NEWS IN BRIEF

Accident lessons

The Institution of Chemical Engineers has developed an accident database containing details of over 10,500 chemical and oil industry accidents and near misses. It will help companies comply with the Control of Major Accident Hazard regulations, which require firms to provide proof that lessons have been learned from past mistakes.

Steel prices rise

World steel prices are rising and recovery is in sight, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It forecasts a general recovery in steel demand and production from 2000. Global steel prices will pick up from the middle of this year, and it forecasts a 4.5% rise in global steel demand in 2000.

Training criticism

Britain’s 70 national training organisations, representing 90% of employers, have called for the creation of a national learning and skills council to remove the distinction between academic and vocational qualifications. They want a more customer-focused system for education and training which is driven by employers, not institutions and suppliers.

Talk back, take back

The mobile phone industry has launched a campaign to recycle old mobile phones. Under the scheme, called Take Back, users will be able to pass on their unwanted handsets, batteries and chargers to 400 high-street and regional recycling points, either in person or by post.