Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry Noticeboard


Date: 22/12/2020


“Existing measures (e.g. social distancing, ventilation, hand hygiene and mask usage) remain important, but given the increase in risk associated with the new variant, strengthening the measures taken may be needed” 

 This means that: 

  • Risk assessments need to be reviewed and revised – the risk has increased (as virus is more infectious), so the full set of measures now need to be implemented to the fullest. 
  • The risk assessment will look similar – risk ratings should be higher numbers; colours switch from yellow/orange to red; list of measures should be longer and more detailed. 

 Many essential workplaces will have these in place but to remind everyone, in particular those measures in bold which are likely to be more relevant to factories. 

 Measures 1 

  •  Every worker who can work from home must do so 
  •  All Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (Shielding) workers must remain at home 
  •  Standards of ventilation should be the highest achievable as per HSE/CIBSE/REHVA requirements 
  •  Social distancing must be rigorously adhered to in all areas including communal areas, common parts and canteens.  

Measures 2

  •  Welfare facilities must be provided to ensure that hand washing can be maintained. 
  •  Hygiene standards must be the highest achievable in terms of cleanliness and frequency of cleaning 
  •  Teams should be organised into the smallest units possible to minimise cross-exposure. Workers should remain in these teams with no intermingling as far as possible. 
  •  Working patterns should be organised to minimise numbers in the workplace to fewest needed at any given time. 

 Measure 3 

  •  All requirements for PPE and face coverings must be met in full, with access to supplies as needed. 
  •  Every worker who is in a group identified at being at higher risk from Covid-19 (older workers; pregnant workers; BAME workers; disabled workers; workers with underlying health conditions) should be individually assessed and suitable additional measures implemented. 
  •  All workers who are required to self-isolate must be able to do so without fear of any detriment – loss of pay; loss of holiday; disciplinary action. 


  •  Workplace Inspections, floor walks etc., daily if possible 
  •  Daily H&S Meetings on performance and local infection rates 
  •  Full Consultation on all Covid matters 
  •  Facility Time/Time Off with Pay for these activities. 
  •  Effective communication will be key to managing this period of high risk, and consultation structures will help to aid this.  

Eamon O'Hearn

GMB National Officer




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Previous Bulletins

2020 Bulletins

Date: 15/05/2020

CIA employers, GMB and other trade unions remain committed to ensuring that the protection of workers’ health and safety is vital. 

Mental health is an integral part of this and is confirmed in the UK chemical industry’s Responsible Care® Guiding Principles.

During these unprecedented times of change, necessitated by managing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that organisations develop and foster an effective and inclusive culture for good positive mental health and mental wellbeing. Factors both inside the workplace and external to it, i.e. those personal to us away from work, contribute to our mental health.

As we approach the 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24th May), CIA Employers, GMB and other trade unions are working together to:

  • Encourage organisations and workforces to do everything they can to promote positive cultures, and to raise awareness of good mental health and mental well-being - including signposting where support can be found.
  • To promote activities as part of raising awareness for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), contributing to its central theme of ‘kindness’ in order to help everyone during these uniquely difficult times.
  • Making available to all, and encouraging the use of, the new CIA interactive Mental Health & Wellbeing Indicator Tool and signpost guide, which form part of the CIA’s Health Leadership & Wellbeing Strategy Series.



Trade Unions and Chemical Industries Association Joint Statement



Key manufacturing sector employers and trade unions tell government to ‘Let us help’ 

The Chemical Industries Association and the trade unions who work in the UK chemical sector are united in their efforts to do all that is possible to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic and mitigate the social and economic impact. 

The Government needs to ensure that the workers employed in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors can get to work where they are needed for essential operations and that the industry’s raw material supplies and logistics remain intact. 

Chemical businesses and trade unions rightly commit to the highest standards of health & safety including Government instructions and advice on COVID-19. 

Chemical businesses and trade unions are working together to support the national need in tackling the pandemic. 

Eamon O’Hearn

GMB National Officer

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