the website soon.

The winners, in no particular order, are:

D Walton, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service
Andy Butler, British Energy
Jim Patrick, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Simon Smith, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
T Considine, Fire Service College
Steve Schooling, Surrey Fire & Rescue Service
Paul Jenkins, Mid and West Wales Fire Service
Mike Plumb, Dow Chemical Co Ltd
Mark Sinclair, Cork Fire Service
Sarah Collyer, Eurotunnel
M Rafferty, N Ireland Fire & Rescue
Dave Coward, Royal Mail
Eddie Hunt, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue
Steve Holt-Garner, Derbyshire Fire Service
Justin McMullin, Isle of Man Fire & Rescue
Kev Aitken, Northamptonshire Fire
Julie Dempster, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service
Gudi Stannard, Eurotunnel
Jason Lawley, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service
Kevin Lawrence, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
Mark C Boeck, Cornwall County Fire Brigade
Mike Elder, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service
Anonymous, Dublin Fire Brigade
Lloyd Davis, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue
David Hughes, Berkshire Fire Service


To help you understand the service that we provide as part of Chemsafe we have highlighted some of the calls we receive to show the diversity of incidents that we respond to.

Garage ablaze
Saturday evening, NCEC received a call from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue. The Hazmat officer was attending an incident, which involved a garage that was on fire, the roof of which was thought to contain asbestos. They had basic information but wanted to confirm the situation for a worst-case scenario.

NCEC was able to advise the Hazmat Officer that there are three kinds of asbestos, blue, white and brown. It was decided that all types of asbestos should be considered to cover all eventualities. NCEC advised that they could cause cancer and that in a fire situation they should wear breathing apparatus. We then advised that they would be able to use water on the fire but that the water should be prevented from entering watercourses or sewers, adding that anyone who had been exposed to the fumes should seek immediate medical attention.

Tanker springs a leak
West Yorkshire Police called NCEC as they were dealing with an incident involving a leaking tanker. The Police were unsure of what load the vehicle was carrying. The police provided the NCEC with a five-digit UN number.

NCEC explained to the Police that the UN number should be a four-digit number. NCEC was put on hold while the Police tried to obtain the correct UN Number, during that time we were able to identify 2 possible products: Liquid Nitrogen and Hydrogen Iodide. The caller was then able to provide the correct UN number, and we confirmed that it was Liquid Nitrogen; we then went on to advise the caller of hazards associated with the substance.

Two Tankers Tangle
North Yorkshire Police Control Room called to notify that there had been an RTC involving two tankers. The first tanker was believed to be full and had contained nitrogen. The second tanker had been stationary at the time of the collision. The second tanker, which had collided with the first, had the UN number UN 2187, but was in fact empty at the time of collision.

NCEC explained that UN 2187 referred to carbon dioxide, and stated that, as this tanker was believed to be empty, it would pose little risk from a chemical point of view. We explained that the main risks of the nitrogen tanker leaking would be cold burns. We then explained that any gas leak would come out extremely cold, and therefore people should be kept away from any leaks until the specialist clean up team arrived to deal with the incident. We then added that nitrogen can pose a risk of asphyxiation, however, that if people were at a reasonable distance from the leak, it would dissipate into the atmosphere and pose negligible risk.

Sulphur Lorry on fire
NCEC received a call from the Highways Agency reporting a lorry transporting molten sulphur was on fire. They wanted to know what advice we could give on this chemical in a fire situation.

We advised the caller that the product was flammable and would give off toxic and irritating fumes in a fire including sulphur oxides, so people should be kept upwind of the incident. NCEC stated that those dealing with the fire should wear breathing apparatus and protective gloves and boots; and that those dealing with the fire should use a coarse water spray. We advised the caller that people who had inhaled any fumes would need to be moved into fresh air and monitored by medical personnel for up to 48 hours, as there was a risk of pulmonary oedema.



 The 4th China International Forum on Work Safety

The 4th China International Forum on Work Safety was held in Beijing from 18 - 20 November organised by the State Administration for Work Safety and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). As a speaker at previous events, NCEC's Bill Atkinson was again invited to deliver a speech. Bill's visit was sponsored by Defra. He spoke about the known causes leading to major incidents such as the Buncefield explosion as well as some of the specific recommendations made based on the investigation into the explosion, such as the need to revise emergency plans to account for this now known incident scenario and establishing an alterative off-site emergency centre with a duplicate set of emergency plans.

