The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has published a new set of guidelines for the supply and transport of hazardous materials to help chemical companies deliver best practice in telephone chemical emergency response.
Chemical companies in Europe have to include a telephone number on supply and transport documentation for hazardous goods which can be called to provide emergency response advice during a chemical incident. 
The new CEFIC guidelines, which have been adopted by all National Intervention in Chemical Transport Emergencies (ICE) Centres in Europe, include more of the requirements for an emergency response service. These include the need to provide robust and reliable telephone infrastructure that can receive and handle calls 24/7, with fast connection to a chemical expert.
The guidelines also say that the emergency responder should have access to the relevant safety data sheets (SDS) and be able to provide advice according to the circumstances of the incident. According to the new guidelines, this should be provided by a trained technical expert, typically a university graduate chemist, who has knowledge and tactical awareness of chemicals, chemical behaviour and hazards across a range of incident types. 
The guidance also includes features for best practice beyond immediate telephone response, including the recommendation that SDS should be notified with the relevant poison centres.

This story is reprinted from material from CEFIC, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.