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Monitoring and reporting of the Transco Distribution Mains Replacement Programme 2002-2007

5. The role of HSE in enforcing the mains replacement programme.

5.1 Transco is subject to health and safety regulation by HSE. Within this framework HSE have a primary role for enforcement of Transco's mains replacement programme. All HSE enforcement decisions are required to follow the HSC Enforcement policy statement. The appropriate use of enforcement powers, including prosecution, is important; both to secure compliance with the law and to ensure that those who have duties under it may be held to account for failures to safeguard health, safety and welfare.

5.2 In support of this enforcement role, key outcomes have been developed within HSE's monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that they: a) provide clarity and understanding to Transco with regard to enforcement expectation; and b) operate in such a way that will facilitate HSE being in a position to take enforcement action "within year", where necessary.

5.3 Routine and exception monitoring reports will provide HSE with a regular review of Transco's progress against their annual phased planned work programme. Suitably detailed exception reports require to be submitted to HSE in accordance with section 3.4 of this report. This information will assist HSE in making an informed judgement on the likely success, or otherwise, of Transco's proposed remedial actions to recover the shortfall in planned activity in order to meet the annual plan. Joint progress meetings will provide suitable opportunities to present and discuss these issues. Where appropriate, the process will also provide Transco with an opportunity to present, at least equivalent, alternative risk reduction plans in mitigation.

5.4 HSE will consider taking enforcement action when following completion of the review process outlined within section 5.3 above, it is considered unlikely that the annual planned iron mains abandonment activity will be met. Such action would be taken in accordance with the principles outlined within the HSC Enforcement policy statement. What this means in practice is as follows:

5.4.1 Where, if in accordance with the performance criteria established under section 3.4.2 of this report, the national replacement programme is shown not to be on target; i.e. below the set % phased threshold, then enforcement action will be considered (in line with the principles outlined above). Such action would be targeted, as appropriate, at Transco plc, nationally, and will make clear which Networks are contributing significantly to the shortfall in the overall programme.

5.4.2 Where the National replacement programme is on target but one or more Networks are shown not to be meeting the established performance criteria; i.e. below the set % phased threshold, then enforcement action, citing those Networks, will be considered in line with the principles outlined above. Particular consideration will be given to the relative risk score profiles associated with the work programmes of those individual Networks and the significance in terms of the loss impact and adverse effect each may have on the overall replacement programme.

5.5 In terms of enforcement action, HSE have a range of tools at their disposal in seeking to secure compliance with the law and to ensure a proportionate response. They range from the provision of advice, to the service of enforcement notices. As a guide, enforcement action in relation to the mains replacement programme can take a number of forms and might typically include the following:

5.6 HSE will consider undertaking reactive audit inspections at selected individual Networks who fail to meet the established performance criteria, as shown above. Factors such as: (i) history of failure to meet required performance standards; and (ii) relative size and significance of performance failure, will be used to help prioritise HSE audit activity. Also, in planning this work, due cognisance will be taken of the HSE proactive audit inspection plans outlined within section 3.7.2 of this report.

Douglas Souden 26 June 2002
HM Inspector of Health & Safety

HID LD2A, Aberdeen

2012-10-02