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Section A

Role of Radiation Protection Superviser (RPS)

 

 

Radiation Employers will need to appoint, in writing, a sufficient number of RPS’s within a clinical imaging / radiotherapy department to comply with Regulation 17 (4) of the IRR99 to exercise close supervision of radiation work on behalf of the Employer, to ensure adherence, among other areas, to the arrangements set out in the Local Rules. An RPS needs to understand the requirements of the Regulations, command sufficient authority from the people doing radiation work in order to supervise the radiation protection aspects of that work and to know what to do in an emergency. The number of RPSs required should be determined by the number of different locations, the range and complexity of radiation work undertaken, and factors such as shift work, and any planned/unplanned staff absence.

Further information may be obtained on pages 71 – 72 “Work with Ionising Radiation. Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance L121,(HSE, 2000)”– stated as L121 in this handbook and available to buy via the following link: www.hse.gov.uk/radiation/ionising/exposure.htm

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have also produced a very useful leaflet detailing the role of the RPS which is freely available at the following link:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/

SCoR Guidance
The Society and College of Radiographers considers that experienced radiographers are best placed to take on the role of RPS, although all radiographers have a professional responsibility to actively contribute to radiation protection.  All RPSs should receive appropriate training to undertake the role and, as it is a legal position, should have details of their RPS appointment in writing from the radiation Employer. SCoR advise that there should be at least one RPS for each area/site of work and that the RPS works closely with the Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA). The RPS must be involved in the writing of Local Rules, the undertaking of prior risk assessments, local radiation safety committee and have responsibility for undertaking regular audit to ensure compliance of Local Rules. The RPS also has a wider safety role and as such must be involved in the induction of new staff – an example of an induction checklist is given in Appendix I. In addition the RPS should work closely with the Health & Safety representative within their local department and as such carry out random checks pertaining to radiation safety (see Appendix II).

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