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Introduction

The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR’99)  (www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1999/19993232.htm)  are aimed at the protection of the public and the health of those staff who work with ionising radiations (SI 1999 No. 3232). The Regulations, which replaced the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1995, came into force on 1 January 2000 in concordance with the Basic Safety Standards (96/29) 1996 Euratom Directive (http://web.archive.org/web/20121030110609/http://ec.europa.eu/energy/nuc...)
The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and guidance (L121) provide detailed advice (i.e. a guidance document which has legal status) about the scope and duties of the requirements imposed by IRR’99 (HSE, 2000). It is aimed at Employers with duties under the Regulations but should also be useful to others such as Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA), Health and Safety Officers, Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and safety representatives. Employees are legally obliged to comply with the Regulations and Local Rules and have a professional responsibility to raise with Employers, knowledge of procedures that are not fit for use.

SCoR Guidance
Although all parts of IRR’99 are important, there are a number of specific regulations within IRR’99 that SCoR believe are particularly important to the radiography profession:

Regulation 7 – Prior risk assessments (PRA) must be carried out prior to the undertaking of work with radioactive materials or introducing new techniques or working practices with ionising radiations. The RPS and the RPA should collaborate in undertaking the PRA and the results should be included in the Local Rules (see Appendix for sample PRA templates) - see Sections A, B & D (ii)

Regulation 8 – All necessary steps must be taken to restrict the exposure to ionising radiation to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) – the responsibility lies with the radiation Employer and relates to equipment engineering controls, design features, safety devices (e.g. personal protective equipment), warning signals and also relates to doses for comforters & carers –
see Sections D & G. Regulation 8(5) relates to responsibilities when a staff member becomes pregnant - see Section H

Regulation 9 – Any personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by the Employer must comply with the Personal Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations 1992 and that appropriate accommodation is provided for PPE when it is not being worn. The RPS has a responsibility to ensure that PPE is stored appropriately, that QA tests (e.g. leakage tests) are undertaken to ensure effectiveness and Regulation 34(2) states that Employees must make full use of PPE for the purpose for which it is provided – see Section D (vi)

Regulation 11 – Radiation dose limitations – see Section E (i) & Schedule 4

Regulation 12 - Contingency plans that are designed to secure restriction of exposure to ionising radiation and the health and safety of persons are in place and are effective. The responsibility lies with the RPS and RPA and details should be included in the Local Rules – see Sections A, B & C

Regulation 13 – Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) – the radiation Employer must consult with an RPA – see Section B

Regulations 16 – Designation & demarcation of areas as controlled or supervised areas – this is the responsibility of the RPA and details must be clearly documented in the Local Rules (an RPS duty) – see Sections B &  E (ii)

Regulation 17 - Every radiation Employer shall set down in writing such Local Rules as are appropriate to the radiation risk and the nature of the operations undertaken in specific areas and that these are observed. Employees and others who may be affected by them must be made aware of the Local Rules. Also, the radiation Employer shall appoint one or more suitable RPSs for the purpose of securing compliance with IRR’99 and set down in the Local Rules the names of individuals so appointed http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/irp6.pdf - see Sections A & C

Regulation 20 – Designation of classified persons which is an RPA duty – see Section B & F

Regulation 21 – Dose assessment and recording that must be undertaken – the radiation Employers’ responsibility but usually an RPS duty - see Section A & F

Regulation 25 – Mechanisms for the investigation and notification of overexposure - is a radiation Employers’ responsibility to make an immediate investigation, and if required notify that overexposure to the Health & safety Executive (HSE) - see Section I

Regulation 31 – Duties of equipment manufacturers regarding consultation with the RPA and other Qualified Experts when designing new facilities (or undertaking refurbishment work) and making proper ‘design assessments’ and after completion undertaking critical examinations’ – see Section D (i) & (iv)

Regulation 32 – Regarding equipment used for medical exposure highlighting issues surrounding the selection, installation and maintenance of equipment, equipment QA programmes, prevention of equipment failures and incident investigations – see Sections D (i), (iii), (iv) & (v).

Schedule 4  - Details relevant dose limitations for various classes of persons – see Sections E, G & H

Schedule 5 – requires the radiation Employer to consult the appointed RPA on matters of radiological protection such as the designation and on-going monitoring of radiation work areas, the refurbishment and construction of radiation facilities, the prior inspection of plans, the use and maintenance of radiation safety features, and radiation safety management – see Section B.
 

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