Office for Nuclear Regulation

Rosyth Dockyard – Inspection ID: 51898

Date: February 2023

Executive summary

Aim of inspection

The purpose of the inspection was to undertake a compliance inspection against any duty imposed by Sections 53 and 54, or by any other regulations made under Sections 57 – 59 of the Fire Scotland Act 2005, to ensure that the licensee is compliant in respect of the premises.

Assurance that the Licensee’s arrangements associated with all applicable duties and regulations are suitable and adequate, and that the licensee is working to those arrangements.

Subject(s) of inspection

  • Fire (Life Safety) Compliance Inspection – rating: Green
  • Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 – rating: Green
  • Fire Risk Assessments – rating: Green
  • Fire Safety Strategies – rating: Green

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

The fire risk assessments provided in advance of the inspections were found to be comprehensive and informative, however it was noted the 2 Dock FRA raised actions that were not made easy to understand, assigned to owners or timebound.

I specifically queried the licensee’s justification and risk assessment process for the usage and storage of acetylene on the licensed site, and provided regulatory advice as to potential improvements in these arrangements as a result of their responses. I highlighted ONR’s experience with this hazard at other Babcock licensed sites and suggested existing company policy was reviewed for applicability to the Rosyth site.

The walkdown of the dock focussed on means of escape provision, particularly the complex escape routes from the boat in dock, as well as the control of combustible materials and flammable gas. I found the dock to be generally well managed with no significant issues with means of escape, taking account of the challenging arrangement within the docked boat. I found that acetylene was generally well-managed, however in one location I challenged whether the separation distance between acetylene and oxygen cylinders was appropriate. I found no issues with general control of combustible materials.

While it was not the main focus of the inspection, I also visited the dockside administrative buildings, where I observed multiple cases of fire doors being held open with wedges. I raised this with the licensee, who committed to review their arrangements (e.g. for ventilation post-covid) in this regard and I provided advice on the matter.

Overall I found that fire safety was generally well managed at the facility by competent persons with a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities.


The overall assessment was that Babcock Ltd. at Rosyth ensures that fire safety is taken seriously, and that a clear understanding of the requirements to ensure continued compliance at the site was adequately demonstrated. Babcock recognises the challenging context of some areas of the site they manage and are committed to managing the risks to life in these locations. Throughout the inspection, all of those that I had contact with demonstrated an enthusiastic focus, support and attention to life fire safety requirements.

The inspection team were satisfied that overall the duty-holders arrangements in relation to the statutory requirements of the Fire Scotland Act 2005 are suitable and adequate, and that the duty holder is working to those arrangements, and have therefore rated the intervention GREEN – No Formal Action.

This rating is in line with the established ONR guidance.

“Relevant good practice generally met, or minor shortfalls identified, when compared with appropriate benchmarks.”

“No significant shortfalls identified in the delivery of safety, safeguards or security functions.”