Chemical hazard solutions for the public sector

Established in 1973, the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) was set up by the UK Government to provide emergency response support to incidents involving hazardous chemicals. 

Today, we are proud to support public services around the world with emergency response support, safety information on thousands of chemicals, and access to expert advice and training. 

Solutions for chemical incident first responders

Providing tailored training courses for responding to and managing chemical emergency or hazmat incidents. With off-the-shelf and bespoke training options, each package balances technical requirements with tactical understanding of how to respond to a live incident and are delivered in person or via e-learning by qualified chemists and hazmat experts with a background in emergency response. Free half-day training courses available for UK emergency services.

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Chemsafe is the chemical industry’s voluntary scheme for providing expert advice to the emergency services in the event of a chemical emergency. Designed to deliver a rapid and co-ordinated response following a chemical incident to minimise the risks to people, the environment, assets and reputation, the service is funded by the Department for Transport and the Chemical Industries Association.

The National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC), operated by Ricardo, has performed a central role in the scheme since 1973 by providing chemical expertise, advice and guidance, along with access to an extensive database of chemical product information, including products no longer manufactured. 

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Acting as a first port of call for emergency response advice and recommended actions when tackling spillages, fires and decontamination, the Chemdata app contains information on over 62,000 chemical substances and is trusted by first responders and fire and rescue services around the world.

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The ‘must attend’ event for hazmat professionals. This knowledge and experience sharing event sees hazmat professionals and industry leaders from across the globe deliver world-class presentations, case studies and practical, hands-on workshops in a friendly and welcoming environment.  Sessions cover multiple subjects for multi-agency representation and give delegates the opportunity to tailor their experience by registering for optional sessions.

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Access the latest regulatory publication listing the Emergency Action Codes legally required to be displayed on chemical carrying road or rail vehicle placards which advise of the initial response to be provided when blue-light services arrive on the scene (e.g. can fire fighters use water or will it make the situation worse). Published every two years by the NCEC on behalf of the Home Office, and in collaboration with The Stationary Office.

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Through the years we have developed an in-depth knowledge of the global chemical marketplace and its critical interactions with stakeholders – from regulator to supply chain. This insight and understanding enables us to support governments, public bodies and policy makers worldwide.

Our unique experience and specialist knowledge of the global chemical sector is only strengthened through being part of the Ricardo Group, as our chemical experts are supported by 2,900 engineers, scientists and consultants across a global network of technical centres and client offices enabling us to bring multi-disciplinary expertise to the chemical sector.

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The National Chemical Emergency Centre NCEC, operated by Ricardo, are conducting a project on behalf of the UK Department for Transport (DfT), part of which aims to raise awareness and promote the reporting requirements for dangerous goods incidents that occur on the road network.

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Hazmat Incidentresponse

Case studies

DGO & Hazardous Materials ANZ

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Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Safety and Health 2024

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Guidelines for Level 1 chemical emergency response

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Chemical hazard solutions for the public sector Resources

Overview of the proposed 'universal' restriction proposal for PFAS

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Improving incident readiness through effective, practical testing

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How to identify if an emergency response service provides advice or just information.

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5 steps to ensure your telephone emergency response service meets best practice guidelines

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Meet the experts

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Ed Sullivan

Head of Chemical and Response Training

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Craig Thomson (1)

Craig Thomson

Head of Chemical Risk (Chemical Sector Lead)

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Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes

Associate Director

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