Introduction to Electromagnetic Radiation Management
Electromagnetic radiation is used in a variety of teaching and research areas throughout the University. Some types of electromagnetic radiation can affect people’s health and cause damage to property or the environment.
Types of electromagnetic ionising radiation used at the University include:
- open sources
- closed sources
- radiation emitting apparatus
Non-ionising radiation information can be found under Safety Topics on this website.
Some of the compliance requirements for radiation management can be quite complex. The Radiation Risk Management procedures and associated guidance material aim to provide simple, directive guidance on how to achieve compliance in regard to electromagnetic radiation management at the University of Melbourne.
Radiation Management Licence
The Radiation Act 2005 (Vic) requires a person or organisation to hold a management licence for the possession, sale, consignment or disposal of a radiation source. A licence must be held before the person or organisation conducts a radiation practice. The management licence is issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
With regards to the above the University of Melbourne holds a management licence so that teaching and research practices that use ionising radiation can do so lawfully.
This licence (often referred to as the Radiation management licence in University documentation) is managed centrally by the University Services, Health & Safety team.
A practice refers to the type of radiation source and the purpose/method for its use.
What does this mean for teaching and research?
- Before you can conduct a radiation practice it must be on the licence. The licence will include; the type of radiation source, the purpose of the practice and the location (including room number in a building).
- A radiation practice that is on the licence, has licence conditions that you must meet.
- You cannot conduct a radiation practice if it is not on the licence.
What are licence conditions?
These are the conditions that are listed on the licence. These conditions stipulate how you work with and manage the permitted ionising radiation source. The Management Licence Schedules list the conditions.
What are examples of altering a radiation practice?
Altering a radiation practice requires varying the Radiation management licence. This may include:
- Moving a radiation practice to a new location (this includes the room next door if it’s not on the licence)
- Acquiring additional radiation emitting apparatus (eg x-ray) not on the licence
- Acquiring additional sealed sources (eg fixed gauge or calibration source) not on the licence
- Acquiring additional radiation sources (eg open sources – isotopes) not on the licence
- Replacing emitting apparatus or sealed sources
- Disposing of emitting apparatus or sealed sources
- Ceasing a radiation practice
How can we make this easier for you?
Safe Radiation Practices - Ionising
This course is designed for staff and students who work with or are exposed to ionising radiation sources. It is anticipated that at the end of this training session participants will be able to:
- Have an awareness of University and legal requirements for the safe use of ionising radiation;
- Explain what ionising radiation is and what physical properties it possesses;
- Implement safe work practices and techniques when working with ionising radiation.
Please note: if you have a Use Licence then you can complete the Safe Radiation Practices - Use Licence Holders training instead of the above.
Safe Radiation Practices - Use Licence Holders
This course is designed for staff and students who work with or are exposed to ionising radiation sources and hold a current Use Licence. It is anticipated that at the end of this training session participants will be able to:
- Have an awareness of University and legal requirements for the safe use of ionising radiation.
Radiation Safety Certification Program
Ionising Radiation Laboratories
Laboratories using ionising radiation require University ionising radiation laboratory certification. The purpose of this certification is to ensure that the laboratory:
- complies with legal requirements;
- complies with University requirements; and
- adopts the radiation protection principles when undertaking ionising radiation activities.
The program is undertaken as a self-certification process by radiation laboratory staff and/or the DRSO. The University Radiation Safety Advisor audits a sample number of laboratories annually.
Records of certification are maintained centrally by Health & Safety, University Services. Certification is repeated biennially.
- Checklist for use during the self inspection:
Ionising radiation laboratory certification checklist
Procedures and Guidance Materials
Plan and Procedures
Ionising Radiation Risk Assessment Form Radioactive Material
(eg x-ray machine)
Sealed Source Apparatus
(eg calibration sealed source, moisture gauge)
- Where corrective actions are required this template can be used with risk assessment templates without an Health & Safety action plan.
- See Also Implement on the Management System page.
Additional information and assistance
The Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Committee (ERSC) is an advisory committee tasked with considering, reviewing and advising on the development and maintenance of the University of Melbourne’s electromagnetic radiation policies, plans and procedures.The ERSC reports to the Associate Director, Health & Safety, University Services.
Your local Departmental Radiation Safety Officer can assist with queries about radiation safety and management specific to your department.
The University Radiation Safety Advisor can provide specialist radiation advice.
- Health & Safety: Ionising radiation management guidelines
- Phosphorus-32 risk assessment
- Phosphorus-33 risk assessment