The regulation of conventional health and safety on UK nuclear sites

OM 2009/01

1.  Purpose

1.  This guidance gives details of the new arrangements and responsibilities of HSE Inspectors for the regulation of conventional health and safety on nuclear sites.

2.  Definitions

2.1  Conventional health and safety (CS) on nuclear sites refers to risks arising from operations not associated with nuclear material, ionising radiation (eg IRRs 1999) or nuclear licensed activities (NIA 1965 as amended), and includes, for example, risks from: work at height, hazardous substances, noise, confined spaces, vibration, electricity, asbestos, machinery, construction, lifting equipment and transport. 

2.2  Relevant Statutory Provisions (RSPs) include existing Acts, and  the regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. 

2.3 Fire Safety inspection. Article 25 (b) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RR (FS) O) establishes the HSE as the fire enforcing authority.  ND Fire Safety Inspectors will continue to inspect and regulate the provisions of the RR (FS) O at nuclear sites.  ND Inspectors will also provide advice on the RR (FS) O and general fire precautions. The RR (FS) O is not a Relevant Statutory Provision (RSP) under the HSW Act 1974. For Scotland the equivalent legislation is the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 this mirrors the requirements of the RR (FS) O.

3.  Arrangements

3.1  From 9/2/09, the arrangements are:

a)  ND will continue to regulate nuclear health and safety legislation and the Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRRs) and will also continue to regulate Fire Safety (RRO).  FOD will regulate all conventional health and safety legislation including Relevant Statutory Provisions (RSPs) on nuclear  sites. This work will include site radiography but exclude the Ionising Radiation Regulations IRRs. However, ND may regulate site radiography when this work is undertaken by the Licensee. HID will continue to regulate COMAH on  those nuclear sites to which COMAH applies.  ND inspectors remain responsible for matters of evident and potential major concern relating to conventional health and safety (see also para 7.2).  Fire safety on all nuclear sites will continue to be inspected by ND.

 b)  A conventionally trained health and safety inspector at B2 level (or B3 on TP to B2), the Co-ordinator for Conventional Health and Safety, is embedded within the Nuclear Division (ND).  This inspector will coordinate the overall CS regulatory strategy between ND, FOD and HID.  The inspector will also act as central resource within ND for conventional health and safety and a point of contact for FOD and HID inspectors.

c)  Information to facilitate the changeover of responsibility has been sent to inspectors.  This includes a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA),  which gives details of which Directorate is responsible for certain topics/areas.  Liaison between inspectors from Directorates is essential to enable the MoA to be a practical and realistic document.    In order to facilitate liaison, a list of nuclear licensed sites, with COIN site and customer numbers,  and the relevant  inspectors for them is available on TRIM at, 2008/634717 -"Nuclear sites and FOD/ND/HID inspectors for them".  T/INS/051 gives further guidance for ND inspectors.

d)  Four geographical liaison groups have been set up in Divisions in order to plan joint regulatory interventions, monitor progress and share information.  The Midlands and North East Divisions do not have a liaison group as there is only one nuclear site in these Divisions.  The liaison groups will be convened on an annual basis by the  Conventional  Health and Safety Co-ordinator.

e)  During 2009, a corporate intervention strategy, carried out by the Conventional Health and Safety Co-ordinator embedded within ND, will be run with one dutyholder initially, looking across several of their sites. 

4.  Liaison

4.1  It is vital that the relevant Inspectors for each site liaise with their counterparts in other Directorates. Ideally, this liaison should be either face to face or by telephone in the first instance.  FOD/HID inspectors are advised that external agencies such as the Environment Agency may also require liaison in exceptional cases. 

5.  Conventional health and safety accident/incident selection criteria

5.1  FOD will investigate conventional health and safety accidents and incidents according to HSE's current selection criteria as detailed in Operational Procedures.  The selection and investigation of complaints will also follow the FOD Operational Procedure for complaints.

6.  Enforcement

6.1  Any prosecution decisions relating to conventional health and safety will be taken by FOD/HID, according to the Operational Procedures, and the Enforcement Management Model (EMM).  Inspectors should ensure that they have ongoing liaison with the ND site inspector prior to any decision to prosecute.

