Planning Work with Ionising Radiation

Radiation safety training

All staff involved in applications of ionising radiation must undergo Radiation Safety training presented online through CloudDeakin. Training involves:

  • An understanding of radiation safety principles and procedural requirements (verified by completion of a short quiz)
  • Induction of your radiation work area
  • Completion of a Work Safety Assessment

Important: To gain access to online training you will need to self-register within CloudDeakin and select "Office of Research Integrity":

  1. Log into Cloud Deakin
  2. Click on the More button in the top right of the screen,
  3. Select Self Registration from the drop down menu,
  4. Choose the Office of Research Integrity link in the registration page that opens, and
  5. Click Register.

The site will then appear within the My Sites area of your Cloud Deakin homepage (if you are a staff member, please ensure you look under your student tab). Within the site, select the link to the Radiation Safety Home Page for full details about how to complete each component of the training.

Once all training components are completed, a certificate of completion will be accessible through CloudDeakin which entitles the user to work with radiation at Deakin. This certificate will be valid for 3 years.

If you experience any difficulty with the online training process, please contact the Radiation Safety Officer.

Hazard Assessment - Work Safety Assessments

Before starting any work with radiation researchers must complete a Work Safety Assessment (WSA) which highlights the hazards and risks associated with all aspects of the research program. This process allows consideration to be given towards specific requirements such as protective measures, training, storage facilities, waste disposal methods, emergency procedures and management licence upgrades. The WSA should be reviewed annually as a minimum, and from time to time as required when changes occur to equipment, operators or work practices.

WSAs should be filled out by the Project Leader in conjunction with the Project Manager, and must be approved by the Area Manager and Radiation Safety Officer before any work commences. Further details are available in section 5 of the Radiation Management Plan (PDF, 308.3 KB) .

Dose limits and annual dose estimation

Annual dose estimation

An estimation of the total annual effective external dose can be made using data sheets available in an extract from the Radionuclide and Radiation Protection Data Handbook (2002) (PDF, 318.9 KB) . The values provided in the 'External Exposure' section of the data sheets cover several exposure routes, and by adjusting for the estimated contact hours and the source size, an approximate annual dose can be calculated.

Example of dose estimation - exposure to a 37MBq Co-57 source for 25 hours. Please refer to Data Sheet (PDF, 143.2 KB) .

  • Choose the most likely exposure type: a point source at 30cm
  • Source size = 37MBq
  • Exposure hours = 25
  • Value from data sheet for point source exposure at 30cm for a 1MBq Co-57 is 2.52 x 10-4mSv/hr

Calculation: (2.52 x 10-4) x 37 x 25 = 0.2331mSv

When estimating a dose the worst-case should be assumed (ie. choose high values). If your estimated dose exceeds the limit listed below please contact the Radiation Safety Officer.

Dose limits

Radiation workers (occupational exposure)

Whole body - 50 mSv in any one year
20 mSv/year (averaged over a period of 5 consecutive calendar years)
Dose rate of 10 µSv/hour equates to a dose of 20 mSv in a working year

Non-radiation workers/member of the public

Whole body - 1 mSv/year
Dose rate of 0.5 µSv/hour equates to a dose of 1 mSv in a working year

Please note workers who are pregnant or trying to conceive must consult with the Radiation Safety Officer prior to working with radiation, to ensure exposure remains below the public effective dose limit (1 mSv/year).

Emergency procedures

Emergency procedures must be developed during the hazard assessment stage. They must cover what to do in case of a radiation spill or personal contamination. All staff working in the vicinity must be made aware of the procedures during local inductions and training processes. Details of applicable emergency procedures are to be listed in WSAs.

Radiation work involving human volunteers

Any radiation work involving human participants must be approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC) and notified to the Victorian Department of Health prior to commencement.

Advice on the correct order of proceedings is available in section 5 of the Radiation Management Plan or contact the Human Research Ethics Unit or the Radiation Safety Officer.

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