HSE Inspection of Radioactive Sources
HSE are conducting inspections for the management of radioactive sources in schools
Handsam would like to remind organisations that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be conducting health and safety inspections on the safe management of radioactive sources in school science.
The HSE plans to visit around 90 schools, undertaken mostly this autumn term. In collaboration with CLEAPSS, HSE agreed that where school employers choose CLEAPSS Guide L93 this is sufficient to meet the requirements of the Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR17).
What will the HSE expect from schools?
CLEAPSS anticipates that HSE inspectors will want to see solid evidence of how these requirements are applied in the school:
- Risk assessments;
- Storage; and
CLEAPSS’ supporting guidance, GL016 Technical justification showing how the L93 risk assessments meet the suitable and sufficient requirements of the Approved Code of Practice L121 (revised July 2022), explains how the appropriate parts of the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice is followed and aligned with the Ionising Rediations Regulations in their risk assessments in L93.
It is worth the school's Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) having copies of these to hand so that they can answer all questions the inspector may have. However, detailed knowledge of GL016 will not be needed by teachers or technicians who use the sources.
Using sources for which the school has no risk assessment for is a breach of the IRR17. Therefore, it is also worth checking your source inventory prior to an inspection. This should begin with the safe disposal of any sources for which there is no risk assessment. If in doubt, make sure you contact your RPA, or CLEAPSS (if you are in the CLEAPSS RPA service) for advice before conducting any disposal.
What is CLEAPSS?
CLEAPSS, or Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services, is an advisory service providing support in science and technology for local authorities and their schools.
- Information for science teachers and technicians on all aspects of secondary science, including Bulletins, HazCards, Practical Procedures etc;
- Information for primary teachers of science, technology, art and design, including teaching ideas, doing things safely, primary competition and leadership guidance; and
- Information for teachers and managers of resistant materials, textiles, food, art and design and construction. Includes project ideas, model risk assessments, FutureMinds newsletter and management guidance.
Handsam highly recommends schools and academies to get a membership with CLEAPSS as the specialised information and resources they provide are extremely valuable, especially for the health and safety of pupils, staff and visitors.
PR36 Radiation and Radon in Schools
PR37 Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) Checklist: What Schools Should Expect
CLEAPSS: L093 Managing Ionising Radiations and Radioactive Substances in Schools and Colleges
CLEAPSS: GL016 Technical justification showing how L93 risk assessments meet the suitable and sufficient requirements of the Approved Code of Practice L121
HSE: Working with Ionising Radiation