HSENI has launched a new consultation document containing proposals for The Ionising Radiations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017.
The consultation document seeks comments on the proposed Regulations which relate to implementation of Directive 2013/59/EURATOM laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (BSSD). In order to transpose the requirements of the directive, which relate to occupational health and safety, HSENI is proposing to revoke and replace the Ionising Radiations Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (IRR 2000).
The aim of the directive is to update and simplify existing arrangements for radiological protection by bringing five directives and an EU commission recommendation into one directive. However, some of the requirements of the Directive go further than our existing legislation.
One of the key changes relates to one of the dose limits for radiation exposure to the lens of the eye, with a reduction of equivalent dose from 150 mSv to 20 mSv in a year.
IRR 2000 currently requires that exposure to ionising radiation is calculated and assessed on a calendar year basis, so if this new dose limit is introduced on 6 February 2018, the transposition deadline, it would mean two dose limits would apply in one calendar year. HSENI therefore proposes to transpose the BSSD on 1st January 2018 five weeks before the transposition deadline.
Another change is the introduction of a new three tiered risk-based system of regulatory control called the ‘Graded Approach’. The BSSD refers to these levels as notification, registration, and licensing and the higher the radiation protection risk associated with the work, the greater the requirements.
Further details regarding the proposed Regulations are set out in the consultative document below:
The closing date for receipt of comments is no later than noon on 5 October 2017.