This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

The ionising radiations regulations 1999, outside workers (including applications for exemption from issue and use of radiation passbooks)

OC 560/54

This OC gives guidance to inspectors regarding the implications of IRR99 for outside workers, their direct employers and other employers who have effective control of a controlled area where outside workers carry out services. Annex 2 gives describes how applications for exemptions relating to Outside Workers (OW) should be handled.

HeadingPara
Introduction 1
Purpose 2
Definitions 3-4
Enforcement guidance 5-7
Co-operation between Employers/Exchange of Information 8-9
Workers from and work in Northern Ireland or another Member State 10-11
Radiation Passbooks and Dose Recording 12-14
Dose estimation (Regulation 18(4)) 15-19
Access to Controlled Areas 20-21
Duty on Outside Workers 22
Defence on Contravention 23-25
Exemptions 26
Transitional Provisions 27
Enquiries 28
Cancellation of instructions 29-30
ANNEX 1 - GUIDANCE FOR ESTIMATING DOSES  
ANNEX 2 - APPLICATIONS FOR EXEMPTION  

Introduction

1 This OC replaces earlier OCs 560/30 and 560/33 which covered the requirements of the Ionising Radiations (Outside Workers) Regulations 1993 (OWR93), made specifically to implement the 'Outside Workers' Directive (90/641/Euratom). The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) subsumed the main features of OWR93, so that the requirements for outside workers appear within the appropriate regulation.

Purpose

2 The purpose of this OC is to give guidance to inspectors regarding the implications of IRR99 for outside workers, their direct employers and other employers who have effective control of a controlled area where outside workers carry out services.

DEFINITIONS (Regulation 2(1))

3 An outside worker (OW) is defined as "a classified person who carries out services in the controlled area of any employer (other than the controlled area of his own employer)." This would include, for example, people who work on contract on nuclear licensed sites, maintenance workers on non-nuclear plants and some medical personnel such as consultants who work in more than one hospital.

4 Classified persons would not generally be outside workers if they:

The decision hinges on who has control of the controlled area. for example, employees of an industrial radiography company that provides its own radiation sources and designates controlled areas on other employers' sites would not be classed as OWs

For the purposes of this circular , the OW's direct employer is known as the 'direct employer' (DE). The other employer who has effective control of a controlled area where an OW carries out services is known as the 'indirect employer' (IE). Please note that these terms do not appear in either IRR99 or L121. They should therefore be used with caution in material made public, or in correspondence with, for example, applicants for exemption.

Enforcement guidance

5 The following regulations in IRR99 contain provisions relating to Ows:

6 Further information is given in the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), supporting IRR99, L121, and in Ionising Radiation Protection Series Information Sheet no. 4.

7 In practice, the main requirements centre on the explicit exchange of information between the DE and IE, particularly in respect of the OW's exposure. This includes the handling of an OW's 'radiation passbook' which should contain the main information on the OW's suitability and radiation exposure, both before and as a consequence of services provided.

Co-operation between employers/exchange of information (regulation 15)

8 Inspectors may wish to check that adequate arrangements have been made by DEs and IEs to:

9 Inspectors may also wish to check that adequate arrangements have been made by:

Workers from Northern Ireland or another member state (regulation 3(5))

10 Regulation 3(5) allows that, where an OW employed by a DE based in Northern Ireland or another member State of the EU undertakes work in Great Britain, it is sufficient compliance with IRR99 regulations 21 and 24 if the DE complies with the appropriate equivalent regulations of Northern Ireland or that member State. In practice, this removes the need for a further pre-employment medical examination and means that the OW does not have to wear an additional dosemeter issued in Great Britain. Other member States should have legislation relating to medical surveillance and dose assessment that implements the provisions of the Basic Safety Standards Directive, though the requirements may differ from IRR99 in some details. IRR99 allows IEs in GB to accept the results of OW pre-assignment medicals carried out in other member States of the EU, and the wearing of dosemeters approved in the other Member State.

