THE boss of one of Cumbria’s biggest employers has written an open letter to the community addressing concerns about the firm’s response to Covid-19.

Martin Chown, chief executive of Sellafield Ltd, said: “At Sellafield, we’re here to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

“Health and safety are at the heart of everything we do.

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“I’m incredibly proud of the way our business has responded to the pandemic.

“At every step, the health and safety of our employees, our supply chain partners, and our community have been at the forefront.

“And when our community needed us, we stepped up providing hundreds of volunteers and thousands of pounds of protective equipment.

“Covid-19 is an unprecedented challenge for all of us.

“It’s a threat to the most precious thing of all: our health and the health of our loved ones.

“So we understand that people are anxious at the moment.

“I want to reassure everyone that health does not come second at Sellafield. It comes first. Every time.

“We do not and will not prioritise production over safety.

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“If our activities are unsafe, we stop.

“That’s why in the first lockdown, we paused our operations and sent the majority of our workforce home.

“But this lockdown is different.

“Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Sellafield employees and our supply chain partners, we are in a much improved position.

“We have knowledge and experience of how to operate while keeping people safe, on and off site.

“The measures are underpinned with our company-wide Enterprise Risk Assessment.

“This is based on the latest guidance from the Government, the NHS, and Public Health England. These measures continue to be effective against the new strain.

“Our measures include:

• large scale reductions in site attendance, achieved through home working where possible;

• social distancing, including staggering shifts;

• hand washing;

• face coverings in all buildings, except when at your desk.

“We also have our own test and trace facility. We were one of the first employers in the UK to establish one.

“This means we can track the virus across the site in real time.

The Mail: LISTENING: Martin Chown, chief executive of Sellafield LtdLISTENING: Martin Chown, chief executive of Sellafield Ltd

“Our contract tracing work shows that transmission rates at Sellafield are lower than transmission rates in the community.

“But we’re not complacent. We are continually reviewing the situation. Our plans are flexible and if the guidance changes, we change.

“In fact, we did exactly that earlier this month when we paused some additional work and reduced the number of people on-site by another 1,000.

“I urge all of our employees and supply chain partners to work with us. Your support is invaluable.

“If we continue to follow the rules and look out for each other, together we can protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our NHS.”