The UK National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) – part of Ricardo-AEA – celebrated its 40th year of successful operation yesterday and underscored its position as one of the world’s most experienced chemical emergency response organizations
Endorsed by the UK government and supported by industry through bodies such as the Chemical Industries Association, NCEC has provided a fast response service of expert advice and assistance during chemical emergencies since 1973. While originally focused solely upon the UK, the organization now has an international customer base including hundreds of companies in the chemical supply chain and around 50 percent of the world’s biggest 100 chemical manufacturers. NCEC currently receives around 4,500 calls per year in all world languages and employs a specialist chemical emergency response team at its Oxfordshire headquarters.
To coincide with its 40th anniversary celebrations, NCEC hosted a seminar on future global regulatory challenges affecting the international chemicals industry at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. The seminar and reception that followed was attended by senior representatives from government, regulatory agencies, and the organization’s many partners around the world.
“NCEC is a highly successful collaboration between industry, governments and regulatory agencies around the world that delivers a vitally needed unrelenting focus on safety and on a fast response to chemical emergencies,” commented Jonathan Gibbard, NCEC delivery manager. “The organization is a unique collaboration that – with the support of key partners including the Chemical Industries Association and Department for Transport here in the UK – has delivered 40 years’ service in this important role for chemical safety and emergency response. With an increasingly international orientation based on our many overseas partnerships and alliances, NCEC provides much-needed advice to its customers as well as support to the emergency services in the event of an incident, benefitting from access to shared training and close communications with its key industry stakeholders on a global basis.”
Ricardo plc CEO Dave Shemmans added: “When Ricardo-AEA was formed through acquisition a year ago, we were hugely attracted by the opportunity to bring NCEC into the Ricardo family. NCEC is a world-leading organization in its field, which has set global standards in chemical risk management over the last 40 years. Its mission is to provide services and knowledge that allow chemical emergencies to be avoided wherever possible, and when they do occur, to be dealt with quickly and safely. With its increasingly international presence and global success, I look forward to working with the management of NCEC to see it further grow and develop as part of Ricardo.”