Half of manufacturers not yet ready for 2000

Half of Britain’s manufacturing companies are putting the environment at risk by failing to ensure their systems are millennium compliant, the Environment Agency has warned. The agency, which surveyed 400 companies in England and Wales, found that utilities and chemicals were best prepared for the year 2000, but manufacturers were around average. The Chemical Industries […]

Half of Britain’s manufacturing companies are putting the environment at risk by failing to ensure their systems are millennium compliant, the Environment Agency has warned.

The agency, which surveyed 400 companies in England and Wales, found that utilities and chemicals were best prepared for the year 2000, but manufacturers were around average.

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) said many chemicals sites would be extending health, safety and environmental precautions over the New Year period. These include running on manual control, reducing throughput, having extra staff on standby and even having a 24-48-hour shut-down over the millennium date-change period.

But one of the biggest concerns is about events outside the direct control of the chemical industry, the CIA warned. These include utility supply, transport and distribution, and strain on the emergency services if problems arise.

{{Analysis of preparedness for the millennium by industry sector (%)

Good Medium Poor

Agriculture 16 9 67Wood production 21 50 29Paper industry 27 64 9All manufacturing 47 40 13Mining/quarrying 50 36 14Food manufacture 50 44 6Chemical industry 69 25 5Utilities 89 11 0Overall 42 35 23

Source: Environment Agency}}