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Improvements required at Sellafield after scaffolding fall

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served an Improvement Notice on Sellafield Ltd after a worker sustained serious injuries to his back following a fall from a scaffolding ladder.

The incident occurred on 12 October 2021 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 at Sellafield, Cumbria, and then taken to a nearby hospital for more treatment.

He was discharged from hospital the following day.

ONR’s preliminary enquiries and investigation judged there to be shortfalls with Sellafield Ltd's risk assessment for the work being carried out.

This was a conventional health and safety incident and not a nuclear related safety incident.

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.