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More growth ahead for chemical management workloads, says survey

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Half of companies plan to increase the number staff working on chemical compliance in the next 12 months. And two thirds will do so over the next five years, according to preliminary results from this year’s Chemical Watch annual survey of global chemical management and control activities.

Similar numbers will increase their use of external service providers over the two timeframes. As with the same survey last year, these figures suggest the global drivers for chemical regulation activity remain strong.

The survey – for which Chemical Watch is seeking more responses in order to provide a more accurate and granular analysis – is due to close on 31 January. Individuals participating will be entitled to a free copy of the results and a printed copy of the Chemical Watch Service Providers Guide 2016 when it is published in late spring.

Take the 2016 Chemicals Management & Control Survey

Preliminary findings include:

Regulatory drivers and sector trends:

  • REACH and the CLP Regulation remain the main global drivers of chemical regulation (83% cited REACH, 45% mentioned CLP regulation);
  • within REACH, 2018 registration activities are cited by 61% of respondents, while 49% say the SVHC obligations are driving their current workload;
  • 46% of the sample mentions at least one US-based regulation. The HazCom 2012 (GHS) standard tops the list, with 24% of respondents citing it; and 
  • in Asia, China and South Korea remain the focus of activities, with 42% and 31% citing regulations in these countries as main drivers. A further 22% cite Taiwan and 18% specify regulations from Japan.

Careers and salary:

  • the average salary increase, at participants’ last pay review, is 2.6% (excluding promotions). In Europe, the average is 1.6%, in North America 2.4% and in the rest of world, 6.3%;
  • perception of job security is slightly down on last year with 19% saying their role is more secure than last year compared with 23% claiming the equivalent in the previous survey. Most say their role is similarly secure;
  • as with last year, 33% say the numbers of chemicals management and control professional staff will increase over the next 12 months compared with 9% who say the numbers will decrease; and
  • the proportion of respondents who say they are satisfied with their job has stayed stable at 57% this year. However only 35% feel opportunities to progress are good in their current role, compared with 61% who feel there are opportunities to progress in the wider market.

The average salary for a chemical management control professional is €46,600, up marginally on the previous year. For those that receive a bonus, the average is 11.7%, again up slightly on the previous year.

Service provider usage:

  • overall, 72% of participants are satisfied with their experience of service providers, similar to last year, but still down on our first survey in 2010 when 88% of respondents were satisfied;
  • users are most satisfied with technical knowledge (69%), meeting the brief (63%) and their personal relationship (59%), and least satisfied with the price of the service (28%), adding value on top of agreed deliverables (29%), the service provider should have experience in all countries in which the client operates (37%); and
  • 60% claim they may possibly change suppliers in 2016, up from 53% in last year’s survey.

Emma Chynoweth, Chemical Watch managing editor, says: "The Chemical Watch annual benchmarking ‘state of the sector’ survey again suggests that the demands on global chemical compliance teams remain strong, as companies prepare for the REACH 2018 deadline, manage SVHC obligations, and seek compliance with regulations in other countries as they are enacted and implemented.

"Teams are still getting larger, job security and prospects are solid, and the use of external service providers is increasing."

Take the 2016 Chemicals Management & Control Survey

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