Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.14 10 Oct 2019


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Irish firms who may be increasing stocks of chemicals ahead of the Brexit deadline on October 31st are being reminded to ensure they are stored safely.

The alert has been issued from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Its assistant chief executive Yvonne Mullooly has urged companies to fulfil their legal obligations, and review their chemical risk assessments for storage of hazardous chemicals on their sites.

She said: "As the Brexit clock ticks down, we are aware that some companies have been increasing their stocks of raw materials for the manufacturing of components or finished goods on premises and warehouses across Ireland.

"There is an understandable reason for this, as some supply chains will change as a result of Brexit.

"If storing higher than usual quantities of chemicals, employers are increasing their risk of incidents or of reaching thresholds under the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations.

"The use and storage of hazardous chemicals, which may be flammable, explosive or toxic in nature, presents one of the highest hazards in warehouses and drumstores.

She added: "Apart from the risk of fire, stockpiling could also lead to chemicals being stored in close proximity to other chemicals that are incompatible with one another.

"The HSA is strongly urging employers to review their current chemical risk assessments to take account of excess supplies on site, and to ensure that any additional control measures are in place".

Employers are also being reminded to report all chemical incidents.

Ms Mullooly said: "If an employee is injured as a result of a chemical exposure incident, or if there is an uncontrolled or accidental release of a hazardous substance on site, employers must report the incident to the authority using our online accident and dangerous occurrences reporting system here.

"Non-fatal accidents or dangerous occurrences must be reported within 10 working days of the event".

The HSA's safety message comes ahead of European Week for Safety and Health at Work.

Beginning on October 21st, the week is a highlight of the 'Healthy Workplaces' campaign, which this year continues on the theme of managing dangerous substances at work.

Companies are also encouraged to obtain up to date information regarding the trading and use of chemicals in preparation of Brexit from the HSA website.

Any queries relating to the safe supply, use and management of chemicals can be directed to the HSA chemicals helpdesk on chemicals@hsa.ie or 1890-289-389


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Brexit Chemicals Extra Chemicals HSA Health And Safety Authority Ireland Irish Firms Stockpiling Storing Extra Chemicals Yvonne Mullooly

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