Energy giant EdF has stressed the importance it places on the use of directly employed managers and site workers to firms bidding for work on its Hinkley Point C project.
Using directly employed staff instead of self-employed workers is EdF policy and the team behind the Hinkley new nuclear project stressed that this is part of a heightened nuclear safety culture and a desire to closely manage risk.
“We’ve got to educate those working on it [Hinkley C] that nuclear is different,” said EdF head of Sizewell C enabling works Mike Lavelle, who is also working on the Hinkley scheme.
The company believes this is more easily achieved with direct employers and tries to dissuade its supply chain from using self-employed workers.
Key members of the project team told NCE that it is also more critical than with other infrastructure to enable a safety culture that encourages questioning.
“A worker needs to feel able to come along and say ‘that’s not right’,” said head of nuclear and environment licensing and security for the UK nuclear new build programme Alan Willcock.
The role of directly employing workers is also important to the developer when it comes to managing risk.
“As the client, we know we’re ultimately responsible for project success,” said director of strategy and corporate affairs Paul Spence.
“It all comes back to us.” He added that the UK was in some ways well placed to fulfil its requirements, and pointed to big direct employment firms Bam and Laing O’Rourke.
Bam Nuttall is working on the Hinkley Point C earthworks contract, and Laing O’Rourke is preferred bidder for its main civils contract.