Compliance Testing & Auditing
Radiation producing equipment used in some industrial applications can be a significant source of unnecessary radiation exposure to workers if the equipment is not operated and maintained to required standards. To address this concern, quality assurance programs for industrial radiation equipment have been introduced in Western Australia and elsewhere for a number of years and are now mandatory in a number of jurisdictions.
Compliance testing may only be performed by licensed testers, or by persons acting under the direction and immediate personal supervision of a licensee. Immediate personal supervision requires the licensee to be present and directly observe the person concerned. A number of licence holders also offer their services as consultant compliance testers. The program will, when fully implemented, apply to all ionising radiation producing equipment used in industry i.e. fixed and portable radiation gauges, well logging equipment, industrial radiography equipment, x-ray analysis equipment, portable mineral analysers, special purpose x-ray and cabinet x-ray equipment.
From 1 July 2000, the Radiological Council introduced a compulsory compliance testing program for fixed radioactive gauges. The Council’s aims were to ensure that the occupational and public dose limits prescribed in the regulations are met, that any exposure to ionising radiation is minimised, and that gauges are kept under proper surveillance to prevent the uncontrolled and improper disposal of radioactive substances. Please refer to the Program Requirements [PDF 293 kb] for the compliance testing of fixed industrial gauges.
Gauges are subject to a wide range of conditions ranging from the relatively benign, to corrosive and other physically extreme environments. These conditions can affect their compliance with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Radiation Gauges (1982). Compliance with this Code is imposed by the Radiation Safety (General) Regulations.
It is an offence to use a fixed industrial gauge unless it has either —
- a current Certificate of Compliance; or
- a current Certificate of Conditional Compliance; or
- an exemption from compliance granted by the Council.
“current” means that the certificate was issued within the past 36 months following a compliance test by a licensed compliance tester
“compliance” means compliance with the Radiation Safety (General) Regulations 1983, with any subsequent amendments to those regulations, and with any additional requirements of the Council applicable to that class of radioactive gauge
“conditional compliance” may be granted to a non-complying gauge if it is subject to an existing registration and was manufactured before the particular regulations or standards applying to the non-compliance came into effect, and if the non-compliance, as assessed by Council officers cannot reasonably be rectified; and is unlikely to lead to a situation where any person may receive an unacceptable radiation dose.
“Reference: Compliance Testing Industrial – Radiological Council of WA