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UK chemicals industry gets thumbs up

By PRW Staff
Posted 3 October 2012

The UK’s chemical industry has come out on top of a European poll which measured the region’s chemical sectors based on reputation, energy efficiency and other factors.

In a reputation index the general population scored the European chemical industry at 56.5, but the UK scored 63.8 – higher than any other country in the survey.

The Europe-wide survey conducted by polling company APCO sought the opinions of 6,000 adults in 10 European countries on 16 discreet dimensions including safe use, environment, plant safety, energy efficiency, competitiveness, emissions, economic impact and waste disposal.

In the survey 'opinion leaders' gave the industry in the UK an even stronger backing with 65.8, against an average across Europe of 58.6.

Four key reputation areas of safety, environment, engagement and innovation/competitiveness were used to assess the performance of the industry.

Steve Elliott, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said he was pleased that the chemical industry in Europe was seen as an increasing force for good and that the UK industry had itself scored well.  

“Whilst there is no room for complacency, these results reflect a great deal of hard work by our member companies and I encourage all employees to continue to highlight the positive contribution they and their companies make to people’s quality of life,” Elliott added.

Comment on this article.


I am sure that the good reputation that the chemical and related industries such as rubber and plastics have, which has resulted in an excellent score on the "reputation index" is down to the changes in culture that has come from the effort of the HSE over many decades. It was the HSE rules and audits of the North Sea oil industry that avoided an identical incident to the one in the Gulf Coast. Shortly unannounced factory audits by the HSE are to be stopped, and will inevitably lead to those who previously did not take care of their employees safety, taking even less care. This has been made worse by the fact that instances leading to time off work (RIDOR) have already been revised from 3 days off to 5 days off, but as there will be no surprise visits by an HSE inspector to worry about, I doubt that those companies that currently flaunt the rules will report 5 day absences accurately. In time these two changes alone will change the general public’s impression of how safe industry generally, and the chemical industry specifically actually is. It will therefore be interesting to see the results in 5 years time if the survey is repeated.

- 03 October 2012 - Chris Wheeler

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