Valerie Foster, Author at Chris Mee Group | CMSE - Page 2 of 13

What’s your Carbon FOODPRINT?

Fact: Approximately 50% of all man-made emissions Worldwide come from livestock agriculture.


Right, so we’ve all heard about our carbon footprint, but did you know that the most impactful thing that most of us can do to reduce our emissions is to change our diet?

Let us explain!

Greenhouse gas emissions occur at all seven stages of the general food supply chain.

  1. Land Use Change
  2. Farm
  3. Animal Feed
  4. Processing
  5. Transport
  6. Retail
  7. Packaging
Fact: Food transportation only accounts for approximately 11% of the overall greenhouse emissions involved in food production. This drops to 0.5% of total emissions for beef!


The figures show per one kilo of each food how many miles you need to drive to produce the equivalent greenhouse gases.

We can see that meat, cheese and eggs have the highest carbon footprint while fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts have much lower carbon footprints.

With this in mind it makes sense that a move towards a mainly vegetarian diet, can have a large impact on your personal carbon footprint.

Fact: A third of the food that British and American households buy goes to waste.

If going vegan is too dramatic for you, here are some other ways you can reduce your Carbon Footprint

  1. Reduce animal based consumption. By cutting down on red meats such as beef and lamb you can reduce your Foodprint by a quarter!
  2. Bring back home-cooking. Meal planning and eating leftovers are great ways to reduce food waste.
  3. Cooking smartly. Simmering on a stove-top is the most efficient cooking method. Gas ovens use only 6% of their energy to cook and electric ovens use 12%.
  4. Eat Organic. Organic farming methods for both crops and animals have a much lower impact on the environment than mass production methods.
  5. Save water. Filter your tap water for drinking rather than consuming energy and water-intensive bottled water. Take a shower rather than a bath. Turn off the taps when brushing your teeth.
  6. Shop wisely – And local! A long list of ingredients generally means a product is heavily processed and thus has a high carbon footprint. In general, frozen food has the highest carbon footprint.
  7. Reuse and recycle. Say no to plastic bags and bring your own bags when shopping. Reusable glass jars and plastic containers make great storage options.
Fact: 19 kg of Greenhouse Gas is produced in the production of 1kg of Chocolate!

Carbon Action part of Chris Mee Group is a leading provider of Enivronmental Carbon Emissions Consultancy across Europe.  

Our consultants specialise in Carbon Measurement & Footprinting, Carbon Verification and Auditing, Carbon Trading support, ESOS, EU-ETS Support, GHG Permits and more.

Have a question? Send us an enquiry from the box to the right, Email us at [email protected] or call +44 207 397 8500 for a confidential discussion.

Sources & More info:

EWG Website: The Environmental Working Group is an American activist group that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability. EWG is a non profit organization.


Schools Fire Hazard Warning – Storage of Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitiser consumption and demand has increased since the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year. Schools throughout Ireland are installing sanitising means for school children and staff which is an incredibly positive step for hygiene and reducing the spread of the virus.

As schools introduce new requirements for the use of hand sanitisers there is a need to recognise the fire risk of storing large quantities of hand sanitisers. Antibacterial hand sanitisers are manufactured using alcohol. Pure alcohol has a flashpoint of 13 degrees C and sanitisers with concentrations of 78% alcohol have a flashpoint of 15 degrees Celsius which creates a serious fire hazard if storing the product in bulk within a school or premises.

The storage and use of hand sanitisers in schools must be controlled as with any flammable liquid. The Health & Safety Authority (HSA) recommends hand sanitizer containing ~70% Alcohol, would be classified as flammable so significant storage at a workplace would increase the fire risk and they should be stored in a cool place away from sources of ignition. Quantities above 10 litres should be stored in a fireproof cabinet, fire rated compartment or an area covered by an automatic sprinkler system.

Hand sanitizers containers (used for refilling purposes at stations) should not left unattended in areas where students have access, in staff room or electrical switch-rooms.

Flammable substances materials must not be stored near access/ egress routes, fire exits, electrical equipment (appliances) or heating equipment (boilers, electrical heaters etc.). They should be stored in a well-ventilated storage area away from any potential sources of ignition.

It is also important to note that hand sanitizer should have an integrated drip tray or a tray underneath to catch spillages and they should never be installed above carpet or flammable surfaces.

