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Procedure: Risk control protocol for ionising radiation

Purpose

To set out the procedure for controlling the risks associated with ionising radiation at the Australian National University (ANU).

Procedure

  1. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act (ARPANSA) and Regulations 1998 (CTH) require employers to establish systems of work that minimise, as far as is reasonably practicable, the risk from ionising and non-ionising radiation to:
  • The health and safety of people; and
  • The environment.
  1. The University's Radiation Safety Policy and Procedure provides details on responsibilities and actions in achieving radiation safety.
  2. This procedure outlines risk management processes for radiation safety.
  3. Any new ionising radiation work must be undertaken in consultation with your local Radiation safety Officer (RSO) and local WHS Committee. New radiation processes and tasks may require completion of the University's ‘new work' approval process.

See: New radiation Work Approval Process

Risk Control Protocol for the use of ionising radiation at the ANU

  1. The University’s currently has systems in place for dealing with radiation risk.
  2. The University’s currently uses a risk control protocol system for dealing with radiation risk. The guideline is to be attached to the beginning of the individual’s workbook. This system is especially applicable for research and teaching work. For work judged a significant risk (category C work), the protocol must be completed, attached at the appropriate location within an individual’s workbook, and then approved by the academic research group leader of equivalent before work commences.
  3. Under the risk control protocol – the risk assessment will allocate one of four increasing levels (with sub-levels) of risk to the work protocol, as follows:

Table 1: Risk Categories

  1. Low risk

    category A

    Moderate risk

    category B

    High risk

    category C1 (lower significant risk) or category C2 (higher significant risk),

    Extreme risk

    Note that any work judged as extreme risk will require detailed research and planning and must not be undertaken without the Radiation Safety Officer, WHS Branch input and senior management approval.

    The assignment of a risk assessment category will be influenced by the nature of the work, the type of ionising radiation involved, its activity or energy, its state of containment and shielding, the laboratory facilities available, and the training and experience of both the individuals undertaking the work and their supervisors (see: Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 4360 Risk Management, Standards Australia, 1999; http://www.standards.com.au/)
  • For risk assessments of category A and category B, the risk assessment shall be entered into the individual's workbook and the control requirements given below for the relevant category must be used when undertaking the work.
  • For risk assessments of category C1 and category C2, a brief description of the special control procedures, precautions, locations, etc. used to control the specific hazard(s) shall be recorded in the individual's workbook before the work commences.
  • It is mandatory that the proposed system of work (for category C1 and category C2) be approved by the academic research group leader in consultation with the Radiation Safety Officer before work commences.
  • The risk control category and controls must be available or attached to the experiment/process.

Risk control practices

Category A (low risk) control procedures

  1. Examples of category A (low risk) work would include:
  • Work with and unsealed source of radiotoxicity group 3 and radiotoxicity group 4 that has an activity or specific activity less than the amount listed in Schedule 2, Part 2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999.
  • Examples of low risk work would include work with the following unsealed sources at activities less than indicated: H-3 < 1 GBq; C-14 < 10 MBq; P-32 < 100 kBq; P-33 < 100 MBq; S-35 < 100 MBq; Ca-45 < 10 MBq; Cr-51 < 10 MBq; Tc-99m < 10 MBq
  1. The Category A requirements are:
  • Work to be done in a dedicated section of the laboratory using a secondary containment tray;
  • University’s staff and post-graduate students must have a competent understanding of the relevant sections of University Ionising Radiation Safety manual, procedure and any laboratory safety regulations of their Area before commencing laboratory work;
  • Protocol to be designed to minimise the time of exposure to source;
  • All wet chemical work must also comply with the chemical management procedure;
  • Good housekeeping is critical;
  • Use work practices that minimise the generation of aerosols;
  • A hand-held radiation calibrated detector, sensitive to the radiation emitted by the source, to be used where practicable;
  • Work area to be regularly monitored for contamination. Especially before and after work;
  • EYE PROTECTION MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES where radioisotopes or chemicals are being used;
  • A laboratory coat or gown and suitable footwear must be worn;
  • Gloves are routinely recommended and hand-washing is required on completion of work. DOUBLE GLOVING IS HIGHLY ADVISABLE;
  • Radiation worker(s) to be protected with appropriate shielding;
  • Non-radiation workers to be protected from exposure by distance or shielding;
  • Consumption or storage of food and/or beverages in the laboratory is forbidden; and
  • Do not pipette by mouth.

