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Transport incidents fall

1 June 2011


The latest data on the health, safety and environmental performance of UK chemical distributors released by the Chemical Business Association (CBA), shows that its member companies completed nearly 900,000 separate journeys to distribute 2.9 million tonnes of chemicals in 2010.

The CBA report reveals a 14% reduction in the year-on-year transport incident rate; an increase in the number of accidents; that 41% of Special/Hazardous Waste and 61% of Non-Hazardous Waste was recycled, recovered or disposed of with energy recovery; and that two convictions were recorded against its member companies.

The CBA report for its distributor member companies is based on returns from 92 distributor member companies employing 4,065 people.

Andy Beck, Chairman of CBA’s Responsible Care Committee, said, “Our report for 2010 shows a continued improvement in some key industry measures, such as the fall in the transport incident rate. Though other measures, such as the accident rate, have increased they still represent a continuation in the long term trend of continuous improvements we have seen during the eighteen years we have been publishing our annual reports.”

Reportable Accidents

In 2010, distributor companies reported 22 (2009 – 17) accidents, under the provisions of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). There were no fatalities reported. Four accidents resulted in serious injury (2009 – 2) and 18 were over three-day reportable accidents (2009 – 15).

Accidents resulting from a manual handling process or a slip, trip or fall accounted for 55% of the total. By comparison, only one accident involved an exposure to harmful substances (2009 – 4).

Lost Time Accidents

The Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate for the UK distributors sector increased to 0.29 (2009 – 0.23). Though this is a small year-on-year increase, it is worth noting that the LTA rate has more than halved over the last ten years. The LTA rate is the ratio of RIDDOR reportable accidents to 100,000 man-hours – the assumed number of hours worked by one person during a lifetime.

Transport Incidents

Incidents involving transport are the key measure of the industry’s performance. In 2010, nine incidents were reported (2009 – 8). CBA member companies made nearly 900,000 separate journeys to distribute 2.9 million tonnes of chemicals. This equates to 3.1 transport incidents for every million tonnes of product distributed by CBA members in 2010 (2009 – 3.6), a reduction of 14% on the previous year.

CBA’s figures combine RIDDOR data 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. As can be seen from the report, the majority of incidents (55%) arose from a road traffic accident which did not involve the spillage of chemicals or result in the prosecution of the driver.


CBA collects data on the disposal routes used by its distributor member companies for the two main categories of waste. In terms of Special/Hazardous Waste, 41% was either reprocessed or disposed of with energy recovery; only 17% of the total went to landfill. Of the Non-Hazardous Waste generated, 61% was recycled and 21% went to landfill.


Only two convictions were recorded against CBA distributor members in 2010 (2009 – 1). These arose from a prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive for an offence under the Health & Safety at Work Act, and from a prosecution by the Environment Agency for three breaches of an environmental permit.

                                                 - ends -

Further information from:          Peter Newport, Director, CBA      
                                         Michael Cooper, CBA Responsible Care Co-ordinator                              
                                           01270 258200 


(1) CBA produces two reports on the health, safety and environmental performance of its member companies. One covers the Association’s distributor membership and the other covers its logistics services members engaged in chemical road haulage, warehousing, and tank farm operations. Both reports are based on data supplied by CBA’s member companies and – together – aim to provide a perspective on the health, safety and environmental performance of the UK’s chemical supply chain.

(2) Each year CBA members distribute more than 2.2 million tonnes of chemicals with a market value of almost three billion euros. CBA's logistics companies handle more than 6 million tonnes of chemicals annually. The Association’s members, the majority of which are SMEs, are the key industry interface with thousands of UK downstream chemical users.

(3) Compliance with Responsible Care has been mandatory for CBA members since 2002.

(4) To read the full Distributors Report, go to and click on Responsible Care.