Hazardex in the Regions 2022 Paper - Offloading incidents during chemical deliveries


Learning lessons from incidents or accidents and continual improvement are key aspects of the Responsible Care ethos and are taken very seriously by the Chemical Business Association (CBA) and its members.

Loading the wrong product into the wrong storage vessel can not only be a costly and time-consuming error, but it may also result in life-threatening consequences. One such situation is the mixing of Sodium hypochlorite with acidic materials that evolves Chlorine gas, and despite various safeguards employed by industry, a number of incidents have occurred across the world highlighting the need for further improvement.

The UK distribution sector decided that a more robust ‘physical’ system was required and set about designing a unique system for use with tanker deliveries to prevent ‘mis-coupling’ of Sodium hypochlorite.
This system has been endorsed by the CBA, Chemical Industries Association, WaterUK and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is in the process of being implemented at physical sites across numerous sectors.

The CBA has also issued a suite of guidance which is endorsed by HSE to further control other delivery methods, and is currently reviewing these as well as developing further guidance to enhance the safety of these alternative options.

About the author:

Douglas Leech is the Technical Director of the Chemical Business Association based in Crewe. He joined the association in 2003 following over twenty years in the product formulation sector in both health & safety and R & D roles. He is responsible for providing advice and assistance to member companies on legal, regulatory and compliance issues.

Douglas was involved in major hazards in both operational, training and advocacy roles in the UK and Europe. He participated in the expert group where the harmonisation of Seveso with the CLP regulations was debated over a number of years to provide advice to the European Commission prior to the formulation of the new Seveso III directive.