Category B (moderate risk) control procedures

  1. Examples of category B (moderate risk) work would include:
  • Work with sealed source of activity less than 40 MBq;
  • Work with analytical source (fully enclosed); and
  • Work with X-ray analysis unit (fully enclosed).
  1. Examples of moderate risk work with unsealed sources would include:
  1. The Category B requirements are:

Category A requirements MUST BE IN PLACE AT ALL TIMES. Additionally:

  • Use a fume cupboard for volatile sources;
  • Controlled apparatus must have a visual indicator showing when it is ON;
  • All safety-switches integral to the design of the controlled apparatus are to be fully operational;
  • Use a personal radiation monitor;
  • Sealed source are to be returned to secure lock-up on completion of the work; and
  • Double gloves are required for handling sources.

Category C1 (lower significant risk) control procedures

  1. Examples of category C1 (lower significant risk) work would include:
  • Work with sealed source of activity greater than 40 MBq;
  • Work with X-ray analysis units (partially enclosed);
  • Work in a prescribed radiation facility;
  • Work with unsealed sources of radiotoxicity groups 1 and 2 that have an activity or specific activity up to 100 times the amount listed in Schedule 2, Part 2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999; and
  • Work with unsealed sources of radiotoxicity group 3 and radiotoxicity group 4 that have an activity or specific activity up to 10,000 times the amount listed in Schedule 2, Part 2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999
  1. The Category C1 requirements are:
  • Category A and category B requirements MUST BE IN PLACE AT ALL TIMES. Additionally:
  • Work is to be done in a dedicated laboratory;
  • Special fume cupboard with appropriate filter may be required;
  • Work protocol to be practised with the use of inactive material;
  • Area to be monitored for contamination on before, during and after work;
  • Appropriate administrative restrictions may be put in place including work to be done during standard hours, with an experienced colleague to be in attendance;
  • Waste disposal must be considered before commencing the project; See Hazardous Waste guidelines.
  • Sealed sources are to be returned to secure lock-up on completion of the work each day; and
  • The work is to be approved by the Research Group Leader. The Research Group Leader should consult with the local RSO.

Category C2 (higher significant risk) control procedures

  1. Examples of category C2 (higher significant risk) work would include:
  • Special project work in a prescribed radiation facility;
  • Work with unsealed sources of radiotoxicity groups 1 and 2 that have an activity or specific activity up to 10,000 times the amount listed in Schedule 2, Part 2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999; and
  • Work with unsealed sources of radiotoxicity group 3 and radiotoxicity group 4 that have an activity or specific activity up to 1,000,000 times the amount listed in Schedule 2, Part 2, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999.
  1. The Category C2 requirements are:
  • Category A, B and C1 requirements MUST BE IN PLACE AT ALL TIMES. Additionally:
  • Appropriate special facilities or locations may need to be provided including a medium level or high level laboratory (AS/NZS 2243.4) for work with unsealed source or special shielding for controlled apparatus;
  • Waste disposal must be considered before commencing project; See Hazardous Waste guidelines.
  • Specific ARPANSA radiation licence conditions may apply - consult Work Environment Group; and
  • Approved by the Research Group Leader after consultation with and approval from the local RSO, WHS branch and local Director.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Risk control protocol for ionizing radiation
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000488
Version 9
Purpose To set out the procedure for controlling the risks associated with ionising radiation at the Australian National University
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment
 
Effective Date 8 Sep 2016
Review Date 8 Sep 2019
 
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2011