7.  Prohibition and Improvement Notices

7.1  Inspectors should inform the nuclear  inspector before issuing a Prohibition Notice, or at the earliest possible opportunity after the notice has been issued, in order to ascertain if there are any implications for nuclear safety. If the FOD/HID inspector intends to issue an Improvement Notice, they are strongly advised to consult the nuclear inspector beforehand in order to consider any impact on nuclear or chemical safety.

7.2  ND inspectors are required to deal with any significant conventional health and safety hazards they see or are made aware of with the potential to cause death or serious injury, as matters of evident and potential major concern (see OC 18/12),  and T/INS/051.   The ND inspector should take the appropriate action to eliminate or reduce the risk to an acceptable level. If the ND inspector is unsure of the appropriate action and where there is a serious risk of personal injury, they should seek advice from the FOD site inspector and, if they are not available, the ND embedded Co-ordinator for Conventional Health and Safety. If no advice is available, the ND inspector should stop the hazardous activity, either by verbal advice or immediate Prohibition Notice, if necessary.

8.  Security and site visits

8.1  In the first instance, FOD/HID Inspectors are strongly advised to arrange a familiarisation visit to site through the nuclear site inspector and to meet senior managers.  This will enable the ND inspector to brief on security, induction, and the health and safety arrangements on site. 

8.2  For obvious reasons, entry to site is strictly controlled and therefore, you are strongly urged to ensure that any routine visits are arranged in advance.  You should also ensure that your visits are escorted throughout.  An escorted visit has the benefit that you may not need any additional security clearance for sites above the normal HSE security clearances. Some specific nuclear sites require additional security checks before entry either to the site or specific parts of the site.  Inspectors should be aware that some nuclear sites do not allow cameras or lap-tops on site.  You will need photographic identification ie your warrant. 

9.  Health and safety

9.1  All inspectors should read the radiation supplements under "Your health and safety" on the Intranet before visiting site.  FOD/HID inspectors do not need to be classified to visit most sites on an ad-hoc basis.  However, you will need to follow FOD's system of reassurance monitoring and the procedures that the site requires you to follow in order to comply with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999. 

9.2  The system adopted by FOD is the use of a personal dosemeter which is available from the instrument room at FOD offices. You should also use a thermo-luminescent dosemeter (TLD) which is available from the Nuclear Directorate.  Please send your request for a TLD by email to [email protected], stating your office location.  In return, you will be sent a TLD which should be worn in all areas on site designated as supervised or controlled under IRR99.  You must check that your TLD is in good condition and in date before you use it.  You will also be required to return it when requested by ND, on a three-monthly basis, and will be sent a replacement in return. Dutyholders on sites will also require inspectors to wear a personal dosemeter, in order to fulfil their duties under the IRRs.

9.3  Whilst on site, it is vital that you stay with your escort at all times and follow their instructions. FOD site inspectors and other inspectors are responsible for arranging their own personal protective equipment for site use, taking advice from the ND site inspector if necessary. This will probably include hard hats and ear defenders, protective shoes, safety glasses and high visibility jackets. Inspectors should comply with any relevant local instructions in use at site and ensure that if conditions require the use of additional protective equipment, then such additional equipment is used.

10.  Cost recovery

10.1  HSE can recover costs for the regulation of conventional health and safety Relevant Statutory Provisions (RSPs) on a nuclear site.  You should ensure that you complete the relevant sections on COIN by following the instructions in OM 2008/12 on Cost Recovery.  If you have any additional questions regarding cost recovery, please contact ND's financial team.

11.  Contact reporting

11.1  FOD/HID Inspectors' records of interventions regarding conventional health and safety for nuclear sites are maintained on COIN in the usual manner. Any conventional health and safety matters dealt with by an ND inspector should also be recorded following the relevant ND BMS procedure.  All ND site visits dates are recorded as service orders on COIN.  The COIN numbers for customers and site/s are detailed in the list of sites and inspectors.  Inspectors should also send a copy of any letters, reports or notices to the dutyholder, either electronically or hard copy, to the ND inspector, for information.

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Updated 2020-12-16