Among the electrical safety incidents was an event in which a worker sustained serious injuries in April 2020 as he carried out work on high voltage equipment at an electrical substation on the Cumbrian site. The worker sustained 15-20% burns and remained in hospital for several weeks. Sellafield Ltd was fined £320,000 in court following a prosecution after pleading guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974).
The company has now complied with the Improvement Notice by the deadline set by ONR.
ONR says that Sellafield has taken steps to improve electrical safety across the site, with significant improvements made to the training and supervision of staff who carry out electrical work, which were considered to be root-cause factors. Improvements have also been made to its electrical tools and test equipment, electrical instructions and to the electrical safety rules and guidance.
Superintending inspector Kulvinder McDonald, from ONR, said: “Sellafield Ltd has responded well to the improvement notice, and we are satisfied that the electrical safety improvement programme [it has] introduced has addressed the shortfalls identified by my team of inspectors. My team will continue to closely monitor Sellafield Ltd’s performance in this area to ensure that the improvements are maintained, and we will have no hesitation in taking action if further shortfalls are identified.”
The incidents that led to the issuing of the improvement notice were all related to electrical safety. These events did not pose any radiological risk to workers or the public.