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HSE Committee update – June 2021


The latest meeting of the HSE Committee took place at the end of May. While it was organised online, some members hope to meet again in person as of September. During the meeting, members were introduced to a new issue tracker: a tool to keep track of all important health, safety & environment issues of relevance for UEIL, and monitor the latest developments. This tool is designed to be a living document and members are therefore invited to suggest new topics to be added to the tracker on an ongoing basis. Other interested parties are also invited to suggest new action items for the HSE Committee.

The HSE Committee decided to intensify its efforts to establish contacts with the EU and national authorities and make them more aware of the importance of lubricants for the economy and EU sustainability objectives. Without lubricants, the EU’s green ambitions cannot be achieved.

The HSE Committee recently supported the signing by UEIL of a joint position paper with ATIEL and ELGI on the new proposed classification of Lithium salts. A classification as “CMR 1A” would make the use of Li-complex greases much more difficult, and yet they are absolutely necessary for efficient lubrication of all kinds of bearings.

The same is true for the proposed restrictions on fluorinated hydrocarbons, an essential compound of lubricants used under extreme conditions. Fluorinated hydrocarbons are seen as the “test category” for many new measures under the EU Chemicals Strategy, and the restrictions could therefore cover more key additives in the future. Given that the lubricant industry consists mainly of SMEs, there is a risk that their voices are not heard among EU policymakers. For this reason, one of the priorities of the HSE Committee is to improve the visibility of the sector and better support its members.

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