The purpose of the planned inspection was to ensure that the licensee was showing compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The inspection focused on both the management of fire safety and the practical fire safety provision within a number of plant areas and facilities across the site. I conducted a meeting during the morning to assess the approach being taken to the management of fire safety focusing particularly on the arrangements relating to the company Fire Risk Assessments (FRA). The legislation relating to this inspection focuses on life fire safety not nuclear fire safety issues. I notified the RRMPOL Fire Authority (FA) of the themes and areas I intended to inspect and requested him to provide pre-audit material to assist in the process; the material was provided to me in a timely fashion.
The site gave access throughout the day to senior managers and subject area experts. Accompanying me throughout the inspection was the FA, the Emergency Planning Manager (EPM) and the Health and Safety Advisor (HSEA). These individuals were able to provide answers to questions and provide evidence of the sites’ fire safety arrangements.
During my inspection, I challenged those accompanying me, and others about procedures and approaches to the practical application of maintaining adequate fire safety provision. I questioned personnel to test effectiveness and knowledge of arrangements. I examined a series of documents prior to my arrival on site. Part of the day included discussions as to the maintenance, recording mechanisms and prioritisation of defects relating to fire safety systems and the ownership of Fire Risk Assessments (FRA). This was followed by a walk-through of all areas of the buildings mentioned in 1.1 above. I paid particular attention to the practical application of the fire safety strategy. I took the opportunity throughout the walk down phase of my inspection to point out examples of obstacles and fire safety issues that are likely to compromise the application of the fire safety strategy for the relevant buildings.
I was provided with a clear indication from all of those persons I met that a positive culture of openness exists, and a willingness to learn and improve is present within the safety environment.
My overall impression was one of a FA and Safety Team which adequately demonstrated an ability to ensure that fire safety is taken seriously and is given the due consideration it deserves. Throughout the inspection I was pleased to identify the Head of Safety demonstrated a suitable focus, support and attention to fire safety.
During both the walk down and the meetings held during the day I did identify a number of minor shortfalls with the application of the expected fire safety standards. I also identified a number of examples of industry good practice. My inspection has provided me with the confidence that the fire safety arrangements are effective and being implemented to an adequate standard.
I am of the opinion that RRMPOL displayed a positive appreciation of the importance of effective fire safety measures within the facilities and that they demonstrate a positive approach to achieving compliance with the relevant legislation.
The inspection involved a combination of looking into the management of fire safety and physically walking through a number of buildings and facilities and speaking with staff. I questioned and challenged observations with the RRMPOL FA and others that I met during the course of the day.
Although the inspection identified a number of areas for improvement and consideration by the site management, the overarching impression was one of a suitable direction of travel being implemented and a high level of importance being placed on the provision of the required standards for conventional fire safety arrangements.
I concluded with an assessment of compliance with the legislation, and presented deficiencies and recognised areas of good practice at a wash-up meeting with members of the RRMPOL Head of Safety.
Overall my findings in relation to the areas I inspected, demonstrate an adequate level of fire safety provision and management. The site management understand that in order for the fire safety systems to do their job adequately, it is imperative that all members of staff are fully conversant with the important role that they play in the fire safety strategy. The role of the FA is a key aspect of achieving this. I identified a number of areas for improvement / development which have been taken on board by the licensee and will be followed up as part of the post inspection process.