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Sondex Wireline Ltd complies with transport prohibition notice

A transport company has complied with an Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) prohibition notice after updating its radiation risk assessment procedures.

In July, ONR served Sondex Wireline Ltd the enforcement notice, preventing it from transporting radioactive materials.

The Hampshire company supplies equipment for use in the monitoring and inspection of oil and gas wells. This involves transporting calibration devices containing radioactive isotopes and tools containing radioactive sources.

Companies that transport radioactive material must have procedures in place to assess the risks and then implement procedures to ensure it is handled appropriately and in accordance with regulations.

An ONR inspection, in April, at the company’s Farnborough site, highlighted that the company had not carried out a suitable and sufficient radiation risk assessment for its transport activities.

Now, Sondex Wireline Ltd has complied by updating its assessment procedures which has identified the hazards that could lead to a risk of serious personal injury.

It remains the company's responsibility to satisfy itself it can now safely transport Class 7 goods (as prescribed).

There was no harm to employees, the public or the environment due to the shortfalls. However, ONR identified the potential for harm and risk of serious personal injury, which required regulatory action.

Geoff Frackelton, ONR Principal Inspector, said: “Since serving the prohibition notice, we are now satisfied that Sondex Wireline Ltd has updated their radiation risk assessment to be suitable and sufficient to ensure that they prevent reasonably foreseeable accidents or limit the consequence of any accidents that do occur.

"Any employer with any direct involvement with the physical transport of radioactive material, including in-transit storage, as consignor, carrier, packer, loader, filler, unloader or consignee, must have suitable and sufficient radiation risk assessments reflecting their involvement in this work with ionising radiation before it commences."

The prohibition notice was issued under Regulation 8 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 and Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974.