Nuclear expert fires health & safety warning

John Ruddleston for Exelin in Bridwater 16-7-13

John Ruddleston

Small and medium sized manufacturers in the South West must focus more emphasis on quality and health & safety if they are going to make the most of the £60bn+ nuclear new build and decommissioning opportunity.

The rallying call was made by Fit For Nuclear (F4N) Assessor John Ruddleston, who is currently helping a number of companies in the region stake their claim for work ranging from fabrication and maintenance, to precision components and technical design.

John believes a completely different mindset is required by management teams looking to enter the industry for the first time, with speed and cost playing ‘second fiddle’ to exacting standards and a world class H&S record.

John comments:“For a long time manufacturers have had it drummed into them that they need to deliver quicker and take cost out of the equation, especially those supplying into automotive, food and, on some occasions, aerospace.”

“Nuclear is very different. Of course they are looking for you to meet delivery dates and don’t expect to be overpriced, but there is more of a partnership approach to working with suppliers so they get the critical parts and services they require.”

He continues: “The minimum quality requirement is ISO 9000, but companies will also need to prove they are working towards securing ISO14001 (environmental) and ISO 18001 (health and safety).

“In addition, firms will have to demonstrate the right culture and behavior, that they invest in training and importantly can achieve zero accidents in the production of their parts or the delivery of their services.”