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Published: 21st January 2020

An incident is just the tip of the iceberg, a sign of a much larger problem below the surface…

Incident at the Aesica Cramlington API Facility

Consort Medical, a leading developer and manufacturer of drugs and premium drug delivery devices announced that there was a recent incident in its Cramlington manufacturing facility.

Fortunately, there were no injuries incurred in the incident, a small area of the operating plant was damaged by the rapid thermal degradation of a chemical resulting in the expulsion of material and contamination of the facility.

The financial impact has not been accurately quantified at this stage as it will depend on factors including the timing and results of the investigation.

However, the initial expectation is that the Group’s profit is likely to be negatively impacted by between £3 million to £5 million in the current financial year.

Incidents such as this can be avoided by assessing your competence management and highlighting flaws in your current safety procedures. Flawed systems can and will lead to negative outcomes.

Most organisations are concerned about potential cost implications of major incidents but are less concerned about actual costs incurred as a result of more frequent, minor events.

The majority of COMAH sites report that they do not know how much accidents or work-related illnesses cost their business every year. Few attempts are made to quantify the cost of health and safety failures. Limited time and resources, perceived complexity and lack of expertise are the most cited barriers to conducting accident/work-related ill health cost assessments.

What costs should be considered?

There are several variables & costs to consider when calculating the outcome of poor process safety management. Each individual case will depend on the type of incident or injury.

However, generally they would typically include the following…

  • Incident costs
  • Investigation costs
  • Damage costs
  • Replacement costs
  • Productivity costs
  • Administration costs

If you are concerned about how much smaller incidents are costing your business, it may be time to start thinking about this more seriously.

A Competence Management Review from Cogent Skills can help you take an in-depth look business systems and procedures, to develop a long-term, bespoke plan of interventions.

Remember safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.

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Cogent Skills is sector based, working with companies from across the Science and Technology Industries embracing Life Sciences, Industrial Sciences and Nuclear.
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