Work in Northern Ireland or another member state (regulation 21(3)(i))

11 DEs must maintain a continuing record of the assessment of doses received by their OWs when working in Northern Ireland or another member State of the EU. While it is good practice for the DE to maintain a continuing record of dose assessment of OWs when they work entirely outside the EU, this is not a regulatory or ACOP requirement and therefore cannot be enforced. DEs should always comply with the relevant national legislation for the country in which the OW works.

Radiation passbooks and dose recording (regulations 21(3)(h) and 21(5))

12 The DE must provide the OW with a current radiation passbook. These can only be obtained through the DE's Approved Dosimetry Service (ADS) for Record Keeping and will be issued to named individuals.

13 A major change under IRR99 is that a DE no longer has to supply a new radiation passbook if an OW already has a valid one issued by a previous employer. The new employer will be able to take over the existing passbook as long as they enter their own details under 'employer'. However, the use of a yellow passbook issued under the previous Ionising Radiations (Outside Workers) Regulations 1993 should not be artificially prolonged (eg by adding extra pages) once a section has been filled. Indeed, it should become increasingly rare for a yellow passbook issued under OWR93 (passbooks issued under IRR99 are blue) to remain valid (see paragraph 28)

14 The OW's latest medical classification, as shown in the health record, should be entered in the passbook. The DE should authorize a suitable person to make such entries; it is not necessary for them to be made by an appointed doctor or employment medical advisor (EMA). The DE should also ensure that the medical classification and dose assessment information in an OW's passbook are kept up to date as necessary (entries do not need to be made while the classified person is not acting as an OW).

Dose estimation (regulation 18(4))

15 The IE must ensure that arrangements are in place for estimating the dose of ionising radiation that an OW receives whilst working in the IE's controlled area. The IE is also responsible for ensuring that, as soon as reasonably practical after the OW has completed work in the controlled area, the dose estimate is entered into the OW's radiation passbook. While the radiation passbook is in the possession of the IE, it must be made available to the OW on request.

16 While the spirit of the IRR99 intends that the OW should hand over their passbook to the IE on arrival at site, there is no regulatory provision to this effect. It follows that there is no breach if an OW is allowed to start activities without giving the IE their passbook, provided that the IE can show that they have obtained the necessary assurances (about fitness, suitability etc) from the DE by other means (eg telephone/fax).

17 Preferably, the dose estimate should be made using a suitable personal dosemeter, or personal air sampler for internal radiation. The IE should be able to make a quick estimate of the dose received by the OW once the work has been completed and before the OW leaves the site. Inspectors may wish to discourage the IE from using more accurate but lengthier methods if it means that an estimate cannot be entered in the OW's passbook before they leave site. Inspectors can refer IEs to the guidance given in Annex 1 for examples of dose estimation methods.

18 Services provided by an OW may last over hours, days, weeks, or longer and a dose estimate need not be entered in the OW's passbook until either the OW has completed the services or has to go to another employer's controlled area (ie the services provided are interrupted by other activities).

19 Normally a suitably trained and authorised person will make the dose estimate entry on the IE's behalf before the OW leaves the IE's site. If the estimate cannot reasonably be made in the necessary timescale (eg because the exposure was internal), Inspectors may wish to ensure that arrangements exist for the IE to send the information to the DE as soon as reasonably practical after the exposure occurred.

Access to controlled areas (regulation 18(2)(b))

20 The IE must not permit an OW to enter a controlled area under their effective control unless the IE has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the OW is subject to individual dose assessment; has been provided with and trained in the use of any appropriate personal protective equipment; has received any other additional training identified as necessary and has been certified as fit to work with ionising radiation.

21 In practice, most of the information required (except training details) can be found in the OW's radiation passbook and the IE should have in place arrangements for ensuring that passbooks are checked before an OW begins work in any controlled area on site.

