Radiation Risk Assessment
Before any work involving ionising radiation is started a radiation risk assessment must be carried out.
This a legal requirement. Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires that risk assessments for work activities must be carried out, recorded and reviewed/updated such as if there are changes to the activity. The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 regulation 8(1) adds to this by stating that a new activity involving work with ionising radiation must not start before the risk assessment has been made.
Where there is already a risk assessment considered to be suitable and sufficient for the purposes of the Management Regulations, nothing further needs to be done to satisfy regulation 8(1) of IRR.
The duty to carry out a radiation risk assessment is placed on the employer, in this case the University. The following ‘generic’ risk assessments cover most work activities carried out by the University but they should be checked by anyone planning to start work with ionising radiation to confirm this is the case for the intended work. If the intended work is not covered or there is any uncertainty, the University Radiation Protection Officer should be consulted for advice.
A radiation risk assessment must consider the following (but not all are applicable for every type of work).
- The nature of the sources of ionising radiation or equipment likely to be present.Suitability of the location in which the work will be carried out.
- Who might be at risk from hazards associated to the work.
- Estimated radiation dose rates to which anyone could be exposed.The likelihood of contamination arising and being spread.
- Estimated levels of airborne and surface contamination likely to be encountered.
- The results of any previous personal dosimetry or area monitoring relevant to the work.
- Advice provided by a manufacturer or supplier of equipment about its safe use and maintenance.
- Engineering control measures and design features already in place or planned.Any planned systems of work.
- The effectiveness and suitability of any personal protective equipment to be provided.
- The extent of unrestricted access to the work area where dose rates or contamination levels are likely to be significant.
- Possible accident situations, their likelihood and potential severity.
- The consequences of possible failures of control measures – such as interlocks, ventilation systems and warning devices.
- Steps to prevent identified accidents situations, or limit their consequences.
The following activities work activities at the University have been radiation risk assessed. For all of these it is obligatory that the described control measures are applied before starting work.