Please check of this short video prepared by Dublin Fire Brigade showing the invisible nature of alcohol-based flames/burning.

It is also important that care is taken when filling hand sanitizer dispenser, avoid the use of mobile phones or smoking. Spillages should be cleaned up immediately. If your clothes get contaminated, remove them immediately and wash. Wash your hands with water after contamination when refilling hand sanitizers.  Do not smoke and keep clear of naked flames after using hand sanitizers. 

The importance now of holding regular fire drills cannot be over-stressed and having staff trained in the use of basic fire extinguishers. In the area where bulk volumes of alcohol based hand sanitizers are stored you must ensure the correct type of fire extinguisher is available (AFFF- Foam Based or Dry Powder type).

It is important that your school carries out a Risk Assessment into the safe use, handling and storage of hand sanitizers in the school, college or workplace. CMSE Consultancy provide a professional Health, Safety & Fire Service.

If you require further information or assistance please contact us via email at [email protected], by phone at 021 497 8100 or start an instant chat with us via the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

You may also be interested in:

  • Ethanol versus Methanol in Hand Sanitiser. Jake Bumpus and Aisling Hegarty, explore the recent surprise recall of a hand sanitiser based on its methanol content. Read More
  • Fire and Rescue Training Courses Read More
  • The Importance of Fire Doors Read More
  • Fire Safety Engineering Read More 
  • CMSE Consultancy PPE Services  Read More 
  • Face Masks vs Face Visors. Which is most effective? Read More

Hydrogen-powered bus takes to streets of Dublin

Over the coming weeks, as part of the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) initiative, the first hydrogen-powered public transport bus will be undergoing trials in Dublin.

To allow for the gathering of information on the practical operation of the bus across varying usage, traffic and weather conditions, the trial will continue until mid-December.  Several different routes will also be taken into account. These will be operated by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Dublin City University and Dublin Airport.  

An extensive rollout of hydrogen buses is expected in 2021.

When asked about Ireland moving it’s urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan was quoted as saying;

“..[it] is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities”.

Read the full article here




You may also be interested in:

  • Are Electric Vehicles Really the More Eco-friendly Option? Read More
  • Environmental Impact Assessments Read More
  • Ireland’s first electric bus takes to the road! Read More

CMSE Consultancy is and Carbon Action are industry leaders in Environmental services in Ireland and the UK. Carbon Emissions consultancy and training are available internationally. Click here for more info

Have a question? Chat to us instantly by clicking the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can click here to email [email protected]


53 safety investigations in the agriculture sector lead to 33% increase in imposed fines!

2019 saw 1,684 inspections and 53 investigations carried out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) across the agriculture sector.

According to the 2019 annual report for the HSA, 9,270 inspections were carried out across all sectors. These inspections lead to cumulative fines totalling €938,000 being imposed by the courts in response to prosecutions. This is a 33% increase on the 2018 figure of €705,972 in fines

Read the full story here

A breakdown of the inspections show;

  • 636 inspections related to livestock handling
  • 716 inspections related to Tractors, machinery and quads
  • 206 inspections related to working at height

You may also be interested in:

  • CMSE Safety Management & Gap Analysis Consultancy Read More
  • Latest Workplace Fatalities in 2020 Read More
  • The growing recognition prolonged postures as a Musculoskeletal hazard. Read More

Chris Mee Group are industry leaders in the areas of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) and Observational Based Safety programmes. Find out more about how BBS systems can help you to reduce accidents.

Have a question? Chat to us instantly by clicking the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can click here to email [email protected] 


Process Safety Blog

Over the next few weeks, Gary Horgan (CMSE Consultancy Manager at the Chris Mee Group) and his team will outline the path for companies to ensure they are compliant with Part 8 “Explosive Atmospheres at Places of Work” of the Health, Safety & Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulation 2007 in a series of focussed blogs.

Thankfully, the incidents of explosion in Ireland over the last 40 years is low. However, we cannot be complacent as while the likelihood of an explosion may be low at industrial facilities the consequences can be significant as outlined in the following explosion events.
It is very important that a detailed investigation is carried out into such serious events and lessons are learned by the management of the facilities. The detailed analysis of previous occurrences of accidental explosions unfortunately does not appear to be enough of an influencing factor to reduce the frequency and severity of such events. Despite developments and the substantial number of Directives and Statutory Regulations being in place in the UK, the EU, US, and other countries accidental explosion disasters continue to occur.

