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Outcome of risk assessment and designated areas

This article provides guidance on the next steps after a risk assessment, and points learners to which steps cover these aspects.

In week 2 of the course, we introduced the requirement for a radiation risk assessment. To recap, the radiation risk assessment helps you to decide what control measures are needed to restrict radiation exposure and what actions are necessary to comply with the rest of the regulations. The assessment needs to cover both normal work and reasonably foreseeable accident scenarios. Paragraphs 70 and 71 of the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) to the regulations list the matters that need to be considered and the decisions it will help you make. A useful template, following the guidance provided in ACoP, is available in Appendix B of the Dental GNs.

The first step requires you to record the nature of the risk, what the existing control measures are and identify the possible accident scenarios. These matters are listed in ACoP paragraph 70.

The assessment then goes on to address the various decisions required and these are listed in ACoP paragraph 71.

The table below provides a summary of the key questions that the risk assessment will help you answer and where appropriate, where you will find more information in this course.

Question Covered in
The effectiveness of existing control measures – are more required? Week 3, step 3.5
Is personal protective equipment (PPE) required? Week 3, step 3.7
What arrangements are needed for pregnant staff? Week 1, step 1.9
What is an appropriate dose investigation level? Week 1, step 1.10
What maintenance and testing schedules are required? Week 5, step 5.3
What contingency plans are needed? Week 4, step 4.8
What training do employees need? Week 2, step 2.5
What restriction of access is required – are controlled areas and local rules needed? Week 4, steps 4.3 & 4.5
What dose assessment is required for those that enter controlled areas? Week 4, step 4.4
What are the responsibilities of managers for ensuring compliance with the regulations?
What is an appropriate programme of monitoring/auditing to check requirements of the regulations are being met?

Once the risk assessment has been carried out it is important that it is recorded. The risk assessment should then be reviewed if anything changes, or in any case at least every three years.

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Dental Radiography: Radiation Protection in Dental Practice

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