Duty on outside workers (regulation 34(3))

22 An OW must not misuse their radiation passbook or falsify (or attempt to falsify) any information in it.

Defence on contravention (regulation 36(4) and (5))

23 The DE may not always be the organisation (or individual) best suited in the circumstances to carry out some particular duty, eg providing any additional training; if appropriate the IE may enter into contractual arrangements with the DE (or, exceptionally, some third party) for the performance of that duty. Such contracts should be in writing; if they are not, then the existence and content of the agreement may need to be proved by other means.

24 If there are any proceedings against a DE for a breach of duty under IRR99, the DE may use their written contract with an IE in their defence. This contract must show that the breach of duty was a result of the failure of the IE to fulfil this contract.

25 If there are any proceedings against an IE for a breach of duty under IRR99, the IE may use their written contract with a DE in their defence. This contract must show that the breach of duty was a result of the failure of the DE to fulfil this contract.

Exemptions (regulation 37)

26 Annex 2 details how applications for exemption relating to OWs should be handled.

Transitional provisions (regulation 39(4))

27 A radiation passbook issued to an OW under the previous Ionising Radiations (Outside Workers) Regulations 1993 or under IRR99 prior to 30 April 2000 remains valid (until filled, of course) while the OW continues to be employed by the same employer.

Enquiries

28 Any FOD Enquiries on this OC should be directed to FOD Health Unit, Belford House, Edinburgh. Enquiries from other directorates should be directed to NHIPD5, Rose Court. Enquiries relating to technical radiation topics should be directed to Radiation Specialist Inspectors.

Cancellation of instructions

29 OC 560/30 "The Ionising Radiations (Outside Workers ) Regulations 1993" - cancel and destroy .

30 OC 560/33 "The Ionising Radiations (Outside Workers ) Regulations 1993 'Consideration of applications for exemption from the issue and use of radiation passbooks' - cancel and destroy .

ANNEX 1: Guidance on estimating doses
(para 17)

NOTE: For the purpose of this guidance and to increase clarity, the following terms are used:

These terms are not used in IRR99 and therefore have no legal standing, nor will they be found elsewhere, eg L121.

General

1 When an OW arrives at the IE's site and hands over their passbook for checking the name and address of the IE should be entered. This will ensure that a space for, the dose estimate is clearly identified in the event that the estimate cannot be entered when the OW leaves the site at the end of the activities (or earlier, if they are interrupted before completion).

2 It will generally be relatively simple to estimate doses of external radiation received, by means of direct-read or locally-read dosemeters. For internal exposure, the use of area or workplace measurements may be appropriate in some circumstances; such measurements should be made in consultation with the radiation protection adviser and should be backed up by comparison with doses received by any other workers wearing personal dosemeters or personal air samplers.

3 Because the estimated dose needs to be ready for insertion in the passbook as soon as the work has been completed, to avoid unduly delaying the OW's departure, quality of information may be less important than immediacy. The estimation of internal dose may require more time and it may not be possible to make an entry immediately on completion. In such cases the estimate, which may be based on air sampling results or even time of occupancy and knowledge of general levels of airborne activity, should be sent to the DE as soon as practicable.

4 As a general rule, dose estimates will be needed in any situation that would require the dose received by any classified persons employed by the IE to be assessed under IRR99. This would include estimates of, for example, extremity dose or dose to the lens of the eye in certain cases. When devising methods of dose estimation, IEs are recommended to consult their radiation protection adviser and, where appropriate, the DE.

5 Factors that operators may wish to bear in mind when considering any training needs for employees who are authorised to make dose estimates may include:

6 IEs generally only need to provide quick, simple, dose estimates. A quick estimate that tends to overstate the dose is preferable to a more accurate estimate that cannot be made for several weeks. The accuracy of the estimate and complexity of the means of making it should be commensurate with the size of the expected dose: gross overestimates may result in unnecessary restrictions being placed on workers. The period covered by the dose estimates will commonly be different from the dose assessment period. The dose assessment will provide the more accurate picture of the personal dose received over a month or a year.

