Chemical safety figures improve

The chemical industry is getting safer and cleaner.

Figures released by the Chemical Industries Association show 0.32 reportable accidents per 100,000 hours worked – a record low.

The breakdown of 1998’s figures shows the number of major injuries dropping to around a third of 1997 levels and other injuries causing longer absences from work falling from 569 to 491.

However, three chemical workers died in 1997 – two deaths were caused by falls, and a third by an electrical explosion.

Other figures released in the CIA’s annual statistical review showed the industry to be 15% more energy efficient than in 1990. Volatile organic compounds emissions in 1998 fell to 44% of the 1990 level. Discharges of the most toxic `red list’ substances in 1988 were at 4% of 1990 levels.