Chemical accidents show rise

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The number of reportable accidents in chemicals logistics rose to 30 last year from 22 in 2009, according to the latest Logistics Index from the Chemical Business Association.

Of these, nine accidents resulted in serious injury – against five in 2009. Almost half of the accidents (43 per cent) resulted from a manual handling process or a slip, trip or fall. Three accidents involved an exposure to harmful substances – against one in 2009.

The Lost Time Accident rate increased to 0.61 (2008: 0.44). The LTA rate is the ratio of reportable accidents under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) to 100,000 man-hours – the assumed number of hours worked by one person during a lifetime.

Incidents involving transport are the key measure of the distribution industry’s performance. In 2010, CBA members reported two transport incidents. CBA’s figures combine RIDDOR reportable incidents with transport incidents at which the emergency services attended. Incidents of this kind can include minor traffic accidents, mechanical breakdown or a simple puncture repair. There were 0.34 incidents for every million tonnes of chemicals transported in 2010 (2009: 0.17).

The CBA Logistics Index for 2010 is based on aggregated data from 20 haulage, warehousing and tank farm companies employing 2,613 people. Member companies made more than one million journeys to transport nearly six million tonnes of chemicals.

Andy Beck, chairman of CBA’s Responsible Care Committee, said: ”While CBA’s Logistics Index for 2010 shows a rise in the overall number of accidents, almost half this total resulted from a manual handling process or a slip, trip or fall. In other respects, the 2010 Logistics Index broadly represents a continuation of the trends we have seen over the last five years.”

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