It’s Semi-lockdown day 830, and the weather here continues to be predictably unpredictable!
Grace, our graphics and admin helper has come back from a few weeks on the south coast where she was dog-sitting, and turned up to work yesterday in shorts and a light top, while I was wearing jeans, long johns, top, sweatshirt and bodywarmer. Guess who had to get a hot water bottle to stay warm? (yes, both of us, because I’m “nesh” as they say in Derbyshire, that is I feel the cold terribly). Yet by lunchtime, it was glorious enough to consider taking the dogs swimming, only to have it too cold by the evening. I know that mountain weather varies, but this is ridiculous!
Annex VIII to CLP in the UK – further information
There have been some discussions around the detail on the letter from DHSC to the trade bodies which I mentioned last week, (as published by CBA here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/chemical-business-a… ) including worries about the implication in the letter that HSE might take enforcement action under Annex VIII to CLP against non-compliant companies, and also concerns about sending IUCLID files in to NPIS via email, as this contains full formulation information which is proprietary to a business.
As you are probably aware, Annex VIII to CLP has been inadvertently retained in UK law, but there is no specific enforcement programme on this issue (the HSE are very busy, and if they were to actively look in this area it would be announced formally, which it hasn’t been). My interpretation is that they will consider taking enforcement action, which we know is most likely to occur if there is an incident.
The information in the Department of Health and Social Care letter to the trade bodies (CIA, CBA) is: “HSE is the body responsible for enforcing GB CLP and are aware that the Annex has been retained. HSE will continue to maintain a pragmatic and proportionate response to enforcement focused on those activities which give rise to the most serious risks or where the hazards are least well controlled.
HSE will look at each case on its own merit and will consider a range of factors when it takes enforcement decisions, including: the level of risk and the efforts made by duty holders to achieve compliance. Any action taken will be fully in line with the principles in HSE’s Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model. Further details on HSE’s approach to enforcement can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/enforcement.htm “
However, this quote is in direct contradiction to the current (30th June) .gov.uk website advice only includes the “non Annex VIII” method of notification for GB, and the NI method separately, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/submitting-chemicals-information-to-the-national-poisons-information-service
It appears that there is some conflicting information, and until this is clarified, it is down to individual businesses to decide which approach to take, when balancing what should be notified, how and when.
Many businesses will already have notified NPIS in some form, and it’s important to weigh up the notification duty with the risks from your product, and also to consider that NPIS is still able to handle SDSs quickly, but in my experience they have been less well set up to handle IUCLID dossiers (although they are presumably getting better at it).
- If you have already notified your Annex VIII-liable mixtures to NPIS for N Ireland, these are deemed to be fully in compliance with Annex VIII for mainland GB too – no action required.
- If you have notified by sending in your SDSs to NPIS, you have notified under the “old” system. It’s up to you if you want to renotify under Annex VIII by sending in the same data in a different form. Would HSE enforce if there was an incident involving those products? It would depend on the severity and consequences, but at least you have informed NPIS and they should be able to respond in the same way as if you had notified under Annex VIII, so any enforcement would be on a technicality, rather than a breach of Health and Safety law.(One grey area might be the UFI code – if the UFI is on the label, NPIS would like to see it on the SDS as well, although this is not required under REACH Annex II unless the product is handled in bulk) .
- If you have notified to the EU via the Portal for the EU, and have the IUCLID files already available, you can easily send these files via email through to NPIS to fulfil your obligations and remove any risk of HSE enforcement, whether you have notified via SDS to NPIS or not. This may be a sensible option unless you are concerned about security of information, in which case you may want to wait until after the government have taken a decision. Presumably if Annex VIII is retained, DHSC will need to create their own Portal for secure upload of the IUCLID files.
- If you have not notified to NPIS previously, and you don’t have any IUCLID PCN files (or you don’t want to send them to NPIS via email), this is where you are potentially more at risk of enforcement, in the event of an incident.