Methods of estimating external exposure

7 In many circumstances, personally worn direct-reading dosemeters will offer the most practicable means of providing a quick estimate of whole-body dose from external radiation. External whole-body dose can also be estimated from environmental monitoring or past records, for example:

8 However, it may not be possible to estimate some doses, eg to the lens of the eye or to the skin of the hand, using a single dosemeter. In these circumstances a separate dose estimation will be needed. Methods of extremity dose estimation include us of:

Methods of estimating internal exposure

9 A personal (or, where appropriate, a static) air sampler can give a relatively quick indication of whether intake has occurred. Similarly where work involving potentially volatile iodine is undertaken, direct internal monitoring of the thyroid using a suitably calibrated scintillation detector can give an estimate of intake. An indication of a positive intake may require additional biological monitoring, which may take some time.

10 The following methods may be used for estimating internal exposure (the list is not exhaustive):

11 If the dose estimate is below the minimum level detectable by the measurement method being used, the estimate may be entered as '<N', where N is the value of the minimum detectable dose in mSv. This may be useful where personal air samplers are used as confirmation that inhaled radioactive contamination is below specified levels.

Estimates of dose from a contamination incident

12 Occasionally an OW may receive, or be thought to have received, a dose from a contamination incident. This may result from:

In these circumstances it is unlikely that an initial estimation of dose will be possible. Normally an assessed dose would be credited to the dose record of the affected person following an investigation. In this situation, a note in the dose estimate section of the OW's passbook should record that an investigation is in progress, naming the IE and ADS involved.

ANNEX 2: Applications for exemption from the issue and use of radiation passbooks
(para 26)

Table of contents

HeadingPara
Background 1
General considerations 2-3
SITUATION 1 - APPLICATIONS IN RESPECT OF WORKERS WHO ARE CLASSIFIED ONLY BECAUSE OF WORK FOR ONE EMPLOYER 4
  Which outside workers qualify for exemption 5
  Evidence that the outside worker is not an itinerant radiation worker 6-7
  Dosimetry and medical surveillance requirements 8-10
  Additional conditions 11-12
  Paragraph 13 Example application and certificate of exemption 13
SITUATION 2 - APPLICATION IN RESPECT OF SHARED SITES 14
  Definition of a shared site 14
  Need for each employer to apply 15
  Restriction of exemption 16-17
  Agreement in writing 18-19
  Paragraph 20 Example application and certificate of exemption 20
Considerations common to both situations 21-23
Preparation of certificate for signature 24
Consultation 25-26
Preparation of draft certificates of exemption 27-28
The signed certificate 29-30
APPENDIX 1 - SITUATION 1 - AIDE-MEMOIRE  
APPENDIX 2 - SITUATION 2 - AIDE-MEMOIRE  
APPENDIX 3 - SAMPLE CONSULTATION LETTER  
APPENDIX 4 - HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE INFORMATION DOCUMENT  

NOTE: For the purpose of this guidance and to increase clarity, the following terms are used:

These terms are not used in IRR99 and therefore have no legal standing, nor will they be found elsewhere, eg L121.

Background

1 This annex gives guidance to inspectors on the procedure to use and the criteria to apply when considering applications for exemption from the need to issue and use radiation passbooks. In particular, it gives guidance to inspectors who are involved in applications for exemption from IRR99 regulations 18(4)(b), 21(5), and 34(3). It gives the basic conditions for exemption and the actions to be taken prior to the applications being forwarded to the relevant delegated authority holders for signature of the certificates. It also includes an information document (ID) which may be copied to any interested parties.

General considerations

2 Exemptions can only be justified in certain limited circumstances; so far only two such situations have been identified as follows:

3 When inspectors become aware that an application for exemption is being considered, supplying the ID to the interested party at an early stage will help ensure that any subsequent application received will follow the required format.

