Date(s) of inspection:
Aim of inspection
The purpose of this inspection was to understand and inspect the management of confined space risks on the Hinkley Point C (HPC) construction site, and gain assurance of the effectiveness of safety management system arrangements for the elimination or control of safety and health related risks during confined space work.
Subject(s) of inspection
- CDM 15 – Rating: Not Rated
- Confined Spaces – Rating: Not Rated
- Health & Safety at Work Act – Rating: AMBER
Key findings, inspector’s opinions and reasons for judgement made
The inspection began with a discussion around how work within confined spaces is planned and undertaken, facilitated by presentations from NNB Generation Company (HPC) Ltd (NNB GenCo) and the Mechanical, Electrical and Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (MEH) Alliance. Topics discussed included:
- NNB GenCo’s Management of Confined Spaces Standard;
- identification and planning of confined space work;
- implementation of confined space work;
- training requirements for confined space operatives;
- emergency procedures; and
- supervision and oversight of confined space operations.
I identified several issues during this discussion including NNB GenCo failing to review its Management of Confined Spaces Standard in line with its internal procedures, and shortfalls in how learning related to confined space work is captured and communicated to others on the HPC construction site.
The second part of the inspection was a walk-down on to the HPC construction site. I inspected two areas where confined space work was being undertaken by the MEH Alliance. I judged that the confined space work taking place in the tanks with the balance of plant area was well planned and implemented. Supervision was of a high standard and suitable control measures were observed to be in place. I found that operatives working in the area had a good understanding of their roles and the wider confined space work procedures.
The second area I inspected was the confined space within the core catcher in Unit 1. Upon inspection I identified a number of issues. These included a lack of clarity regarding the number of operatives working within the confined space, and difficulties communicating with the operatives working in the confined space. It was agreed during the inspection that work would cease in this area until these shortfalls had been rectified.
Based on the evidence sampled during the inspection, I judged that NNB GenCo as the principal contractor and MEH Alliance as a contractor had several significant shortfalls against relevant good practice. For this reason I have rated this inspection as amber.