BCGA – A year of change


With industrial gas organisations such as IOMA, EIGA, AIGA and JIGA paving the way for technical and safety improvements in our industry and working on global harmonisation, the work of national gas associations is often under-rated and certainly efforts under-estimated. Attending the BCGA conference, it is clear that the larger regional organisations truly benefit from the work done by domestic gas associations such as BCGA and the people who work on the technical and safety committees.

The conference was opened by the President, Richard Gearing of BOC, who briefly explained that there had been considerable change in the gases business in 2006 in the UK, with BOC being acquired by the Linde Group, that more change was necessary (regulated – sale of Linde Gas UK) and that the BCGA had undergone some significant change itself. He underlined the importance of the Technical & Safety Committees (TSC’s) and the work they do to maintain and improve the safety record within our industry and to liaise with other organisations within the UK.
Richard Gearing handed over to Doug Thornton, who himself is part of that change mentioned within the BCGA. Doug is the new Director of the Association and this was the first annual gases conference he had organised. He described the need to move from the old office in Wallingford (and leave the resident ghost!) and to outsource several of the administration functions to allow the real work of the organisation to happen.

The high attendance of this year’s event already shows the benefits of the new organisation and that Doug Thornton means business in producing further change in the way the BCGA operates.

The morning session included reports from some of the technical committees and the importance of local focus on international issues and standards. It was also clear that international gas associations have to work with major end-user associations (such as food, medical etc.) so that standards are fairly communicated across industries and are possible to achieve.

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