RESPONSIBLE CARE® and the Chemical Industry Written by:
Deborah Hooper / Global Manager, Transportation Compliance and Emergency Response / The Lubrizol Corporation
Responsible Care® is the environmental, health, safety, and security performance initiative for the chemical manufacturing industry. For more than 30 years, this initiative has helped American Chemistry Council (ACC) member companies enhance their environmental, health, and safety performance, and improve the health and safety of their employees, the health and safety for residents within communities where they operate, and improve the environmental impact as a whole.
Today, Responsible Care® is a voluntary global initiative visible in over 60 countries. The initiative began with the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association in the mid-1980s in response to public concerns about environmental, health and safety issues. The initiative was then adopted and expanded in 1988 by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), then known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA), for the U.S. chemical industry. This initiative continues to be accepted and supported within various countries as an integral part of a global initiative.
Within each company, Responsible Care® started with the introduction of Seven (7) Codes of Practice. The identification and development of best practices within each of these codes was essential to implementation. The Seven Codes of Practice included:
Community Awareness and Emergency Response
Employee Health and Safety
The Distribution Code had twenty-one (21) best practices that helped shape its development and implementation. The distribution practices focused on the following activities:
Regulatory Training and Compliance
Value Chain Safety and Security
Responsible Care® has evolved into a sustainability standard with member companies and transport partner companies working together to improve environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) performance for facilities, processes and products throughout the development, manufacture, distribution and disposition of chemicals. The Seven (7) codes and their best practices have evolved into Ten (10) Guiding Principles:
Recognize and respond to public concerns about chemicals and their production.
Develop chemicals that can be manufactured, transported, used, and disposed of in a safe manner.
Make environmental, health and safety performance a priority for all products and processes.
Report chemical-related hazards and recommend protective measures to all concerned.
Counsel customers on the safe use, transportation, and disposal of chemical products.
Operate plants and facilities according to environmental, health and safety standards.
Conduct and support research on the effects of chemical products, processes, and waste materials.
Co-operate to resolve problems created by past handling and disposal of hazardous substances.
Participate in creating responsible laws, regulations, and standards to safeguard the community, workplace, and environment.
Promote Responsible Care by sharing experiences and assisting others who produce, handle, use, transport or dispose of chemicals.
What does this mean to a company? The Responsible Care® initiative provides a framework of priorities and practices to build, maintain and improve EHS&S performance for chemicals throughout their life cycle. It is a sustainable initiative that promotes opportunities for companies to work together with other members and with transport partner companies to achieve common goals. A proactive, regular review of practices, processes and standard operating procedures is essential for companies to maintain and improve their global support for distribution and emergency preparedness activities for all countries, all modes, and all regions. Success may be measured by the development and use of standards, and the identification and implementation of external partners. The goal is management of global distribution and emergency response activities, including regions with fewer resources and less infrastructure.
Global Legal Standards for Emergency Telephone Numbers
Introduction This article was adapted from an NCEC handout of the same name. NCEC and OURAY had teamed together to offer a complete package of notification and emergency response services for the APAC region. Most legislators require organizations to include an emergency telephone number on transport documentation and safety data sheets before they can be distributed. Since regulations are typically established at the national level, the conditions of their implementation vary from country to country. This has an impact on the practical aspects of the emergency telephone number requirement, such as the language spoken; whether it is a local or international number; or if the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To avoid the commercial and legal implications of non-compliance, those transporting or supplying hazardous goods must ensure that the emergency telephone numbers they provide meet the requirements of every country in which they operate. Requirements for emergency telephone numbers are sometimes defined in a country's dangerous goods regulations. However, more often, the requirement is due to the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and national safety data sheet regulations. In addition to the various national requirements, a 24-hour emergency telephone number is required for international air transport. This is due to variations in the state and airline operator regulations for transporting dangerous goods. This document is an introduction to the international standards for emergency telephone numbers and is for guidance only. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list. Full reference to the applicable national and international regulations should be used before transporting dangerous goods or offering hazardous materials for supply. Any fines stated do not include the costs of enforcement and/or prosecution. These are usually added on, resulting in the actual cost being much higher than the fine. In addition, goods and/or vehicles may be seized or impounded and additional charges levied. Please note the following use of terminology in the table below: · ‘No’ is used where legislation, regulations or standards have explicitly stated that this is not a requirement. · ‘Unspecified’ is used where legislation, regulations or standards have not stipulated either way. · ‘Expectation’ is used where legislation, regulations or standards have not been specified, but through discussion with regulators and clients we have been informed it is an expectation of the service.