Explosion Accidents 2020

In the year to date in 2020 alone, there have been 13 accidental explosions noted globally. The following is a sample of events which resulted in more than 1 fatality:

January: Two explosions and a fire in a petrochemical complex in Tarragona Spain which kill 2 people and injured a further 7.

January: Manufacturing plant explosion litters debris killing two people in Houston, Texas U.S.

June: Gas explosion in Tehran killing 19 people and injuring at least 6 others

An explosion occurred in August 2020 in the city of Beirut in the port area. A massive explosion occurred in a warehouse used to store ammonium nitrate following a fire. The explosion caused widespread damage, killed 200 people, injured 5000 and made 300,000 temporarily homeless. This explosion investigation is still ongoing. The estimated cost of the damage is 10-15 billion dollars.

Explosion Accidents Ireland & UK

In Ireland this was clearly the case with the Whiddy Island explosion in 1979. The explosion in Bantry Bay killed 50 people, caused extensive damage to the oil terminal, and caused an environmental disaster. The operating companies Gulf and Total pleaded guilty in court and were fined.



Another explosion that is also regularly referred to in explosion case studies is the Hickson Chemical Plant explosion in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork in 1993.  There were no serious injuries, but the plant was extensively damaged. Hickson were prosecuted by the HSA, pleaded guilty and were fined.




An explosion occurred at the Corden Pharmaceutical plant in Little Island, Co Cork in 2008. The explosion killed one employee, seriously injured another employee, and did extensive damage to the process manufacturing facility. The company subsequently closed the following year with a loss of all 107 jobs. Corden pleaded guilty to four criminal offences under the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act including failure to determine the process risks and not implementing the necessary controls to manage the risks.


An explosion in Bosley Mill (Wood Treatment Limited) in 2015 killed four employees and destroyed the factory. The director and two managers of the company have been charged with corporate manslaughter by the Crown Prosecution Service under the Health & Safety at Work Act in the UK and are potentially facing jail, a criminal record and a significant fine. There were significant failings in the management of fire and explosion safety at this facility.




Road to Explosion Safety Compliance     

We must remember that compliance with Part 8 “Explosive Atmospheres at Places of Work” of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 2007 is the minimum requirement under law to be compliant and avoid prosecution. Many companies will go well beyond this minimum requirement to protect their people, neighbours, facilities, environment, business, and reputation.

At Chris Mee Group, our team of explosion safety consultants can help you navigate this difficult, complex area and provide competent practical support to ensure compliance. We have over 20 years’ experience in this area dealing with explosion hazards posed by gas, vapours and dust in a wide range of sectors including; Oil & Gas, Energy/Power Sector, Utilities, Pharmaceuticals, Food & Drinks, Medical Devices & Manufacturing.

In our coming series of process safety blogs, we will outline the practical steps to follow including:

  • Preparing an Explosion Protection Document (EPD) Click Here to Read
  • Specific legal requirements – distil the requirements Click Here to Read
  • What are explosions; gas, vapours & dust Click Here to Read
  • Explosion physical properties – what do they mean?
  • Hazardous Area Classification
    • Useful Standards/Code of Practice/Guidance
  • Ignition Risk Assessment
  • Equipment selection in potential explosive environments      
  • Engineering control measures to prevent and mitigate explosions
    • Including the effects of good ventilation and dilution effect
  • Organisational control measures to prevent and mitigate explosions
  • Monitoring process safety hazards
  • Useful resources

Additional Information

Useful additional information is also available from one of our close associates; Inburex UK Limited (ATEX Explosion Hazards Limited). Declan Barry prepared a series of 8 Articles on Explosion Safety recently which are a helpful useful guide, refer to their website; for more information. CMSE Consultancy have worked closely with Inburex on a series of projects in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain.

A further good source of information regarding industrial explosions, investigations, case studies and lessons learned is the US Chemical Safety Board – see

Information on Chris Mee Group's response to the Containment Phase of the Coronavirus [COVID-19] Outbreak.Read More
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