Posted by Charlotte Salter, on October 13, 2016.
A REACH toolkit, website optimisation and protection from online threats were among the diverse features of the regular UKCPI regional meeting on October 12.
More than 20 representatives from a range of member companies attended the event, which began with an eye-opening presentation by Tony Powell from BSI Group on defences against the dark arts of online attacks.
|■ Neil Powell
Mr Powell outlined how Cyber Essentials, a government initiative, provided a thorough assessment of a company’s website and IT infrastructure to ensure it met essential standards.
He explained how easy fixes could prevent serious damage: “One of our clients was effectively held to ransom. Five sites were shut down for five days, and it cost them around £50,000 to put it right.
“They could have closed that vulnerability for about £1,000 but they didn’t know it existed.”
“It’s all about information risk management, because every company has data it needs to protect.”
Mr Powell outlined new regulations on data protection which is expected to come into effect in 2018, and will result heavy fines if companies fail to protect personal data, including payroll information.
|■ Francesca Angiulli
Francesca Angiulli, Technical & Regulatory Affairs Manager at AISE, went through the REACH tools provided by AISE, as well as discussing some of the most relevant downstream user duties which members need to be aware of with regard to supply chain communication.
She pointed out that the mechanism set out in the legislation is composed of several steps and a good exchange of information between suppliers, formulators and end-users is essential for the machinery to work effectively.
A key part of her message was the importance of identifying the relevant uses and risk management measures in the exposure scenarios received by suppliers in order to use products safely. She recommended members make use – through AISE – of the guidance provided by the Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES): “There are many challenges, which is why ENES was created to help companies identify best practice and ensure compliance with REACH.”
|■ Gareth Duggan
UKCPI Communications Officer Gareth Duggan gave a presentation on the potential for companies to improve the effectiveness of their company websites through simple, focused work to optimise content for both Google and for human users.
In particular he identified the need to consider the needs, interests and motivations of users, as this would make it easier to provide high quality content that drew the right attention from the right people. He also explained some techniques for identifying keywords, using website analytics data and the use of different principles to attract and hold the attention of site users.
|■ Philip Malpass
UKCPI Director General Philip Malpass gave an overview of the current state of Brexit discussions and how UKCPI is representing its members by responding directly as UKCPI but also through various industry and sector groups such as the Alliance of Chemical Associations, Trade Association Forum and the CBI. He explained that UKCPI has already made a submission to the department for business (BEIS) and DEFRA following a request for input on what members would like to see in a post-Brexit regulatory landscape.
He described most other associations he had spoken with as sharing UKCPI’s general feelings: “We are all going in the same direction at the moment. The next step is to see whether we can maintain that sort of consensus.”
He stressed the need to get feedback from members about the challenges and opportunities they faced with Brexit, but was also clear that the dominant issue in Government circles at the moment was the conflict between free trade and freedom of movement.
|■ Steven Stewart
Rounding off the day, UKCPI Technical Manager Steven Stewart discussed the latest developments in harmonised reporting to poison centres, and he explained that these would involve all formulations having a 16-digit, 23-character code printed on the packaging.
When medical practitioners contact a poison centre seeking advice on treating someone exposed to a product, the poison centres could use the code to identify a product from the data submitted by the anufaturer and advise on diagnosis and treatment.