For staff and students using radiation in their work

If you can't find the information you are looking for, or for information on radiation use in specific departments, talk to your Radiation Safety Officer.  Information on laser safety can be found on the Laser Safety page.

Radiation Management Plan

  • If your area has a Radiation Management Plan, the RMP will contain information on both university radiation requirements (including the information below) and your local procedures.

Using ionising radiation at Monash

There are a number of Monash OHS procedures covering different aspects of ionising radiation use at Monash. The overarching document is "Using Ionising Radiation Procedure".

This and all the documents referenced below can be found at the A-Z of documents page.

Ionising Radiation Training

Training in the use of ionising radiation is provided at a range of levels, including by laboratory supervisors, safety personnel and OH&S.

Supervisors provide induction and training in the use of ionising radiation in the laboratory that they supervise, and in the location and use of local risk assessments, monitors, personal protective equipment, equipment and procedures. Training may also be provided on a departmental level by local safety personnel, experts or the OHS consultant.

There are two online radiation safety courses available through myDevelopment.

Basic Principles of Ionising Radiation Safety should be undertaken by all staff, honours and postgraduate students who work with sealed radiation sources and X-rays, unless an alternate training requirement has been set with the approval of the University Radiation Protection Officer.

Basic Principles of Ionising Radiation Safety and Practical Principles of Ionising Radiation Safety should be undertaken by all staff, honours and postgraduate students who work with unsealed radioactive isotopes.

Personal monitoring

Staff and students who use ionising radiation in their work may be issued a personal dosimeter (OSL badge) through their department. Contact your RSO to arrange issue of a dosimeter or to check your results. Procedures for the university personal monitoring program are outlined in "Ionising Radiation Dosimetry Procedures".

Risk assessment of your work may indicate the necessity for also wearing a finger badge. Your RSO can organise this.

Commencing new work or modifying existing practices

Before you commence new work or study using ionising radiation or modify existing ionising radiation practices ensure that you have done the following:

  1. complete the required training
  2. complete a new risk assessment or review and if necessary update an existing risk assessment
  3. ensure personal monitoring is appropriate for  new practices
  4. ensure suitability of facilities - laboratories for the use of ionising radiation sources are classified based on the type of source that is used and the level of finishes and facilities available
  5. consult your RSO
  6. develop new safe work instructions and safe handling practices, if necessary.

Storage

For specific advice regarding storage requirements and shielding, contact your RSO.

In general, radioactive sources must be stored:

  1. so that the emission levels are 0·5 microsievert/h at any location that could be occupied by a member of the public
  2. with secondary containment in order to ensure that the potential for contamination of storage location is minimised
  3. in a secure location to prevent loss, theft or accidental misuse of the source.

Waste disposal

Waste disposal must be carried out in accordance with unit/entity rules. Consult your laboratory supervisor. These rules must conform to the university's "Disposal of Radioactive Waste Procedure".

Pregnancy and Radiation Work

It can be possible for a radiation worker who becomes pregnant to continue working with radiation, if they feel comfortable doing so. An assessment of the tasks undertaken is made to ensure there is no undue risk, and personal monitoring is increased in frequency. For more information, see the Procedures for "Protecting Unborn and Breast-Fed Children from the Effects of Maternal Exposure to Chemicals, Biologicals, Animals and Radiation Procedure".

Issues surrounding the use of radiation during pregnancy can be discussed with:

  • your RSO
  • with the University Radiation Protection Officer, Margaret Rendell, or
  • with the OH&S Occupational Health Physician, Dr Vicki Ashton

Use of Uranium and Thorium

Possession of uranium and thorium in any form (including salts such as uranyl acetate or thorium nitrate) is regulated under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987.

For more details, see the information on Safeguards Material in the "Using Chemicals Procedure".