A leading Sellafield contractor has been given an improvement notice after its workers came close to striking a live electric cable during work at the nuclear complex.
While nobody was harmed in the incident in October, Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure Ltd has had the improvement notice served on it by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation said: “The incident occurred in an area under the control of Morgan Sindall.
“Enquiries confirmed that there were shortfalls by the contractor in providing relevant information to the workers undertaking the excavation work, adherence to procedures and in supervision.
“Nobody was harmed in the incident on October 7, and there was no impact on the public or the environment.
“However, the incident posed a serious risk to workers who were operating within one metre of the 11kV cable.”
Deputy chief nuclear inspector Dr Mina Golshan said: “It is a vital that any contractor working on a nuclear licensed site follows and adheres to the processes and procedures in place.
“On this occasion, Morgan Sindall fell short in this regard, and that is why we have taken action to bring about the required improvements.
“I am pleased that Morgan Sindall have co-operated fully with our enquires and are working to make the required improvements to prevent any similar occurrences.”
The improvement notice has been issued under Regulation 10 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).
In January, ONR also announced that it had served an improvement notice on Sellafield Ltd requiring sustained improvements in electrical safety across the site.
It said at the time: “While we are satisfied that Sellafield Ltd is currently meeting the high standards expected with regards to nuclear safety, as a regulator we require sustained improvements in the area of electrical safety.
“A number of electrical events at Sellafield have been subject of enquiries or investigation over recent months.
“In December, the company was fined £320,000 following an electrical event in April 2020 which resulted in a worker sustaining serious injuries.
“None of the incidents had any impact on the public or the environment, and all were reported to ONR by Sellafield Ltd in line with requirements.
Dr Golshan said at the time: “The improvement notice will require Sellafield Ltd to make improvements to the training and supervision of staff carrying out electrical work across the whole site. We have identified these issues to be the root causes of the majority of recent events.
“The notice will also require that any lessons learned from these incidents are applied to all areas of the site where electrical work is carried out.
“As the independent safety regulator, we will hold Sellafield Ltd to account to ensure that progress and sustained improvements are made.”