In my view, you can mitigate this risk significantly by sending your SDSs through to NPIS in the first instance, rather than investing a lot of time and energy in making PCN via the Annex VIII method. This would allow you to comply with the information notification without giving away the full formulation information as required by Annex VIII. You could then make the Annex VIII notification if it does end up being retained in UK law, although we won’t know this for several months (at the earliest). There should be few security concerns over emailing pdf’d SDSs to NPIS, after all, we email SDSs to each other in industry all the time.
Don’t forget that PCN is only required for hazardous mixtures with GHS physical and health hazards. You are not legally obliged to notify EUH-only mixtures, environmentally hazardous-only mixtures or non-hazardous mixtures, and you are not legally obliged to notify industrial-only mixtures until their 2024 deadline, so it’s only consumer and professional mixtures which are affected at the moment.
Every business potentially affected by Annex VIII in the UK must take its own decision, and I hope these thoughts may help.
I’ve also updated our Sketchnote on Poison Centre Notification in the UK, which you can find here: PCN liability in the UK 30-06-2022.pdf
Hearing from the HSE
The HSE are continuing to update their MCL dossier list with 29 MCL Agency Opinions, which are the HSE’s views on these substances in the event they go forward for MCL status, see https://www.hse.gov.uk/chemical-classification/gb-… .
The amount of work which they have carried out in a short time from a standing start is impressive, but we might find that there are areas where industry disagrees with their findings, so when the MCL proposals start to come out and there are public consultations, it’s going to be important for affected businesses to participate in these and put their technical views and data across.
HSE have also published their consolidated work programmes for REACH the rest of 2022-23 and for 2023-24 here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHSE/bul… .
Keeping an Eye on ECHA
ECHA announced last week that their work in 2021 on grouping chemicals means that they may begin immediate work on the risk management of 300 chemicals https://echa.europa.eu/-/immediate-risk-management… . There is a podcast on this page which may give more details on the chemicals which are affected by this.
ECHA also have a new Executive Director, Sharon McGuinness of the Republic of Ireland, who has a background in https://echa.europa.eu/-/dr-sharon-mcguinness-sele… . Good to see someone with chemistry training and actual experience of regulatory affairs in industry heading up ECHA (her predecessor had a PhD in probability theory…). Sharon is currently head of the Irish Health and Safety Authority, so we should see a new person in post there soon as well.
UK Chemicals Trade Mission to India
The DIT is running a Chemicals Trade Mission to India in September this year, which Harish Vaidyanathan is helping to organise https://www.linkedin.com/posts/harish-vaidyanathan… . There will be visits to the main chemical manufacturing areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and Harish would be delighted to hear from anyone in the UK Chemical Industry who is thinking of joining the mission. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
A corrigendum to IMDG has been issued, thanks to Nicola Kaye of REACHLaw for highlighting this on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/the-training-and-co…
Jobs update (UK stats from LinkedIn)
2,356 jobs and Health and safety 70,167 jobs, an increase in both types of job. So if you are looking for work, keep going!
Process Safety Corner
- A dreadful incident in Aqaba Jordan involving a dropped 25 tonne container of chlorine has killed 13 people and injured around 250 (thanks to Colin Pratt for sending this information through). The most up to date description of what’s happened is here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jordanian-chemical-…
- A non-chemicals process safety incident occurred in the USA this week, where an Amtrak train derailed (presumably at a level crossing), with 3 dead and multiple injuries https://www.linkedin.com/posts/philip-trendall-87a…
- Diesel truck explodes during loading operations at Valdez refinery, Alaska, no casualties: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2022/06/28/investi… . It will be interesting to see what the actual incident causes and consequences of this accident are, as diesel is rated at a lower flammability than petrol (although of course diesel vapour does explode, as that’s how diesel engines work)
- Fire caused by electric bike being charged in a house in Merseyside, luckily no casualties: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activi… Unfortunately with the push to electric vehicles, these types of incidents may increase, unless there’s an information campaign on how to charge electric vehicles safely.
