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Modern Dentist Magazine – Editorial 1

I hope you are aware (if not where have you been, or rather more importantly where has your Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) been by not keeping you up to date) but by the time you read this article the new ‘Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017’ will have ‘technically’ commenced on 1st January 2018 – however they do not ‘officially’ come into effect until the 6th February 2018.

In response to the requirements of this change in the legislation the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are bringing in a three level ‘graded’ approach to notifying them of the intention to use sources of ionising radiation (essentially related to low, medium and higher levels of risk of sources and uses) – these are to be called Notification, Registration and Consent. The effect on the dental profession is that as users of x-ray machines (Intra-oral, Panoramic or Cone Beam CT) all practices will be required to apply for ‘Registration’ to indicate that you use these ‘electrically generated’ x-ray sources.

Sorry that I cannot give you the web address for this but at the time of writing the web site was not up and running and it has been suggested that it may not be open to do so until the beginning of January. But once it is you will need to go on-line to the ‘Registration’ section of the process, answer ‘yes’ to eight questions and pay a fee of £25 fee for the privilege of doing this – by the 6th February 2018 (and breathe a sigh of relief if you own more than one practice, as you can put all their details on the one registration and will only have to pay one £25 fee for this).

Simple really, but please be aware of the following. The questions you answer yes to (and it has to be all of them otherwise you will not be given a registration confirmation) will be related to whether you have documentation such as relevant risk assessments, local rules and contingency arrangements for the work you undertake, and an appropriate appointed RPA (The HSE want RPAs to be more accountable under this new legislation) – and the HSE have indicated that they will be asking a number of practices to send examples and details of any or all of these, as this is one of the ways they intend to police the new legislation.

Not done this yet? If in doubt contact your RPA for help and advice!

Stephen Green CRadP MSRP MIPEM
Radiation Protection Adviser
Medical Physics Expert
Radioactive Waste Adviser

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