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Swissport GB Ltd complies with ONR transport improvement notice

Aviation services company Swissport GB Ltd has complied with an improvement notice served on the company by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The air cargo handler proactively reported to ONR that it did not have consent for transport of a specific category of radioactive material, High-Activity Sealed Sources (HASS).

This was a breach of Regulation 7 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17), and therefore an offence under Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. 

Swissport GB Ltd routinely transport HASS material to medical facilities across the country as these are commonly used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

As the enforcing authority for IRR17 for the civil transport of radioactive material, ONR issued an improvement notice that required Swissport GB Ltd to apply for consent from the Health and Safety Executive, who are the IRR17 appropriate authority.

Swissport GB Ltd, which transports this material from its facilities at Manchester and Heathrow airports, has now resolved this shortfall.

Paul Butler, a Nuclear Safety Inspector within ONR’s Transport Competent Authority, said: "As this represented a clear breach of regulations, an improvement notice was the appropriate course of action.

“The matter led to open and positive engagements between ONR and Swissport GB Ltd, where progress was swiftly made by Swissport GB Ltd to comply with the enforcement action.

"All companies involved in the transport of radioactive material must ensure they are fully compliant with current transport legislation”.

Further information regarding IRR17 notification, registration and consent can be found on the HSE and ONR websites.