Improvements ordered at Sellafield following scaffolding fall

The incident occurred on 12 October 2021

An improvement notice has been served on Sellafield Ltd, Cumbria after a worker sustained serious injuries to his back following a fall from a scaffolding ladder.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) issued the notice relating to an incident that occurred on 12 October last year while work was being carried out to repair a leaking pipe in a low active cell at the Magnox Reprocessing Facility.

The worker was treated on site and then taken to a nearby hospital for more treatment, before being discharged from hospital the following day.

ONR’s preliminary enquiries and investigation identified shortfalls with Sellafield Ltd’s risk assessment for the work being carried out.

An ONR spokesperson said: "Our investigation into this incident remains ongoing. Following our preliminary enquiries and initial investigation, we have decided to issue an Improvement Notice after a worker fell from a scaffolding ladder, sustaining fractures to his vertebrae.

"This formal notice will require Sellafield Ltd to make improvements to their risk assessment procedures for working in cells at the Magnox Reprocessing Facility in order to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.

"ONR will expect updates on the actions being undertaken and will closely monitor the progress made. While this notice relates to the Magnox Reprocessing Facility, we expect any learning from this incident to be applied across the whole of the Sellafield site."

Sellafield Ltd must comply with the requirements of the Improvement Notice by 30 June 2022.