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You must notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at least 28 days beforehand if you plan to start working with ionising radiation.
This requirement applies if you do any of the following:
- produce, process, handle, use, hold, store, transport or dispose of artificial radioactive substances and some naturally occurring sources (eg at nuclear power stations)
- use electrical equipment emitting ionising radiation at no more than 5 kilovolts (eg X-ray equipment in medical or dental practices)
- work in places where the radon gas concentration exceeds certain levels (eg in mines)
- work with naturally occurring radioactive materials (eg that occur in oil and gas pipes or during smelting operations)
Suppliers of radiation equipment should inform their customers of the need to give 28 days’ notice to HSE well in advance.
However, there may be instances - particularly with radon or naturally occurring radioactive materials - where it is not possible to provide 28 days’ notice before commencing work. In such cases, you must notify HSE as soon as you become aware of the presence of ionising radiation.
Your notification should take the form of an email or letter (HSE does not provide a form) and should contain the following information:
- your business name and address and a contact number or email address
- address of the premises where the work activity is to be carried out and a contact number or email address
- the nature of your business
- category of the source of the ionising radiation, ie sealed source, unsealed radioactive substance, electrical equipment or an atmosphere containing the decay products of radon (known as the ‘daughters of radon’)
- whether or not any source is to be used at premises other than those notified
- the dates of notification and commencement of work activity
HSE also recommends including a brief summary of the work that you intend to undertake with ionising radiation.
HSE contact details are available on the HSE website.
If you intend to start site radiography work, HSE will issue you with further notification requirements that you must submit at least 7 days prior to each job taking place.
If there is a material change in the work you are doing that would affect the notification details provided, you must notify HSE immediately of those changes.
The following are exempt from the notification requirement:
- work carried out on a nuclear licensed site
- work generating very low quantities or concentrations of radioactive substances
- cathode ray tubes intended for the display of visual images
- any other electrical apparatus operating at less than 30 kilovolts
Contact HSE if you’re unsure whether notification applies to you.