Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Companies fined for health and safety breaches

1 February, 2019

EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd and Doosan Babcock Ltd have been fined £200,000 and £150,000 respectively following an incident where a worker fell from height at Hinkley Point B power station in 2017.

The companies were also ordered to each pay half of the prosecution costs of £36,353.84 by His Honour Judge Ticehurst at a hearing at Taunton Crown Court on Friday, 1 February. 

The sentencing marks the conclusion of a prosecution brought by the Office for Nuclear Regulation for offences under the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 3(1), (in relation to EDF Energy), and the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4(1), (for Doosan Babcock).

Both companies had previously pleaded guilty to the charges which followed an incident on 12 April, 2017, where a Doosan Babcock Ltd employee sustained serious injuries after falling through a skylight. 

The accident was a conventional health and safety matter and there was no nuclear safety or radiological risk to workers or the public.

Donald Urquhart, ONR’s Deputy Chief Inspector and Director of Operating Facilities regulation, said: “The level of financial penalty in this case is not a matter on which ONR has a view. As an independent regulator, what matters to me is the safety of workers and the public on and around nuclear licensed sites, and this prosecution shows we will take robust regulatory action where necessary to ensure that those that we regulate secure and maintain compliance with the law. 

“In addition to these legal proceedings, we issued enforceable improvement notices to both EDF and Doosan Babcock, requiring them to put in place appropriate safety measures to ensure that such risks are properly controlled in the future. It is extremely important that lessons are learnt from incidents such as this, and I am pleased to note that both companies have since complied with these notices and have delivered necessary improvements to ensure that such risks are properly controlled.”