Ionising radiation notifications
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When do I need to notify HSE?
You will need to provide information to HSE:
- before working with ionising radiation and following certain occurrences as required by the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17)
- regarding the keeping of very large quantities of certain radioactive substances on premises as required by the Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001 (REPPIR)
- following certain incidents involving irradiators or industrial radiography equipment as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
How do I tell HSE of my work with ionising radiation under IRR17?
Depending on the level of risk for the work you do you may need to notify, register or get consent from HSE.
What kind of radiation incidents need to be reported to HSE?
The Approved Code of Practice and guidance on IRR17 sets out full details of the following incidents that need to be reported:
- where an employer suspects or has been informed that an overexposure has occurred (regulation 26)
- where an accident or other occurrence takes place which is likely to result in a person receiving an effective dose of ionising radiation greater than 6mSv or an equivalent dose greater than 15mSv for the lens of an eye or greater than 150mSv for the skin or the extremities, the employer must arrange a dose assessment and report the results (regulation 24(2)(a))
- a loss, theft or release of a certain quantity of radioactive material has occurred (regulation 31)
You can email a report to [email protected].
What are the Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001 (REPPIR)?
REPPIR applies to operators of premises who carry out work with ionising radiation, and to those who transport radioactive sources through public places – other than by standard forms of transport – in excess of specified levels.
The main aim of the regulations is to establish whether a radiation emergency is foreseeable and to mitigate the consequences, should one occur.
What information must I provide under REPPIR?
The Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations 2001 requires that operators of premises with radioactive substances in excess of the threshold quantities carry out a risk assessment (a Hazard Identification and Risk Evaluation, or 'HIRE') and send a report of the assessment to HSE. Operators must do this 12 months before the work is to be undertaken – unless a shorter period is agreed beforehand by HSE.
A HIRE should contain sufficient information and appropriate cross-references for HSE to confirm the outcome of the assessments. The HIRE should be sufficient to demonstrate that:
- all hazards arising from that work with the potential to cause a radiation accident have been identified
- the nature and magnitude of the risks to employers and other people arising from those hazards have been evaluated
Where there is a significant change to the amount of radioactive material, the conduct of the work or to the premises, a further assessment must be made and a revised HIRE submitted to HSE.
In any case, the HIRE should be reviewed every 3 years, and updated if the work has changed in any way, or if there have not been any changes of circumstances then a declaration signed to that effect. The revised HIRE or Declaration must be submitted to HSE.
What do I notify about under RIDDOR?
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require certain radiation-related events to be reported to HSE:
- the malfunction of a radiation generator or its ancillary equipment – during industrial radiography and irradiation of food, or the processing of products by irradiation – causing it to fail to de-energise at the end of the intended exposure period
- the malfunction of equipment used in industrial radiography or gamma irradiation, causing a radioactive source to fail to return to its safe position by normal means at the end of the intended exposure period