Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Inspection of Magnox's arrangements for managing asbestos containing materials (ACMs)

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

The purpose of this intervention was to carry out an inspection of Magnox’s arrangements for managing asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and work with ACMs at the Oldbury site. There are approximately 4000 deaths from asbestos related diseases in the UK each year. Of these people dying, 25% are tradesmen such as builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians. This equates to 20 tradesmen each week. Hence, managing and working with ACMs is a priority nuclear site health topic.

In addition the opportunity was taken to look at the arrangements in place for working at height at the Oldbury site. Working at height continues to be a major cause of workplace fatal incidents in the UK. The intervention focused heavily on the scaffolding arrangements on site.

Interventions carried out by ONR

An Introductory meeting was completed, during which the general arrangements with regards to Conventional Health and Safety were described. This included; general policies in place, organisational structure, metrics and current initiatives.

On January 20th, the Oldbury Head of (Conventional) Safety and the Asbestos lead for site provided an overview of the key personnel involved with asbestos management on site and of the asbestos management arrangements. Inspections were completed against those arrangements and the regulatory requirements. Checks were made on the physical control measures at a variety of locations across the Oldbury site, focusing on the site locations where it was considered asbestos containing materials presented most risk.

On January 21st, an inspection to evaluate arrangements for controlling risks from Working at Height, focusing on use of scaffolding in accordance with Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended) was completed. An overview of the arrangements was delivered by the Head of Safety with checks completed on a number of scaffolds on site.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate

N/A

Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

With regards to asbestos, Oldbury generally have robust measures in place. The site has completed the appropriate surveys and all inspections for asbestos containing materials are up to date. Reassurance air monitoring is also used regularly.

Additionally, the emergency arrangements for planned work are robust as are the arrangements if unknown or suspect material is located. Advice was given regarding the formalisation of emergency arrangements for personal contamination.

With regards to working at height and specifically scaffolding, several areas of good practice were identified. No significant shortfalls were identified although advice was given with regards to accessing ‘red tagged’ scaffolds.

Conclusion of Intervention

There are no findings from this intervention that suggests the risks presented from asbestos and working at height are not being adequately controlled. The site were able to demonstrate several areas of good practice and took all advice offered in a positive manner.