Information for radiation safety officers (RSO)
Note: If you are trying to find the RSO for your department, see the Radiation Safety Officers list
Using ionising radiation at Monash University
There are a number of Monash OH&S procedures covering different aspects of ionising radiation use at Monash. The overarching document is using ionising radiation at Monash University (pdf 125kb)
Ionising radiation training for radiation users
Training in the use of ionising radiation must be provided at a range of levels, including by laboratory supervisors, safety personnel and OH&S.
OHS training is provided in the form of the two training CDs, Basic Principles of Ionising Radiation and Practical Principles of Ionising Radiation. RSOs may make copies of these CDs for distribution within their department, or install them on local hard drives, but are asked not to distribute them to non-Monash students or staff. A loans sheet for keeping track of the CDs is included in the "Ionising Radiation Training Resources" folder.
When OHS training is given at a unit/centre level, a short description of the points covered in the training should be documented, along with records of attendance.For more information, see your OHS Consultant.
At a laboratory level, training should be provided in:
- the location of risk assessments for the ionising radiation procedures used in the area
- the use and location of monitoring devices for ionising radiation
- the use and location of personal protective and emergency equipment
- local procedures, processes and equipment.
Records of this training should be kept in each area (eg laboratory) where training is provided.
RSOs are expected to undertake the same OHS training as radiation users. In addition, Staff Development runs specific training for RSOs, where topics relevent to RSOs are covered in greater depth than in the general radiation training. Subject matter includes:
- radiation roles and responsibilities
- waste management
- emergency and incident procedures
- contamination control and monitoring
- storage and transport
- planned irradiation of animals and humans
- radiation risk assessments
- x-ray safety.
This material will be offered as a one-and-a-half-day course. For RSOs who have completed Monash RSO training more than three years ago, or who have RSO training from another institution, a half-day refresher course is available.
Details and bookings at
RSO refresher training
Ionising radiation exams
There are two exams based on the training CDs, found at radiation safety exam
Each is 30 multiple-choice questions. RSOs should confirm that radiation users have passed these exams, before they are issued with a TLD. The passmark is currently set at 75%.For assistance with administration of this exam, call Margaret Rendell on 51060.
Personal monitoring of external dose is carried out using TLD badges issued by ARPANSA. New users should only be issued with a TLD badge after they have completed the required training and passed the online exams. To add or remove workers from the personal monitoring program, call ARPANSA on94332211, or fax thema completed wearer registration form (pdf 47kb)
Radiation workers who perform iodinations should contact OH&S to arrange for thyroid monitoring. This should be done before and after performing the iodination, if this is done irregularly. Workers who regularly perform iodinations should be monitored at least monthly.
Details of the specific resposibilities and procedures for the personal monitoring program are contained in ionising radiation dosimetry procedures (pdf 50kb)
Assessment of intake of other radioactive materials to assess internal dose is carried out ona riskbasis.See the Radiation Safety Manual and Manual for Users of Ionising Radiation for more details.
Purchase, acquisition, transfer and disposal of radioactive sources
Note that radioactive material (sealed or unsealed) requires licencing if the amount or concentration of isotope is above the limits specified in Schedule 1 of the Radiation Regulations 2007
Purchase, registration and licencingrequirements forboth sealed and unsealed sources and irradiating apparatus are detailed in the document purchase, registration and licencing of ionising radiation sources (pdf 52kb)
Departments must maintain a logbook of unsealed sourceacquisition and use. Before purchase of an unsealed source, the RSO should check that the isotope and chemical form are covered by the relevent campus site licence.
Sealed sources and irradiating apparatus
RSOs must notify OH&S when sealed sources, sealed source apparatus,or irradiating apparatusare purchased, acquired, or transferred between departments.
Prior notification is required:
- before purchase of sealed sources or irradiating apparatus
- before disposal of sealed sources or apparatus
- before transfer of sources to another department or outside organisation.
For information aboutsafe transport practices, see using ionising radiation at Monash University. Any transport off-campus or on internal Monash roads must be undertaken in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (2001). Contact OH&S for more details.
Pregnant radiation workers
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 the unborn child from the effects of ionising radiation
Use of uranium and thorium
Possession of uranium and thorium in any form (including salts such as uranyl acetate) is regulated under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987. For more details, see the OHS information sheet on uranyl acetate and uranyl nitrate
Radiation protection and safety training course for RSOs
Below are notes from the Monash RSO training course as it was presented in 1996. The information is currently being progressively updated to take into account changes to Monash policies and procedures and new legislation: year of last update is indicated.
- Introduction (doc 14kb) last updated 1996.
- Basics of radioactivity and properties of ionising radiation (doc 152kb) last updated 1996.
- Radioactive decay law and half-life (doc 44kb) last updated 1996.
- Chemical and biological effects of radiation (doc 50kb) last updated 1996.
- Background radiation and risk (doc 29kb) last updated 1996.
- Radiation protection philosophy and legislation (doc 44kb) last updated 1996.
- Protection from external hazards (doc 73kb) last updated 1996.
- Protection from internal hazards (doc 77kb) last updated 1996.
- Detection and measurement of radiation (doc 89kb) last updated 1996.
- Personal and area monitoring (doc 44kb) last updated 1996.
- Storage of radioactive material and waste management (doc 45kb) last updated 1996.
- Transport of radioactive material (doc 28kb) last updated 1996.
- Radiological accidents and emergency procedures (doc 33kb) last updated 1996.
- Record keeping in using ionising radiation (doc 18kb) last updated 1996.
- Work involving planned irradiation of humans and animals (doc 16kb) last updated 1996.