CBA/SIA guidance on safe use of IBCs


Author unit / section: HID CI 4B

Target audience: HID staff in CI 1-4 (Bands 0-4), relevant FOD Inspectors


This SPC draws inspectors' attention to guidance (ref 1)  prepared jointly for their members by the Chemical Business Association (CBA, formerly the BCDTA) and the Solvent Industries Association (SIA). It was issued in March 2008.


A number of high profile events have been caused or exacerbated by the poor use, control or storage of Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs).  Work by HSL has shown how vulnerable IBCs are in fires.

CBA and SIA have been keen to draw up advice for their members that captures current legislation and good practice.  With input from HSE they have now prepared and published that guidance. The guidance stresses the importance of assessment and management of risk.  The guidance includes a foreword by the head of HID CI Division indicating that inspectors will use the guide in judging duty holders' compliance with the relevant law. In many cases adoption of the principles in the guidance will assure high standards.  As always inspectors will need to consider the relevance of the guidance in any given situation and where higher standards are justified by risk take appropriate action.  Specialist support should be sought where needed.

Action by inspectors

Inspectors should note the guidance and use it as part of their judgements of dutyholders' compliance with statutory obligations.

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Updated 10.03.11