Everything you need to know about a radiation protection advisor

What is a radiation protection advisor (RPA) and how can their role significantly impact the running of your radiology department?

The radiation protection world can be a daunting prospect, especially when you have to contend with several safety laws.

However, perhaps one of the most overlooked elements of workplace radiation protection is the role of a radiation protection advisor. What a lot of professionals forget or aren’t aware of is that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that employers need to consult a suitable RPA for advice on complying with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99).

Without following RPA guidelines for building contractor and clients, you can face serious implications with safety authorities. Plus, with inspections often carried out sporadically, it pays to stay ahead of the curve with compliance to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line. With this in mind, we’ve put together this simple guide on radiation protection advisors to make your life a little bit easier.

What is a radiation protection advisor?

A radiation protection advisor or RPA is the recognised authority that ensures an organisation has an adequate level of radiation shielding protecting staff, operators and patients in the radiation area. The role of a radiation protection advisor is to examine the source of radiation, its surroundings and the application. Once the RPA has done this, they’ll issue an RPA report.

What is a radiation protection advisor report?

The radiation protection advisor report includes prompts for lead equivalences, lead heights, shielding locations and safety systems to ensure the environment is safe for X-ray usage. It’s essential in helping you create a safe working environment and to easily comply with the long list of radiation regulations.

The report is a great blueprint for building contractors or X-ray protection suppliers, as it allows them to provide more accurate installation advice and pricing. Instead of second-guessing the design process, architects, builders and suppliers can work together to create a tailored solution. As well as being an effective tool for estimating, it safeguards your business from any surprise visits from authorities.

You’ll have the potential to save time and money too. For instance, you could spend valuable resource and budget on creating a radiology area, only for a radiation protection advisor to tell you the environment you’ve built isn’t safe in their audit. The report will give you a better idea on the necessary X-ray shielding products and equipment required to pass through shielding standards, as well as the specifics on the minimum working environment protection expected. So, if you installed a code 5 lead equivalence (highest protection) when the RPA says you only need a code 3, you would have paid over the odds for something unwarranted.

Don’t leave things to chance

After receiving your RPA report, it pays to seek advice from an expert in radiation protection. One of the most common mistakes in X-ray room radiation shielding installations happens when organisations misread the RPA report.

For example, the report may show a plan that illustrates the walls that need lead lining with a specific ceiling height of 3 metres. However, it could also include a statement saying lead is only required to be 2 metres high. This can cause confusion and result in double the cost accumulated on supply and installation. Your best bet is to get in touch with our team at Raybloc. As radiation protection and X-ray safety specialists, we can assist you on any questions regarding the upgrading or rebuilding of your radiology area so that it adheres with standards.

You’ll also find a vast range of fully accredited, protective equipment on our website.

Need help and advice? Download our eBook for a comprehensive guide.

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Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives.

Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email
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