2 October 2019 - On September 24th, 2019, ISOPA held a “One Step Ahead” (OSA) workshop in Casablanca, Morocco, with close 80 participants from the polyurethane industry in Africa and the Middle-East to explain and promote the safe use and handling of chemical raw materials. Polyurethane manufacturing is a dynamic sector of the African economy, generating wealth and employment. The workshop is the latest addition to ISOPA’s long-standing product stewardship efforts in the region to ensure a consistent, industry-wide implementation of health and safety measures.

Polyurethane manufacturing is a dynamic sector of the African economy, generating wealth and employment; however, to ensure continuous support to improve the overall safety standards in the industry, ISOPA is committed to ensure a consistent, industry-wide implementation of health and safety measures. Since the first seminar in Kenya in 1998, the “One Step Ahead” programme has helped manufacturers be more responsible by educating them about procedures that ensure the safe use and handling of di-isocyanates in the work place. Over the past 4 years, since the last OSA workshop in Casablanca in 2015, it is clear awareness on safe handling of di-isocyanates has increased and people realize more and more the significant impact of safety precautions on both human health and on their business.

The full day session in Casablanca included ISOPA representatives Jörg Palmersheim (Secretary General ISOPA), Jaume Heras (BASF), Hervé Wuilay (Dow), Nóra Janosik (Borsodchem) and Els Van Eetvelde (Shell Chemicals) and was received with enthusiasm from the participating polyurethane foam manufacturers and traders. The workshop included close to 80 participants from the Northern Africa region, like Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, etc. representing various sectors of the polyurethane industry, including mattress and moulded seat producers. The workshop was dynamic and interactive, and emphasised safety requirements for di-isocyanate use and handling, including the use of personnel protective equipment (PPE), the precautionary measures required for exothermic temperature management, etc. Participants were provided visual aids, that is posters, to be used in the factories, which explain the safe use and best practice procedures of di-isocyanates.

ISOPA is committed to continuing its product stewardship efforts under the OSA programme to promote health and safety throughout the polyurethanes value-chain.