Radiation protection in schools

Most secondary schools use low-level radioactive sources as part of the national curriculum in science and/or advanced level physics.

The employer of these schools in many cases is Ealing Council and under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974), the employer is regarded as a radiation employer.

These regulations require that all radioactive substances are accounted for, stored properly, handled safely and monitored regularly.

This responsibility is delegated to individual schools with Ealing Council having overall responsibility.

Radiation protection in schools

Radiation protection roles
Standard school holding
Resources
Contact

Radiation protection roles

Radiation protection supervisor
The person in charge of radioactive sources within individual schools is known as a radiation protection supervisor (RPS). The RPS has the day-to-day responsibility for the security, safe storage, use and monitoring of radioactive sources in the school, and for ensuring that staff understand the standard operating procedures and model risk assessments.

It is recommended that this person should be a member of the science teaching staff, typically a subject leader or senior physics teacher.

It is not recommended that the RPS role is taken on by a technician because technicians do not usually hold an authoritative role or an overview and active involvement in all aspects of the use of radioactive sources (including classroom practices). A technician could, however, be appointed as an assistant RPS within the school.

It is strongly recommended that any RPS attends a course specifically designed for school-level work. CLEAPSS run such courses for schools.

Radiation protection adviser
A radiation protection adviser (RPA) is an expert in radiological protection and will have the relevant training, experience and certification.

All schools that hold radioactive sources are required by the Ionisation Radiation Regulations 1999 to have an appointed RPA so that they can get specialist advice and support. Ealing Council has appointed an RPA to meet this requirement.

Corporate health and safety must be contacted with any radiation protection queries and schools must not make direct contact with our RPA.

Radiation protection officer
The schools health and safety adviser within corporate health and safety is the radiation protection officer (RPO) for schools. Schools must contact the RPO with all radiation protection queries.

Corporate health and safety provide a radiation protection audit (at a cost) for schools. Schools can benefit from a 50% discount on the cost of this audit (as well as a number of other health and safety audits) if they sign up to the corporate health and safety SLA (see related services below)

top

Standard school holding

The table below lists the sources that a school could be expected to keep:

Source: Document L93 (CLEAPSS, November 2016)

top

Resources

top

Contact details

Raj Chowdhury
Schools health and safety adviser/schools radiation protection officer
Tel: 020 8825 7287
Mob: 07568 130 165
Email: chowdhuryr@ealing.gov.uk

Address: Corporate health and safety, London Borough of Ealing, Perceval House, Level 3, Plum, 14/16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W5 2HL

top

Was this page useful? 
Last updated: 01 Aug 2017