CBA Guidance Covers Hydrofluoric-Acid Distribution

The Chemical Business Association (CBA) has issued guidance for its member companies on the distribution of packaged hydrofluoric acid. Originally issued in May 2009, the guidance has now received the formal endorsement of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has allowed it to set standards for the whole chemical supply chain, rather than just CBA member companies. In a forward to the guidance, Peter Baker, head of the HSE's Chemical Industries Division, wrote: 'The hydrofluoric-acid sector has a good safety record.

'However, the severity of the hazard is such that there is a need to promote continuous improvements in safety standards,' he added. Peter Newport, the CBA's director, said: 'Hydrofluoric acid may not be a high-volume substance in the UK, but it is one of the most hazardous substances distributed. 'It is essential for it to be handled and transported safely as even minor skin contact can result in severe injuries,' he added. The guidance covers: the initial risk assessment; transportation and site security; handling; storage and personal protective equipment; employee training and awareness; storage and filling operations; and first-aid materials and procedures.

It also provides cross references to relevant legislation as well as sources of further information. 'Our guidance takes companies step by step through the safe procedures for handling and transporting hydrofluoric acid and aims to promote continuous improvements in the standards of safety associated with its distribution,' said Newport. Baker continued: 'The HSE believes that the CBA's guidance sets out good practice for the chemical industry involved in the handling, storage and distribution of hydrofluoric acid and commends its use. 'HSE inspectors will refer to the guidance in assessing site standards,' he added.


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