Louise Whiting has posted a link to a series of incident investigations in Norway by their oil industry regulator (published in English), which may be interesting reading: https://www.ptil.no/en/supervision/investigation-r… . As Louise says, learning from similar industries in different countries can be a great way to get ahead in your process safety knowledge.
The Weekend Read
An incredibly perceptive article from CS Lewis, dating back to 1958, about the ways government has changed over the years, and how he fears for the future, called “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State”: http://liberty-tree.ca/research/willing_slaves_of_… .
It seems to me that at least some of the ideas being bandied about now, like “The Great Reset” were already in existence in the post war period, long before most of the readers of this newsletter were born, and quite possibly before their parents were born.
The Weekend Recipe
As update on last week’s “free from” recipe, for “Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, no-bake chocolate cake”, see
.. I made the mistake of using coconut milk instead of coconut cream, then had to add more oats as it was too liquid, then added more chocolate as the flavour wasn’t strong enough, so overall it wasn’t particularly nice. It was OK, but not delicious. I’m sure it’ll be nicer with the correct ingredients, and please do let me know if you’ve made this successfully. I’ll try again, and report back later.
At the same time, for reference, I also made what is thought to be Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite cake, a Chocolate Biscuit Cake to the recipe from a former Royal chef, Darren McGrady. https://www.today.com/recipes/queen-elizabeth-favo… This was much nicer, and although the version I made had both gluten and dairy in it. (If I can turn it into a gluten-free, dairy-free option I will, but I’ll test it first before letting you know). I’ve also given equivalent (not identical) metric quantities.
- 8 oz Rich Tea biscuits (200g equivalent)
- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened (100g equivalent) – for once, I would recommend unsalted butter
- 4 oz granulated sugar (100g equivalent)
- 4 oz dark chocolate (100g equivalent) – you need good quality chocolate for this, eg Lindt 70%, using Bourneville is too sweet and also contains milk powder so not suitable for lactose intolerant people
- 1 egg (you may want to use a bit less beaten egg if using metric version, or omit the egg if you don’t want to use raw egg, although this may make the texture different)
- 8 oz dark chocolate, for coating
- 1 oz dark chocolate, for decoration
Prepare a 6 or 7 inch cake tin (or cake ring and flat tray) by buttering or lining with greaseproof paper (easier if using a tin without a removable base). Break the biscuits by hand to make “almond sized pieces”. This is important, you’ll also get crumbs, but gives a nice uneven texture. Don’t whizz in a blender or food processor, it won’t be the same. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. Melt the 4 oz chocolate (microwave in short bursts) and stir into the butter/sugar mixture, then add the beaten egg and stir in to combine. Fold in the biscuit pieces and crumbs, stir so they are well covered, put into the tin (flatten down especially on the base, which becomes the top of the cake) and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Optional – take the cake out of its tin, and sit it on its top. Melt the 8 oz chocolate and pour over the cake and sides and smooth out. Make some chocolate curls with the last 1 oz to decorate. If you are concerned about the raw egg in this recipe, store the cake in the fridge, although it’s nicer if you allow it to come to room temperature before serving. (If unconcerned about the raw egg, store in a cake tin in a cool place like we used to in the olden days).
Reasons to be cheerful
No sooner had I included a Dad’s Army clip in last week’s newsletter, than Frank Williams, who played the Vicar (the Reverend Timothy Farthing) in Dad’s Army, died at the ripe old age of 90. Our Reason to be Cheerful this week is a wonderful interview with him from 2008, made by a film student, and naturally including mention of Dad’s Army itself.
I think that just leaves Ian Lavender of the original cast, https://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/dads-army-ian-laven… (and I sincerely hope that Ian doesn’t drop off the perch in the next few days after this mention….)
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter this week. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.
I hope you have a good day today and a lovely weekend with your family and friends. Take care, stay safe and I hope to be able to write to you next week.
TT Environmental Ltd