Australia – Regulation 14.2.1 of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code Edition 7.4 sets out the requirements for a competent dangerous goods advisory service telephone number to be included on the vehicle placards for dangerous goods. This telephone number must also be included on the transport documentation for dangerous goods transported in bulk containers, portable tanks, tank vehicles or receptacles that have a capacity of more than 500 litres or a net mass of 500kg.
The Safe Work Australia Code of Practice, Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals, December 2011, states that the safety data sheet must include ‘Australian emergency contact information. The emergency information available through this service should be available outside of working hours.’
Failure to comply with the Australian Dangerous Goods Code can result in a fine of up to AUD1 100,000 or 4 years’ imprisonment being levied.
New Zealand – Regulation 8 of the New Zealand Hazardous Substances (Emergency Management) Regulations 2001 Part 2 requires a 24-hour emergency telephone number to be provided with the substance (e.g. via a safety data sheet). Regulation 39 of the Hazardous Substances (Identification) Regulations 2001 requires that all emergency management information be included on documentation. The Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 (as amended 2011) requires that there should be an emergency information panel on vehicles carrying dangerous goods and this should include a 24-hour emergency telephone number.
Maximum infringement fines (instant fines) of NZD2 2,000 apply to individuals and NZD 10,000 for companies. More serious offences may result in court action, with maximum penalties of NZD 10,000 for an individual and NZD 50,000 for a company. The penalties are listed in the Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999.
China – The State Council of China published the Regulations on the Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals in China, which states that all hazardous chemicals, prior to import or manufacture in China, must be registered. This requires that companies involved in the import and manufacture of chemicals comply with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) Article 5-6, Chapter 2 and Article 22, Chapter 4, Order 53. These have clear rules that state only registration institutions (33 in total – in each province of China, the National Registration Centre for Chemicals (NRCC) and SAWS in Qingdao) are qualified to provide an emergency response service.
The Articles also require that the emergency response service must be provided through a fixed-line (local in-country) telephone, with professional support available 24 hours a day and have:
· An emergency response database for hazardous chemicals.
· Online digital recording devices and at least eight professional responders.
· The capability of offering at least three emergency response phone calls simultaneously.
· The professionalism to consult accurately on emergency issues such as chemical leakage, fire, explosion and poisoning.
The General Rules for Preparation of Precautionary Label for Chemicals (GB 15258-2009), the Safety Data Sheet for Chemical Products Content and Order of Sections (GB/T 16483-2008) and the Guidance on Compilation of Safety Data Sheet for Chemical Products (GB/T 17519- 2013) state that, prior to import or manufacture in China, the emergency telephone number of the supplier should be present on safety data sheets and labels.
Failure to comply with dangerous goods legislation can have very serious consequences for those involved. Companies failing to comply with the Chinese standards are prohibited from manufacturing and distributing in China or importing into China. Foreign companies need to have a full appreciation of the legislative landscape or use a partner that is experienced in compliance with these regulations to ensure that the required standards are met.
NCEC has partnered with NRCC to provide a seamless emergency response service that is compliant in China.
India – The following regulation is still in draft form and is pending ratification.
Under the Hazardous Substances (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules 2011 Section 8.3.d, all labels must contain a 24-hour emergency telephone number, which must be answered in English or Hindi.
The Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, rule 134 (iv) states that every carriage carrying dangerous or hazardous goods must be labeled with an emergency placard with the ‘telephone number of the consignor of the dangerous or hazardous goods or of some other person from whom expert information and advice can be obtained concerning the measures that should be taken in the event of an emergency involving such goods.’
