Office for Nuclear Regulation

Clyde – Inspection ID: 50913

Executive summary

Date(s) of inspection:

  • December 2022

Aim of inspection

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

  • Management of Confined Spaces risks on site and the effectiveness of control measures.
  • Management of other Conventional Health and Safety (CHS) Risks on the Authorised Site
  • Effectiveness of systems to control contractors.
  • Progress with compliance of Improvement Notice ONR-IN-20-004.
  • Site Familiarisation.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • Health & Safety at Work Act – Rating: Green

Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made

The first part of the the inspection involved office based presentations and discussions on the following subjects:

  • Progress with compliance of Improvement Notice ONR-IN-20-004.
  • The Management of Conventional Health and Safety (CHS) on the Authorised Site at HMNB Clyde
  • Control of Contractors
  • Management of Confined Spaces
  • Meeting with Trade Union Representatives

Broadly, Babcock gave a good account of how CHS risks were managed on the Authorised Site and showed good progress with compliance with the Improvement Notice. ONR provided advice or asked for further information on the following issues:

  • ONR provided some advice on the use of the data from leading indicators from CHS checks, inspections and audits – the results from the proactive monitoring should also be combined with the lagging indicators (incidents and near misses) to provide a fuller picture of performance and indicate areas of CHS focus.
  • The Trade Unions raised issues on the the inconsistency of their involvement on CHS incident investigations and the risks raised by the differences between Babcock and the RN on Lock Out/Tag Out procedures while working on vessels. ONR asked Babcock to provide feedback on these issues.

The second part of the inspection was a walk-down on the Authorised Site to fully examine the Confined Spaces risk management process. This incorporated:

  • Confined Spaces Approved Person Office
  • Valiant Jetty Control Office
  • Valiant Jetty and review of a confined spaces task on board a vessel

The personnel ONR spoke to on the walk down about the Confined Spaces process were knowledgeable on the risks and control process, however the two completed Confined Spaces permits sampled had incomplete part 2 sections. ONR asked Babcock to investigate why these sections were not completed correctly, check if it is an issue with other completed permits and if this is the case, examine if this part of the process is delivering the desired risk control measures. Babcock agreed to feedback to ONR on all issues raised by 23 January 2023.


The purpose of the intervention was for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to review and examine the management of Confined Spaces risks on site and the effectiveness of control measures, along with the management of other Conventional Health and Safety (CHS) risks on site and checking progress with compliance of Improvement Notice ONR-IN-20-004. Based on the evidence sampled during the inspection, ONR was satisfied with how Babcock is managing CHS risks within the HMNB Clyde and the inspection is rated Green.