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Ionising radiation

The control of exposure to ionising radiation arising from the use of radioactive materials and radiation generators.


Approval date
16 Mar 2018
Approved by
University Health and Safety Committee
Date of last review
12 Mar 2024
Date of next review
31 Mar 2026

Introduction & Scope

Everyone receives some exposure to natural background radiation and much of the population also has the occasional medical or dental X-ray. This policy is concerned with the control of exposure to ionising radiation arising from the use of radioactive materials and radiation generators due to work activities at the University of Bath.

  • This policy covers all types of ionising radiation; electromagnetic rays such as x-rays and gamma rays and alpha and beta particles. These can be man-made or natural radiation (e.g. Radon).

  • It covers all activities on University property that use or produce ionising radiation including medical and dental practices.

  • This policy does not cover non-ionising radiation including UV, Lasers and Electromagnetic Fields.

Relevant legislation and guidance

The Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The Ionising Radiation Regulations (IRRs) 2017

Work with Ionising Radiation Approved Code of Practice L121

Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016

Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017

Nuclear Safeguards (EU Exit) Regulations 2019


Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA)

An RPA is an individual or body that advises on compliance with the IRRs.

Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS)

An RPS is person/s appointed for the purpose of securing compliance with the IRRs in respect of work carried out in an area which is subject to local rules. In particular supervising the safe working arrangements set out in the local rules. Suitability for appointment depends on a knowledge and understanding of the regulations and local rules and an ability to exercise a supervisory role.

Radiation Waste Advisor (RWA)

An RWA is person/s appointed to provide advice on radioactive waste management and environmental radiation protection.

Radiation Protection Officer

Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) is an employee with a University wide role to oversee and coordinate activities to ensure the requirements of IRR17 are met.

Justification for use

Justification for use is providing a robust reason as to why there is no other safer alternative to using ionising radiation in the work.

Policy statement

The University of Bath is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work place and to protect its employees, students, contractors and visitors from potential harmful levels of ionising radiation.

The University will aim to achieve this by ensuring that the exposure of employees to ionising radiation arising from work activities is kept as low as reasonably practicable and does not exceed legislative dose limits.

The University will appoint required competent persons; namely Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA), Radiation Protection Supervisor/s (RPS), Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA) and Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) where applicable to aid in achieving this aim.


The Vice-Chancellor (VC)

The VC has the overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management and identified roles.

The following people are identified as having responsibilities (in addition to any other responsibilities under other health and safety policy) for the management of operations involving ionising radiation in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Heads of all Departments

Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that:

  • all staff are aware of, and adhere to, University policy, procedures and safe systems of work in order to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation relating to the use of ionising radiation as part of their operational work.

  • a suitable Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) is appointed where there is the potential for exposure to ionising radiation within their area of responsibility.

  • up to date and accurate information regarding the potential exposure to ionising radiation present in their area of responsibility is readily available to emergency services in the event of an incident.

Line Managers

Line Managers are responsible for:

  • ensuring that all persons who work with or could be effected by ionising radiation are adequately informed, instructed, trained and supervised

  • ensuring that any work with ionising radiation is justified and that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are produced for each activity involving ionising radiation and that such assessments are made available to those likely to be affected by them

  • producing, in consultation with the RPS, written local rules identifying key working instructions for the work to be undertaken, appropriate to the nature and degree of risk of exposure

  • ensuring that control measures identified in the risk assessment and local rules are effective, available, properly stored and reviewed at suitable intervals

  • notifying Safety, health and Employee Wellbeing (SHEW) if it is believed that there may have been a potential exposure to ionising radiation approaching individual dose limits

The University's Safety, Health & Employee Wellbeing Service (SHEW)

SHEW is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the appointed Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) and Radioactive Waste Advisor (RWA) is adequately trained and experienced

  • implementing arrangements for control and accountability of radioactive substances including acquisition, use, transfer, waste and disposal, in accordance with permit conditions

  • providing, or advising on, suitable training to radiation workers and others who may be exposed, e.g. cleaners, where appropriate

  • designating areas for radiation work as identified by risk assessment in consultation with the appointed Radiation Protection Advisor

  • providing personal dosimetry to radiation workers dependent upon the nature of work and dose assessment

  • reporting on the use, storage, waste and disposal of radioactive substances annually and upon request to the enforcing authority


Employees are required to:

  • carry out all work involving radioactive material with reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and any others who may be affected by their work

  • not knowingly expose themselves or any other person to ionising radiation to an extent greater than that which is necessary for the work being undertaken

  • make full and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), monitoring equipment and personal dosimeters where provided for their benefit

  • keep accurate records of use, monitoring and disposal when using unsealed radioactive substances and do so promptly on the day of use or disposal

University Safety Committee

University Health and Safety Committee will be responsible for:

Monitoring and reviewing this policy. Reviews will be carried out every two years from the date of approval.

Document control

Date of last review: This policy was reviewed and agreed by UHSC March 2024.
Date of next review: The next scheduled review will take place by end of March 2026.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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