Japan – Legal requirements for chemicals in Japan are implemented by four main pieces of legislation. These are the Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL), Law for Pollutant Release and Transfer Register and Promotion of Chemical Management Law (PRTR), Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL), and Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law. The requirements for an emergency telephone number are laid out in the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) Z 7253:2012 Hazard communication of chemicals based on GHS – Labelling and Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
Malaysia – Under the Malaysia Road Transport (Construction and Use) (Dangerous Goods Vehicles) Rules 2015, a hazard warning panel must be placed on the back of a vehicle carrying dangerous goods and it must display the name of the manufacturer of the dangerous goods and telephone number to be contacted.
Under the Malaysian Standard on Globally Harmonized System (GHS) For Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (MS 1804:2008), safety data sheets ‘shall include the local emergency telephone number (24 hours) in Malaysia (including area code) where advice can be obtained. If the hazardous chemical is imported, the foreign manufacturer’s contact number (24 hours) may be included for advice during an emergency.’
The Industry Code of Practice On Chemicals Classification and Hazard Communication 2014 parts 188.8.131.52.2 and 184.108.40.206.3 further set out the requirement for a 24-hour emergency telephone number on safety data sheets. The safety data sheet must be written in the local language and English as set out in the Classification, Labelling and Safety Data Sheet (CLASS) Regulations [P.U.(A) 310/2013].
CLASS regulation Part V section 6 lays out the penalties for contravening the regulations – parties are liable to a fine of up to MYR3 10,000 or imprisonment for 1 year.
Philippines – Regulations are implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order No 2015-09: GHS Guidance Manual on Chemical Classification, SDSs and Labels. Annex E, 220.127.116.11 of this Order advises that an emergency telephone number is required on safety data sheets and any stipulations on the types of calls it can take or times of use must be included. If a foreign telephone number is supplied, then a Philippine number must also be provided.
Taiwan – The implementation of GHS in Taiwan is achieved through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act (2015) and CNS 6864 Labels of Dangerous Materials Standard. The Regulation of Labelling and Hazard communication of Hazardous Chemicals provides legislation that states safety data sheets must show an emergency telephone number that guarantees connection and response 24 hours a day. Responders need to be able to deal with incident response enquiries.
Thailand – Under the Labour Protection Act, the Notification on the Hazard Classification and Communication System for Hazardous Substances (B.E. 2555) (2012) states that an emergency telephone number must be included on all safety data sheets.
South Korea – The Standard for Classification and Labelling of Chemical Substance and Material Safety Data Sheet (Ministry of Employment and Labour Announcement No. 2016-19) states that emergency telephone contact information must be included on the safety data sheet. This must be an in-country number with advice provided in Korean.
This article was adapted from an NCEC handout of the same name.
NCEC is the world's leading 24/7 chemical emergency response centre and the can be reached by the following channels:
Sales and enquiries: +44 (0) 1235 753654
APAC Chemical Response – Moving forward and on-time
As an update to the progress being made to provide comprehensive chemical emergency response to the region, OURAY continues to move forward and is still running on time to be ready by January of 2022. With the commitment of Chemours to provide their cash of highly specialized transfer and response equipment as well as OURAY’s completion of our current project in the Philippines will give the Singapore location all of the equipment needed for full and comprehensive emergency response up-to level A PPE protection of TIH incidents.
OURAY currently has a crew in the Philippines completing a “High-Hazard” product neutralization and, once complete, all the equipment utilized for that project will be shipped to Singapore to be combined with the Chemours equipment. We are also well into the process of incorporating a new entity there “OURAY Singapore” to help our regional clients manage contract negotiations. OURAY Singapore, PTE, LTD will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of OURAY Environmental Services, LLC (a Colorado, USA company).
Here is some of the equipment that will be on-hand:
It’s been a busy start to the summer for OURAY. After over a year, we were finally able to return to the Philippines to complete a high-hazard chemical neutralization project there and we were called as a primary responder to the chemical plant fire in Rockton, Illinois, USA. All this plus maintaining our normal work through the process.