Radiation safety

Ionising radiation

The University has a clear policy and extensive guidance for working with ionising radiation. All radioactive sources, waste and workers are monitored, recorded and managed by Safety and Health Services.

This is a legal obligation for the University and it demands compliance from all staff and students working with ionising radiation.

Non-ionising radiation

The University has a clear policy and extensive guidance for working with non-ionising radiation. For instance, laser users must follow the University's laser safety guidance. 

Laser safety

When identifying the hazards associated with laser systems, consider:

  1. Is it mounted in a commercial system? Mounting and encasing lasers within a piece of equipment, such as a laser welder or cutter, encloses the beam path of the laser and usually introduces control measures that reduce the level of risk.
  2. What is the classification of the laser?

Magnetic fields

High magnetic fields can pose health risks, particularly to people with wearable or implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers or insulin pumps.

Some buildings have equipment that produces strong magnetic fields. Hazard signage is clearly displayed in the areas where equipment is located to warn those at risk.

Electromagnetic fields (EMF)

EMF is produced by all electrical and electronic equipment when in use. Fields may be static or time-varying, electric, magnetic or electromagnetic (radio wave) and have frequencies up to 300 GHz.

The University takes reasonable steps to prevent harm from EMFs. Hazards associated with EMF include:

Accidents and emergencies

If there is an accident, refer to the risk assessment covering your work.

In an emergency, seek advice and support from:

  1. your supervisor or another local member of staff
  2. your local Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) and, if required, an appropriately radiation-trained first aider
  3. the University Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) on 0117 4556052 or 0117 4559403 
  4. Security Services by dialing 112233 from any internal phone or 0117 3311223 from a mobile

All accidents and incidents must be reported to your supervisor.

If there is a spill or contamination

Specific details on how to deal with spills and contamination events will be given in the lab's local rules, as well as in the risk assessment for each lab and project.

If you hear an alarm

In the event of the fire alarm sounding, leave the area immediately and evacuate the building.

Report to your supervisor that you have had to evacuate whilst undertaking work involving radioactive material.

Find out more

More information and advice on all aspects of ionising or non-ionising radiation safety is available from:

  • your supervisor
  • local Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPSs)
  • local Laser Safety Officers (LSOs)
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