Preventing nuclear accidents, staying alert, cooling down reactors are all part of the critical fire safety protocol for nuclear plants. Make sure your employees are up to date on their safety protocol because they need to know what to do in the heat of the moment.

Start With the Basics

Your team should have access to and be required to read the Fire Safety Guide provided by the IAEA. This Safety Guide provides recommendations on how to meet the requirements for achieving and maintaining fire safety in the management and operation of a nuclear power plant throughout its lifetime, covering everything from fire prevention, control of combustible materials and ignition sources, manual fire-fighting, training, and quality assurance.

Recommendations are made concerning organization and responsibilities, periodic updating of the fire hazard analysis, modifications relating to fire safety, inspection, maintenance and testing of fire safety features, records and documentation, the adoption of a formal policy for fire safety, and specific responsibilities and authorities of staff in relation to fire safety.

Take Training Seriously

As a manager, you are responsible for reviewing all employee training records, including those for RCRA and other plant operator certifications. Additional training is needed for someone who is signing the hazardous waste manifests. Assign training based on tasks performed so there will be consistency among employees. For example, welding training must be assigned to all employees performing the task, even though only a few technicians are on the site. Keeping training records for onsite contractors is good practice, and records for all employees should be maintained.

Stay on Top of Permits and Certificates

Almost all power plants have air Title V, stormwater, municipal wastewater, and fire department permits. Complying with regulations regarding air permits is vitally important, and there are hourly and annual compliance guidelines. Check your Air Title V permit and understand your emissions limits for NOx, CO, ammonia slip, and fuel firing limits. Review the calibration procedures for your continuous emissions monitors (CEMs).

There is a lot of paperwork and reporting for power-generation facilities. Some municipal waste permits require facilities to submit monthly wastewater reports; do you work in a community that requires them?  Review all fire department and chemistry lab certificates; are they up to date? Make sure you import and save all reporting due dates into your calendar – local, state-federal, including EPA and OSHA – and assign alarms to those dates, so you know when something is due.

Safety Culture Matters

A corporate culture that prioritizes training and safety is one that makes safety everyone’s responsibility, not just the safety professional. When leadership takes safety seriously, when even the janitorial staff takes safety seriously, that is a culture where businesses perform well in risk management and the safety of their staff. Pieces of training around safety shouldn’t just be considered something to check off your larger to-do list. They need to be the cornerstones of your team’s work. If the expectation is that safety comes first, along with all the “extra” work that involves, then a true safety culture has been created.

For more expert advice on how to build a team that is as dedicated to safety as you, connect with the team at ESGI today.

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