SITUATION 1 - APPLICATIONS IN RESPECT OF WORKERS WHO ARE CLASSIFIED ONLY BECAUSE OF WORK FOR ONE EMPLOYER

4 For this situation, applications will normally be made by the IE on behalf of all parties to the exemption.

Which outside workers qualify for exemption

5 Inspectors must satisfy themselves that the OWs are:

Such workers would normally be in an occupation that would not require classification of workers or setting up controlled areas (eg painters).

Evidence that the outside worker is not an itinerant radiation worker

6 Inspectors need evidence that the OWs to which the exemption would apply are not itinerant radiation workers. HSE requires that, at the time of application, the OW should not have been designated as a classified person within the current or previous 4 calendar years, other than for work in the controlled area(s) under the control of the IE at the applicable site, and must only work in the controlled area(s) of that employer.

7 The exemption should contain a condition requiring individual declarations to this effect, for each OW covered by the exemption. Declarations should be signed by the OW and a senior manager within the IE's organisation.

Dosimetry and medical surveillance requirements

8 Inspectors should satisfy themselves that the OWs are subject to the dosimetry and medical surveillance requirements in respect of classified workers in IRR99. Generally, the IE will undertake most or all of the DE responsibilities. Such arrangements help to prove that exemption is justified (ie that the DE would not usually have cause to have an approved dosimetry service (ADS) or appointed doctor under IRR99).

9 Normally the IE'S ADS will carry out the OW's dose assessment and monitoring. Other arrangements may be equally acceptable (see paragraph 21).

10 Normally the IE's appointed doctor should maintain the health record and perform the annual medical review of the OW. Other arrangements may be equally acceptable but any variation on the standard conditions should be discussed in detail (see paragraph 21).

Additional conditions

11 The IE should also:

12 An aide-memoire listing the considerations for exemption from issue and use of radiation passbooks for Situation 1 is given in Appendix 1.

Example application and certificate of exemption

13 A copy of a successful application including evidence/declaration of eligibility, and a copy of the signed certificate of exemption, can be obtained from NSD Division 2, Bootle (File reference: 1/Nuc/140/11/2/20/2), or, for FOD inspectors, will be held on file 560, as examples for information.

Definition of a shared site

14 A shared site is a site occupied by two employers who work with ionising radiations, where classified employees who work full-time for one employer are OWs when they carry out activities in the other employer's controlled area(s) on that site.

Need for each employer to apply

15 Each employer on the shared site must apply for exemption, as each is both a DE and an IE. For example, an exemption has been granted for the site shared by BNFL and UKAEA at Sellafield, BNFL is both a DE as regards its own classified employees who enter UKAEA controlled areas on the shared site, and an IE in respect of UKAEA's classified employees who enter BNFL controlled areas at Sellafield. A separate certificate is therefore necessary for each employer on the shared site.

Restriction of exemption

16 The application of a shared-site exemption must be restricted to a specified group of workers. The conditions must tie the exemption to those employees who work full time at the shared site and are OWs solely because the site is shared. For example, the UKAEA Sellafield exemption would not cover OWs from another UKAEA site (such as Dounreay) if they went into the BNFL part of the shared site at Sellafield. In those circumstances, they would be seen as itinerant radiation workers (OWs) and IRR99 would apply in full. IRR99 OW provisions will not apply where such workers enter their own employer's controlled areas on other sites.

17 This restriction is achieved where the two employers share an ADS (for record-keeping) which only services that shared site and a condition of the exemption is that the OW's dose record continues to be kept by the site ADS. There may be other ways of guaranteeing the restriction but any variation on the standard conditions should be discussed in detail with the applicant and with HSE.

Agreement in writing

18 The application of the exemption must be agreed by both employers and confirmed in writing as part of the exchange of information; this should be an exemption condition. The employers should be required to notify HSE if there is a significant change in circumstances on the shared site.

