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Radiation legislation and safety standards

Radiation safety legislation

Radiation Health administers Queensland's Radiation Safety Act 1999 and the Radiation Safety Regulation 2021.

The objective of Radiation Safety Act 1999 is to:

  • protect persons from health risks associated with exposure to sources of ionising radiation and harmful non-ionising radiation
  • protect the environment from being adversely affected by exposure to radiation.

Legislation:

Queensland Health's strategy to achieve compliance with the Radiation Safety Act 1999 can be found at:

Radiation safety standards

An Accredited Person will assess radiation sources and premises to check that they comply with the relevant safety standard.

Radiation safety standards establish the minimum safety criteria for:

  • radiation sources
  • premises where radiation sources are used
  • premises where radioactive substances are stored.

These assessments are required before the radiation source is used and periodically to ensure the equipment and premises continue to maintain safety for people and the environment.

Issue a Certificate of Compliance details how often assessments are required.

A complete list of the radiation safety standards is available in the Radiation Safety (Radiation Safety Standards) Notice 2021. You can access the complete list of standards, or refer to the groupings below.

Radiation sources used in different industries have different safety standards:

Standards for radiation sources

Ionising radiation apparatus

  • Standard for ionising radiation apparatus—medical imaging (2021)
  • Standard for radiation sources—industrial, mining, manufacturing, and other practices (2021)

Non-ionising radiation apparatus

  • Standard for non-ionising radiation apparatus—medical or cosmetic procedures, or related practices (2021)

Standards for premises

Ionising radiation sources
  • Standard for premises—ionising radiation sources (2021)

Non-ionising radiation apparatus

  • Standard for premises—non-ionising radiation apparatus (2021)

Standards for radiation sources

Ionising radiation apparatus

Standard for ionising radiation apparatus—medical imaging (2021) (PDF 1024 kB)

For medical, dental, chiropractic, and veterinary practices

This radiation safety standard sets out the minimum performance expectations for ionising radiation apparatus used for medical imaging, including veterinary medical imaging. For clarity, this standard includes radiation therapy treatment planning systems, but excludes radiation therapy treatment delivery systems.

Specific requirements:

Sets out the minimum performance expectations for all ionising radiation apparatus the subject of this standard, including:

  • tests for all radiation apparatus, unless otherwise specified
  • additional tests for apparatus with automatic exposure control devices
  • additional tests for apparatus capable of radioscopy
  • additional tests for apparatus capable of extra-oral dental diagnostic imaging
  • additional tests for apparatus capable of intra-oral diagnostic imaging
  • additional tests for apparatus capable of computed tomography
  • additional tests for apparatus designed to perform mammography.
Standard for radiation sources—industrial, mining, manufacturing, and other practices (2021) (PDF 1012 kB)

For industrial gauging, industrial radiography, geotechnical measurements, borehole logging, education, science and research, quality control, and security practices

This radiation safety standard sets out the minimum performance expectations for certain ionising radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus in relation to carrying out of radiation practices, specifically those used for industrial, mining, manufacturing and other practices. Also sets the minimum requirements for ongoing use of a sealed radioactive substance.

Specific Requirements:

Sets out the minimum test requirements for all radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus. Also sets requirements for sealed radioactive substances.

This includes:

  • cabinet radiation apparatus and enclosed radiation apparatus used to carry out a radiation practice
  • radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus used to carry out industrial radiography
  • radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus used to carry out chemical and physical analysis
  • radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus used to carry out industrial gauging
  • sealed source apparatus used to carry out borehole logging
  • radiation apparatus and sealed source apparatus used to carry out sterilisation
  • sealed source apparatus used to carry out moisture/density measurements.

Non-ionising radiation apparatus

Standard for non-ionising radiation apparatus—medical or cosmetic procedures, or related practices (2021) (PDF 848 kB)

For medical, cosmetic, or related practices

This radiation safety standard sets out the minimum performance expectations for non-ionising radiation apparatus used to carry out medical or cosmetic procedures, or related practices. For clarity, the standard includes non-ionising radiation apparatus used to carry out dental procedures.

Specific requirements:

Requirements for laser apparatus used to carry out medical or cosmetic procedures, or a related practices. Sets out the minimum test requirements for a laser apparatus used to carry out a medical or cosmetic procedure, or a related practice.

Standards for premises

Ionising radiation sources

Standard for premises—ionising radiation sources (2021) (PDF 792 kB)

For businesses that use X-ray equipment, sealed source apparatus, or radioactive substances

This radiation safety standard sets out the minimum requirements for premises in which ionising radiation sources are used to carry out a radiation practice, or in which radioactive substances are stored. Premises may comprise:

  • a room or an area within a room, building or other structure in which a radiation source is used to carry out a radiation practice
  • a room, building or other structure where radioactive substances are stored.

Principal Requirements

Sets out the minimum test requirements for principal requirements for all premises where ionising radiation related practices are carried out.

Specific requirements:

Sets out the minimum test requirements, in addition to the principal requirements for:

  • premises used to store radioactive substances
  • premises in which an ionising radiation apparatus is used to carry out medical imaging
  • premises in which an ionising radiation apparatus is used to carry out radiation therapy
  • premises in which a radioactive substance is used to carry out high or pulsed dose rate brachytherapy using a remote after loading
  • rachytherapy machine
  • premises in which a radiation source is used to carry out industrial radiography
  • premises in which an electron beam irradiator, X-ray irradiator or a gamma irradiator is used
  • premises in which a radiation source is used as part of a nuclear medicine practice, and premises used for the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals
  • all premises not otherwise specified (in 3.1 to 3.7) in which unsealed radioactive substances are used.

Non-ionising radiation apparatus

Standard for premises—non-ionising radiation apparatus (2021) (PDF 657 kB)

For businesses that use laser apparatus

This radiation safety standard sets out the minimum performance expectations for premises at which non-ionising radiation apparatus is used to carry out a radiation practice.

Specific requirements:

Requirements for premises at which a laser apparatus is used to carry out a medical or cosmetic procedure, or a related practice.
Sets out the minimum test requirements for premises in which a laser apparatus is used to carry out a medical or cosmetic procedure, or a related practice (e.g. laser procedure room).

Last updated: 16 September 2021