RADIATION PROTECTION ADVISER SERVICES
Why do I need a Radiation Protection Adviser?
Because the Ionising Radiations Regulations say you do! – the law is very clear on this issue.
All employers that use ionising radiations are required to at least consult with an RPA to discuss radiation safety. Almost all will in fact require an RPA to give them the advice they need to fully comply with the
The RPA must hold a valid certificate of competence to practice from a certificating body and be suitable to advise you in your specific area of work.
Advise the employer as to the precise requirements of the Acts and Regulations;
Assist in the production of risk assessments prior to starting work with ionising radiation;
Audit local procedures and documentation to check they are adequate;
Assist in the production of, or improvement to, the necessary documentation;
Assist the employer in implementing appropriate work practices;
Liaise with other professionals regarding the introduction of new equipment, premises or uses of ionising radiation.
Advise about disposals of radioactive sources and X-Ray equipment
What are the key Regulations?
Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99)
Salient points are:
Users of ionising radiation must ensure they have authorisation of their practices and notify the Health & Safety Executive of their intentions;
There must be a formal prior risk assessment of all uses of ionising radiation – this is seen as a key element of the Regulations;
Employers must ensure that employees radiation doses are as low as reasonably practicable, and in any case within certain dose limits;
Personal protective equipment that is fit for purpose must be used when appropriate;
Controls & safety devices must be subject to regular maintenance & testing, with full records being kept;
Contingency plans must be in place for all reasonably foreseeable accidents;
Most radiation employers need to appoint a suitable Radiation Protection Adviser, who must hold a certificate of competence from a certificating body to practice;
Employees must have appropriate information, instruction and training to enable them to do their job safely;
Areas where radiation doses are potentially more hazardous must be demarcated and subject to certain controls;
Local rules are required for those who work in those designated areas, and they may need the appointment of a Radiation Protection Supervisor to ensure local compliance with the Regulations;
Overexposures of staff must be notified to the Health & Safety Executive;
Sealed radioactive sources must be subject to regular leak testing;
Radioactive substances must be kept, moved, stored safely and adequately accounted for;
Manufacturers and installers of equipment must ensure it is subject to a critical examination of its function and safety, with regular QA thereafter.