Managing radiation hazards and using sources of radiation safely
These resources provide essential information and guidance for using sealed and unsealed radioactive sources or x-ray generating equipment, helping you comply with legislation and work safely.
Read the policies on:
Radioactive source database
Purpose: For maintaining records of worker registration, risk assessments, ordering, use and disposal of radioactive substances for activities on University premises.
Resource: Radioactive source database
Log into the University network to use this system, for example by using the University's VPN off-site or a University computer on campus.
All current radiation forms are also accessed from within the database:
- RP1 - Radiation Register Application
- RP2 - Radiation Risk Assessment
- RP3 - Permit to Acquire Radioactive Material
- RP4 - Radionuclide Stock Card RP5 - Radioactive Waste Disposal Summation Card
- RP6 - Sealed Source Accountancy Form
- RP8 - Change Of Ownership Of A Sealed Radioactive Source
- RP9 - Consignment Certificate - Excepted Package
- RP9a - Consignment Certificate - Type A Package
- RP10 - Permit To Work in a Radioactive Area
- RP10a - Clearance Certificate Prior to Work in a Radioactive Area
- RP11 - Unsealed Sources Stocktake Form
- RP12 - Sealed Source Leak Test Certificate
- RP13 - Unsealed Sources Justification Form
- RP14 - Contamination Monitoring Report Form
- RP15 - Contaminated Item Clearance Permit
- RP16 - Local Training Record Form
- RP17 – Designated Area Deregistration Form
Contact details for school radiation protection supervisors
Purpose: Contact information including emails and phone numbers for all University appointed school radiation protection supervisors.
Resource: Current radiation protection supervisors
Relevant for: Staff or students who will be dealing with radioactive materials
EPR Permit Open Sources
Purpose: Permission from The Environment Agency to use radioactive materials in the form of open sources for approved activities in specified premises.
Relevant for: Staff planning experiments using open sources of radioactive materials
Radiation risk assessment guidance
Purpose: Support for completing radiation risk assessments, which must be carried out before starting new work involving the use of radioactivity and must include suitable and sufficient assessments of potential radiation doses, in line with regulations.
How to use:
- Consult your School Radiation Protection Supervisor if your experiment will use an isotope or activity that is not covered by an existing risk assessment.
- Consult the University Radiation Protection Adviser / Radioactive Waste Adviser if you will require a new sealed or unsealed source or x-ray generator, new facilities or changes to existing facilities, or changes to existing University Health & Safety Executive (HSE) authorisations (notification/registration/consent) and Environment Agency (EA) closed (sealed) / open (unsealed) permits.
Resource: Radiation risk assessment guidance
Relevant for: Staff who will be completing radiation risk assessments
A guide to the properties and storage of radiolabelled compounds
Purpose: Highlighting the problems of self-decomposition when using and storing radiochemicals with methods to minimise this problem, covering:
- factors affecting the rate of decomposition of radiochemicals labelled with tritium, carbon-14, phosphorus-32, phosphorus-33, sulfur-35, and iodine-125
- ways to minimise the rates of decomposition
- examples of classes of compounds
Relevant for: Staff using and storing radiolabelled compounds
Created by: Amersham Biosciences
Resources: Presentations given by the University Radiation Protection Adviser / Radioactive Waste Adviser, to School Radiation Protection Supervisors:
Radioactive sealed source guidance including purchase and storage
Purpose: Detailing University procedures for the purchase, storage, use and disposal of sealed radioactive sources.
Relevant for: Staff who use sealed radioactive sources
External resource: How to comply with your EPR RSR environmental permit - sealed sources
Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) training resources for school users
For practical advice for working with radioactive materials, contact your local school radiation protection supervisors.
These resources help you to comply with legislative and University requirements while protecting yourself and those around you from radiation safety hazards.
Laser user database
Purpose: For maintaining records of worker registration, risk assessments and use of lasers on University premises.
Resource: Laser user database
Relevant for: Staff needing to register as new users of lasers at the University and detail new laser equipment and working with laser risk assessments.
Contact details for school laser safety officers
Purpose: Contact information including emails and phone numbers for all University appointed school laser safety officers.
Resource: School laser safety officers
Relevant for: Staff or students who will be working with laser
Purpose: Laser safety information including University arrangements and guidance for working with lasers in compliance with regulations.
Laser training videos:
- AURPO: Guidance on the safe use of lasers in education and research
- HPA: A non-binding guide to the artificial optical radiation directive 2006/25/EC
- EU Directive: Artificial Optical Radiation Directive 2006/25/EC
- Legislation: The Control of Artifcial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010
- HSE: Guidance for Employers on the Control of Artificial Optical at Work Regulations (AOR) 2010
Sources of non-ionising radiation
Information for using non-ionising radiation sources includes:
- optical radiation such as ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared
- electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated whenever electrical energy is used, such as power frequencies, microwaves and radio frequencies
Optical radiation hazards
- Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can damage the cornea of the eye and the skin, causing redness, burns, accelerated ageing and potentially various types of skin cancer.
- The misuse of powerful lasers can cause serious damage to the eye, including blindness, and produce skin burns.
- It would be rare for detrimental effects from exposure to high levels of EMFs to occur at the University, but the possible hazards include disruption to the central nervous system or increases in body temperature.
Microwave oven safety
Purpose: Safety precautions for using microwave ovens, guidance on maintenance and testing, and responsibilities of University schools and services.
Relevant for: School Safety Advisers and other relevant staff
Handbook for laboratory workers, created by the Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO).