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June 13, 2013

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Chemicals industry reports big drop in transport incidents

Transport incidents involving chemicals distributors fell from 10 in 2011 to just three last year, but RIDDOR reportable accidents overall saw a slight rise.

The analysis features in the annual Responsible Care report from the Chemical Business Association (CBA). The report, which documents the health and safety performance of the CBA’s chemical-distributor member companies, shows that, in 2012, the lowest-ever rate of lost-time accidents — 0.22 — was recorded.

Incidents involving transport are the key measure of the industry’s performance, says the CBA. Last year, its member companies made more than 880,000 separate journeys to distribute 3.7m tonnes of chemicals, which equates to 0.8 transport incidents for every million tonnes of product distributed.

CBA figures combine RIDDOR data with transport incidents at which the emergency services attended. Two-thirds of incidents (67 per cent) arose from a road-traffic accident that did not involve the spillage of chemicals, or result in the driver being prosecuted.

Distributors reported 20 incidents overall in 2012 — one more than in 2011. Accidents resulting from a manual-handling process, or a slip, trip, or fall dropped significantly — from 63 per cent of total accidents in 2011 to 20 per cent last year. However, eight incidents in 2012 resulted from an exposure to harmful substances, compared with none in 2011.

The CBA report is based on information received from 92 distributor member companies employing 4848 people.

Andrew Beck, chair of the CBA’s Responsible Care Committee, said: “Our 2012 report shows real progress in reducing the key indicator for any distribution sector — transport incidents.

“It is also pleasing to report a continuing decline in the lost-time accident rate, which is now at the lowest level every recorded by CBA.”

To read the full distributors’ report, go to www.chemical.org.uk and click on Responsible Care.

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