Work with ionising radiation: approved code of practice and guidance

10 April 2018

Article: 52/1405

Further to Current note 51/4906, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published the second edition of L121, ‘Work with ionising radiation: Approved Code of Practice and guidance’.

The guidance is intended for use by employers to help them comply with their duties under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017, which came into force on 1 January 2018.

The publication is also relevant to employees who work with ionising radiation, radiation protection advisers, radiation protection supervisors, and general health and safety officers. It can also be used by self-employed people who work with ionising radiation and have certain duties under these Regulations, both as an employer and as an employee.

The main changes since the last edition (IRR99) include the following:

  • the dose limit for exposure to the lens of the eye has been reduced from 150 mSv to 20 mSv in a year
  • there is a new system of authorisation for work with ionising radiation, the higher the radiation protection risk, the greater the requirements. A three-tier system of regulatory control, notification, registration and consent has replaced the previous requirement for notification and prior authorisation.
  • the requirement for notification has been changed to a lower level of activity than in IRR99
  • the definition of an outside worker has been broadened so that it includes both classified and non-classified workers
  • there is now a requirement to put procedures in place to estimate doses to members of the public
  • guidance has been clarified regarding the duties of employees to cooperate with employers in meeting the requirements of these regulations
  • medical appeals by an employee are made to HSE within 28 days of the employee being notified of the appointed doctor’s decision. This has been introduced for consistency with other regulations