19 An aide-memoire listing the considerations for exemption from issue and use of radiation passbooks for Situation 2 is given at Appendix 2.

Example application and certificate of exemption

20 Copies of BNFL's and UKAEA's applications and the signed certificates of exemption may be obtained from NSD Division 2, Bootle (File reference: 1/Nuc/140/11/2/20/2.

Considerations common to both situations

21 Any variation on the standard conditions should be discussed in detail with the applicant and with the relevant Directorate/Divisional unit responsible for radiation protection.

22 Inspectors should satisfy themselves that any application for exemption:

23 To pave the way for the formal consultation, applicants should be advised to discuss the application informally with the relevant people beforehand.

Preparation of draft certificates of exemption

24 Once the details of the application and the conditions for exemption have been agreed, the Inspector should liaise with the relevant Divisional unit over the preparation of the draft certificates and schedule.

Consultation

25 Before an exemption can be granted it should be possible to demonstrate that the views of all parties with a direct interest in the decision have been sought and (where received) taken into account. GAP 34 gives advice on consultative procedures for the granting of exemptions. A sample consultation letter is given at Appendix 3 for information.

26 Inspectors are advised to obtain the names and addresses of the interested parties from the applicants during the course of discussions so that the consultation process can begin as early as possible . The interested parties will always include trade unions representing the OWs, safety representatives and other relevant worker representatives. In addition, they will include, for Situation 1, the DE and, for Situation 2, the other party to the application. It may also be useful for these parties to be sent a copy of the ID with the other papers.

Preparation of certificate for signature

27 An exemption certificate number must be obtained from the register of exemptions held by NSD Division 2, Bootle (File reference: 1/Nuc/140/11/2/20/2) or, for FOD cases, from Health Unit, Belford House, Edinburgh.

28 After the consultation period has ended, and once amendments have been agreed with the applicant(s), the certificates should be cleared internally within Divisions (as appropriate). The final certificate(s) should then be presented to the relevant delegated authority (in FOD's case this is the Head of Health Unit) for signature, together with any supporting documentation required by Divisional procedures. GAP 7 gives further advice on delegated authority.

The signed certificate

29 The original signed certificate(s) should be kept by the relevant Division ; copies should be sent to the applicant(s) and, for NSD, to NSD Division 2, Bootle. Copies of certificates issued by FOD will be kept by FOD Health Unit.

30 All Directorates must also send a copy of completed signed exemption certificates to the appropriate FOD office, local to the Indirect Employers (IE) premises to which the certificate relates, for inclusion in the Local Office Public Register (this a requirement of the GAP 1 procedure). A covering note should be sent with the certificate to explain to administrative staff that it is the copy intended for inclusion in the Local Office Public Register.

Situation 1 - Aide-memoire
(para 12)

Consideration of applications for exemption from the issue and use of radiation passbooks

1 Exemption sought from regulations 18(4)(b) and (c), 21(5), and 34(3).

2 The OW(s) must only be classified for work in the IE's controlled area.

3 The OW(s) have not been classified in the previous 5 years, other than for work in the IE's controlled area at the applicable site - declaration(s) to be provided, signed by DE and individual OW(s).

4 Normally applications are made by the IE on behalf of all the parties.

5 The OWs must be subject to dosimetry and medical surveillance requirements (IRR99) and normally:

6 Check arrangements have been made to restrict the OW's activities in controlled areas if necessary.

7 The IE should maintain a record of all DEs and OWs covered by the exemption.

8 Check arrangements are in place to ensure that those affected by the exemption are made aware of it - as part of the exchange of information.

9 Ensure that the DE is made aware as part of the declaration that the exemption ceases when the OW performs activities in a controlled area on another site - as part of the declaration.

10 OWs will be given a summary of their assessed dose on request.

The above must be read in conjunction with the guidance contained in this OC. Further guidance must be sought for any variation on the above.

Key:

OW - outside worker

DE - direct employer who directly employs the outside worker

IE - indirect employer who has effective control of a controlled area where an outside worker works.