He also talked about the work of the Major Incident Control Committee at the Grangemouth refinery site in Scotland, which brings together industry, emergency services, utilities companies and the Local Authority and which was put in place even before the implementation of the COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) regulations.


Recently NCEC were at the Fire and Rescue show in Liverpool and the Emergency Services show in Coventry.

Both exhibitions were well attended and our stands were very busy. The Hazmat Event 2009 and Chemdata proved to be of particular interest as were our birthday give-aways.


 Fire and Rescue Show

Emergency Services Show

Thank you to every one who stopped at our booths and helped us to make them memorable events.

Forthcoming Events:

Hazmat Event 2009
24-25 February -Marriott Hotel, Manchester Airport

NCEC's second annual event for those at the sharp end of responding to Hazardous Materials incidents
Safety & Health Expo 2009
12-14 May NEC Hall 2, Birmingham

NCEC will be exhibiting its portfolio of Health and Safety products and services.


Below is a reminder of the dates for the ever-popular 1st Response training course.

1st Response is unique emergency response course designed to help you understand what demands can be made during a chemical incident, be prepared when the phone rings and to talk the same language as the emergency services. This course is ideal for anyone who will get involved with a chemical incident, whether on the telephone or at the scene.

Full details of all NCEC's courses can be found at or for information on tailored courses contact

Future courses:

                  Date                           Course                         Venue

Thursday 5th March 2009 1st Response
Harwell, Oxfordshire


As this is the festive season we are running a caption competition just for fun, so no prizes “ only a few smiles.

We would like you to add a caption to this picture of two of our Richards. They were on the stand at the Emergency Services Show and seem to be having a secret laugh at something.

What do YOU think they are saying?

Email your captions to and we will publish the funniest ones on our website in the New Year.



We are pleased to welcome our latest new members of staff:

Shyama Sothisrihari

I am a Chemical Emergency Response Specialist at NCEC. I am a highly qualified scientist holding a Masters Degree in Polymer Materials Science & Engineering & additionally a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Physics. Motivated by challenge and the opportunity to deliver excellence in all areas of work. I possess the determination to complete all tasks & projects. By nature I am hardworking and adaptable, with good mediation and communication skills and have a proven record of effective team working.

Stephen Walker

I grew up in Manchester but moved south to study for a 4 year MSci degree in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham. I then stayed in Birmingham to study for a PhD in Organic Chemistry investigating synthetic routes to piperidines.

I have just joined NCEC as an emergency responder and am looking forward to getting trained up and expanding my knowledge and experience.

Matthew Hawes

I joined the NCEC in October as an Emergency Responder. Before starting for AEAT I worked as a Process And Development Chemist for a specialist organic chemical manufacturer mostly involved in the Flavour and Fragrance sector.

I studied for my degree, Applied Chemistry, at Coventry University and whilst there completed a year in industry at AstraZeneca.
Having worked for both a small company and a large multinational company I know the two extremes of SHE and hopefully this will help with emergency response advice.

Peter Pritchard

Whilst I have been with AEA since 2001, I joined the NCEC in the summer of 2008 as Product Manager for ChemeDox. This represents an exciting and unique challenge for me as I now able to combine my extensive experience in marketing and product management with my technical knowledge as my original degree was in chemistry!!!

In more recent times I have been heavily involved in managing the marketing teams associated with a number of high profile Government programmes. Here the emphasis was on managing and delivering highly integrated marketing communication campaigns aimed at driving cultural change with UK business. Prior to joining AEA I worked within the manufacturing sector, where I gained experience in customer facing technical, marketing and sales roles within the papermaking and film-coating sectors. The latter was heavily linked with providing specialist coated products to the printing sector.


Race the Train

Peter Lamb, Emergency Responder, took part in this novel race back in August and the funds raised went to the Orchid cancer appeal.  The 10 kilometres race was not only against a steam train but up a Welsh mountain too. Peter completed the race, finishing 91st of 371 runners in total.  He crossed the line in a time of 52 minutes and 28 seconds beating the steam train by about two minutes!

Well done Peter!


As our business continues to grow we are regularly looking for talented individuals to join us.  Below you will find details of our current vacancies.  If you would like a career with NCEC / AEA Technology visit:

Chemical Emergency Response Specialist

Due to the continuing expansion of NCEC's Emergency Response services, we have another new vacancy for an Emergency Response specialist.

The role of an NCEC Emergency Responder requires the ability to provide emergency response information to emergency services, chemical and transport companies, members of the public and others - both nationally and internationally, in an effective and professional manner.

For more details on this and any other vacancies, please visit: