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Chemical Business Association News

Significant Decline In Accident Levels – Distribution Report

30 July 2021

The Chemical Business Association’s latest annual report on the safety, health, security and environmental performance of its distributor member companies for 2020 shows a significant decline in accident levels and the Lost Time Accident Rate. For the second year running, no convictions were recorded against CBA member companies.

In 2020, CBA’s distributor member companies completed more than one million separate journeys to deliver nearly four million tonnes of chemicals.

CBA’s report is based on Indices of Performance which have been published annually since 1993 and are compiled as part of its industry-wide Responsible Care programme. The 2020 report is based on returns from 94 companies employing 5,868 people.

Tim Doggett, CBA’s Chief Executive and Chair of its Responsible Care Committee, said, “The substantial fall in accident levels is very encouraging, but we recognise the need for increased vigilance as we return to more normal working arrangements post Covid-19 to maintain this positive trend.”

“Though the year-on-year trend in transport incidents show a small rise, the long-term trend continues to fall, despite CBA companies reporting wider categories of incident than are required by regulations,” he added.

Reportable Accidents

CBA’s data covers accidents resulting incapacities of more than three days. This is a higher standard than required by RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous

Occurrences Regulations). Maintaining this higher standard preserves the integrity of data’s time series starting in 1993.

Using this stricter criterion, in 2020, CBA member companies reported 13 accidents resulting in incapacities of more than three days – less than half the number reported the previous year (2019 – 30). Under the official RIDDOR seven-day criterion, eight of these accidents would have been reportable (2019 – 25).

In 2020, accidents resulting from a manual handling process, or a slip, trip or fall accounted for 69% of the total. Two accidents resulted from an exposure to a harmful substance (2019 – 7). No fatalities were reported in 2020.

Lost Time Accidents
Applying the stricter three-day absence criterion, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate fell to 0.12 (2019 – 0.28). The LTA rate is the ratio of reportable accidents to 100,000 man-hours – the assumed number of hours worked by one person during their lifetime. The LTA rate for just those accidents statutorily reportable under the RIDDOR reporting requirements also declined to 0.07 (2019 – 0.23).

Transport Incidents
Incidents involving transport are a key measure of any distribution industry’s performance. CBA’s data goes beyond the thresholds set by the Department for Transport and for RIDDOR-reportable incidents and include any incident requiring the attendance of the emergency services. This can include minor traffic accidents, mechanical breakdown or a simple puncture repair. CBA reports all such incidents regardless of fault in relation to their cause.

After applying these stricter criteria, the number of transport incidents continues at a historically low level – a notable achievement by the industry and one that shows the long-term impact of CBA’s Responsible Care programme.

In 2020, CBA member companies made over one million separate journeys to distribute nearly four million tonnes of chemicals. Five transport incidents were reported (2019 – 3), of which three involved the spillage of chemicals. This equates to 1.2 transport incidents for every million tonnes of product distributed by CBA members in 2020 – an increase on the previous year (2019 – 0.7).

CBA members reported 5,910 tonnes of Special/Hazardous Waste in 2020 resulting from their own activities. Of this total, 21% (1,256 tonnes) was recycled, recovered, or disposed of with energy recovery.

CBA members generated 9,586 tonnes of non-hazardous waste in 2020. Of this total, 59% (5,624 tonnes) was recycled, recovered, or disposed of with energy recovery.

For the second year running, there were no convictions recorded against CBA members in 2020 (2019 – 0).

One Prohibition Notice was issued against a CBA member company by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regarding the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. Six HSE Improvement Notices were issued in respect of the Control of Major Accident Regulations, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations, and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations.

Of the seven transport Prohibition Notices in 2020, two were in respect of infringements of a minor nature that did not delay the vehicles’ journeys and could be rectified later; five required the infringement to be rectified immediately.

Tim Doggett
Chief Executive

Michael Cooper,
Responsible Care Co-ordinator

01270 258200


(1) CBA produces two annual 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 an insight on the health, safety and environmental performance of the UK’s chemical supply chain.

(2) CBA represents the independent chemical supply chain. Its membership includes distributors, traders, warehouse operators, along with logistics and transport companies. CBA’s members, the majority of which are SMEs, are the main industry interface with thousands of UK downstream chemical users.

(3) CBA member companies have an annual turnover of £2.75 billion and employ more than 8,700 people distributing, packing, and blending key chemical components and services to virtually every sector of the UK economy. CBA’s logistics member companies handle nearly three million tonnes of chemicals annually.

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

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

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