Office for Nuclear Regulation

AWE Aldermaston – Inspection ID: 51928

Executive summary

  • Inspection date(s): 14/09/202

Purpose of inspection

The purpose of this intervention is for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to review and examine:

  • The Investigation into re-entry following A45.7 Vent Failure not i.a.w Confined Space Risk Assessment (INV00001674).
  • The management of Confined Spaces at UTC and the effectiveness of Confined Spaces risk control measures
  • The priority CHS risks at UTC and management of these risks.

Subject(s) of inspection

The following actives were the subject of this inspection:

  • Confined Spaces (RAG rating: green)
  • Health & Safety at Work Act (RAG rating: green)

Key findings

I examined how UTC are currently managing Confined Space risks and explored how the actions from the investigation into worker re-entry following vent failure (not in accordance with the Confined Space Risk Assessment – INV00001674) had been implemented. The UTC team explained how the number of registered confined spaces had been reduced after review and the risks in the remaining Confined Spaces are managed and I had no concerns or issues with this approach. InvestigationINV00001674 actions have been implemented.

The UTC team gave ONR a tour of the outside of the facility buildings and the internal parts of the facility. We examined the extant confined spaces areas, discussed the management and removal of asbestos, observed some maintenance work and viewed the many scaffolds in the facilities. The only shortcoming found on the site walkdown was a scaffold that had not been inspected since 2021 – the scaffold tag was removed to indicate that this scaffold was not to be used.

We discussed the management of CHS and what methods UTC uses to decide on what risks to prioritise – the team listed the priorities as asbestos, electrical safety, lifting, pressure systems, hazardous substances and manual handling. We also discussed work at height and risks from work equipment (PUWER). I was satisfied with the risk control measures that the UTC team described. I had some questions related to asbestos removal work and the recent asbestos related event, but these questions will be posed asbestos subject matter experts at AWE.

Judgements made

Based on the discussions on the management of Confined Spaces risks and the priority conventional health and safety risks at UTC and the work that we sampled on the walk-downs of the facility, we judged that your management of CHS risks at UTC as adequate and rated the inspection as green.