APPENDIX 2 Situation 2 - Aide-memoire

(para 19)

Consideration of application for exemption from the issue and use of radiation passbooks

1 Exemption sought from regulations 18(4)(b) and (c), 21(5), and 34(3).

2 The site is occupied by two employers whose classified employees work full-time for one employer but are OWs when they carry out activities in the other employer's controlled areas on that shared site.

3 Each employer on the shared site must apply for exemption - each is both an OW employer (ie a DE) and an employer designating controlled areas (ie an IE).

4 The exemption must be tied to those employees who work full time at the shared site and are OWs solely because the site is shared. One way of guaranteeing this restriction is where the two employers share an ADS (record-keeping).

5 The application of the exemption must be agreed by both employers and confirmed in writing.

6 The employers should notify HSE if there is a significant change in circumstances on the shared site.

The above must be read in conjunction with the guidance contained in this OC. Further guidance must be sought for any variation on the above.

Key:

OW - outside worker

DE - direct employer who directly employs the outside worker

IE - indirect employer who has effective control of a controlled area where an outside worker works.

APPENDIX 3 Sample consultation letter

The ionising radiations regulations 1999: Draft exemption certificates

[Name of applicant(s)] has/have applied for an exemption from regulations 18(4)(b) and (c), 21(5) and 34(3) of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999; these provisions relate to the need to provide and complete radiation passbooks.

For Situation 1 - The application relates to contractors at [site], whose employees are only classified because of work with [name of applicant] at that site.

For Situation 2 - [Names of employers] both work with ionising radiations on the shared site at [abbreviated address]. The applications for exemption relate to their classified employees who work full-time at the site and are outside workers when they perform services in the other employer's controlled area(s) on that site.

HSE proposes to issue [an/number] exemption certificate(s) to cover this/these application(s) (see draft certificate(s) attached).

An Information Document is enclosed to assist you.

Comments on the proposed exemption(s) should be sent to [Name, address, telephone and fax number, email address] by [date].

APPENDIX 4

Health and safety executive information document

The ionising radiations regulations 1999

Criteria for exemption

Introduction

1 This document contains internal guidance which has been made available to the public. The information may not be directly applicable in all circumstances and any queries should be directed to the appropriate enforcing authority.

2 This document gives advice to employers on the criteria HSE will apply when considering applications for exemption from the need to provide and complete radiation passbooks, ie regulations 18(4) (b) and (c), 21(5) and 34(3) of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99). Advice and guidance on the Ionising Radiations Regulations can be found in HSC's publication 'Work with ionising radiation', L121 (ISBN 0-7176-1746-7) and Ionising Radiation Protection Series Information Sheet No. 4 'Protection of outside workers against ionising radiation'.

3 The provisions of IRR99 which relate to outside workers apply only when workers are designated as classified persons under those Regulations and work in other employers' controlled areas. Employers may therefore wish to reconsider, in conjunction with a radiation protection adviser, whether the workers need to be classified (reminder: de-classification can normally only take place at the end of a calendar year (IRR99 regulation 20(3)).

Note: To aid clarity, the terms 'direct employer' and 'indirect employer' have been introduced - these terms have no legal status and will not currently be found in IRR99, L121 (ACOP and non-statutory guidance) or Ionising Radiation Protection Series No. 4.

General points to consider when applying for an exemption

4 Exemption from certain duties under IRR99 can only be justified in certain limited circumstances. The two situations identified so far are:

If you think one of these situations applies, your application should show that you can satisfy the relevant conditions set out below.

Situation 1 - Applications covering workers who are classified only because of work on the site of another employer .

5 For this situation, applications will normally be made by the employer who has effective control of a controlled area (ie the indirect employer )) on behalf of all the parties to the exemption. These parties would include the outside worker themselves and the direct employer of the outside worker.

