What is a statutory outage?
Across NRL’s regional branches you’ll often find our teams working with clients to prepare for a statutory outage, recruiting hundreds of temporary workers to support programmes. In recent years these have included Sizewell B, Heysham 1, Heysham 2, Langage, South Humber Bank, Enfield, Isle of Grain, Pembroke, Torness, Hartlepool, Peterhead, Fawley, Aghada, Grangemouth and Coolkeeragh.
But what are they, what’s involved, and can you secure a role on site without prior industry experience?
What are statutory outages?
It’s where operators temporarily shut down equipment to undertake essential testing and maintenance. These are known as planned outages but forced outages can also occur when equipment needs to be taken offline for immediate reasons. This allows teams on site to get to equipment they cannot usually access when it is in operation.
Within the nuclear power industry these are typically called statutory outages, but you may also hear the term turnaround (TAR), which is what they can be called in sectors such as oil, gas and petrochemical.
How are statutory outages planned?
There’s a great deal of organisation required to arrange a statutory outage, which occurs months before the programme kicks off.
Additional resourcing requirement needs to be carefully considered, to ensure enough people will be brought onto the project to meet its tight turnaround so the equipment can return to service. NRL’s outage team collaborate with clients to plan the work required, before recruiting the necessary temporary workers to support with the outage.
Various suppliers will be involved in the work, so their plans need to be coordinated, parts and hire equipment needs to be ordered and, if relevant, workers also need to be cleared for site access.
Do you need industry experience to work on an outage?
Depending on the role you’re applying for, you may not necessarily need previous experience to work on site. Meaning that you don’t always need to have worked on a site before to secure a temporary role on the programme team.
That’s because, whilst NRL supply technical and engineering specialists to clients, we also recruit for a range of site support and facilities management roles that help ensure the outage runs effectively.
What temporary jobs are available without experience?
They can differ from one outage programme to another, but hundreds of extra temporary workers are usually required.
Domestic Operatives and Industrial Operatives may also be required, to support with a range of duties such as working as a Fire Watcher, Confined Space Entry Guardian, Bulleting Operative, Fitters Mate, Storesperson and more. These can also include keeping areas clean and tidy, dealing with deliveries, and working with the facilities management team to help with the smooth running of the day and night operations happening on site.
Whilst those with experience may find positions available for Mechanical Fitters, Riggers, Crane Operators, Quality Engineers and Health and Safety Specialists.
Due to the increased workforce on site, outages and turnarounds also typically require additional Chef and Food Service Assistant positions, to work in the in busy canteens across day and night shifts.
How do you gain the necessary documentation to work on an outage?
If you’re working on a nuclear power station, then you’ll be entering secure areas whilst undertaking your work, which means you’ll need to gain security clearance.
Standard checks needed for temporary workers on site may include Counter Terrorism Check (CTC) clearance and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check – which is a government-certified criminal record check.
You’ll need to submit various forms of identification and personal information to complete security clearance checks, which NRL’s recruitment team will manage on your behalf.
Following successful clearance, you may also be required to undertake some training ahead of your site induction, to ensure you’re ready to safely enter the site.
Regardless of the industry you’ll be working within, you can expect pre-employment Drug and Alcohol (D&A) testing, supported by random testing throughout the programme.
That’s why you’ll often see roles advertised months before the outage programme commences, as NRL’s branch compliance teams have the comprehensive job of preparing hundreds of clearance checks, tests, and onboarding documents for successful candidates.
Want to see what roles are currently available?