6 Outside workers who may qualify for exemption are:

(a) classified only because of work in the indirect employer's controlled areas on that site; and

(b) in an occupation that would not normally require classification of workers or setting up controlled areas (eg painters).

Generally, HSE will expect the indirect employer to carry out the outside worker's dosimetry and medical surveillance, on behalf of the direct employer, as further evidence that the latter does not normally work with ionising radiations.

7 Evidence that outside workers to which the exemption would apply are not itinerant radiationworkers - to qualify for an exemption, outside workers:

8 Direct employers and each outside worker will be expected to sign a declaration to this effect. The approved dosimetry service (ADS) (see 9 below) will receive an 'entry report' from HSE's Central Index of Dose Information (CIDI) which will indicate whether an individual has been classified in the last 5 years.

9 Dosimetry and medical surveillance requirements - direct employers have a duty to make arrangements for approved dosimetry and medical surveillance for their outside workers. However, in this situation the indirect employer is more likely to make the arrangements on the direct employer's behalf, ie:

(a) Dosimetry - normally the indirect employer's ADS for the applicable site should carry out the outside worker's dose assessment and monitoring. Such arrangements help to show that exemption is justified, ie that the direct employer would not usually have cause to have an ADS and the outside worker is being treated as one of the indirect employer's own employees; and

(b) Medical surveillance - for similar reasons, normally the indirect employer's appointed doctor should maintain the health record and perform the annual medical review of the outside worker.

10 Other requirements - the indirect employer will be expected to:

(a) make arrangements to restrict the outside worker's activities in controlled areas if the dose or health records indicate that this is necessary;

(b) maintain a record of all work performed by the outside worker for the direct employer, plus a list of the outside workers, covered by the exemption;

(c) ensure that everyone affected by the exemption is made aware of it, understands what it means and agrees to being subject to it (the exchange of information required by IRR99 should include written confirmation that the direct employer agrees to the application of the exemption);

(d) accept responsibility for ensuring that the direct employer is aware that the exemption ceases to have effect in relation to the outside worker if that worker performs activities in controlled areas other than at the applicable site. This information should be included in writing in the application; and

(e) give outside workers a summary of their assessed dose on request.

Situation 2 - Application in respect of shared sites

11 A shared site is a site occupied by two employers who work with ionising radiations, where employees who work full-time for one employer (the direct employer) are outside workers as defined in IRR99 when they carry out activities in the other employer (the indirect employer)'s controlled area(s).

12 Need for both employers to apply - each employer on the shared site must apply for exemption, as each is both a direct and indirect employer. For example, Employer A will be an direct employer as regards its own classified employees who enter Employer B's controlled areas on the shared site, and an indirect employer in respect of Employer B's classified employees who enter Employer A's controlled areas at that site. A separate certificate would therefore be necessary for each employer on the shared site.

13 Restriction of exemption - employers should clearly understand that the application of a shared-site exemption will be restricted to those employees who work full time at the shared site and are outside workers solely because the site is shared. If an employer on the shared site brings in classified persons from another of its sites to work in the other employer's controlled area on the shared site then those workers would be seen as itinerant radiation workers and IRR99 provisions relating to outside workers would apply to them in full. IRR99 relating to outside workers will not apply where such workers enter their own employer's controlled areas on other sites.

14 Achieving this restriction - where the two employers share an ADS (for record-keeping) which only services that shared site, a condition of the exemption will be that the outside worker's dose record continues to be kept by the site ADS. In other circumstances, some other means of guaranteeing this restriction will be needed.

Consultation

15 Applications for exemption must be made in writing and sent to your HSE site inspector or area office. HSE will consult widely, as appropriate, on any proposed certificates of exemption. Your inspector will ask you for a list of interested parties affected by the proposed exemption. This should include relevant trade unions, safety representatives and other worker representatives and, in the case of Situation 1, the direct employer. It will help smooth the way for the formal consultation if you discuss matters informally with the relevant people beforehand.

Updated 2012-03-27