At ARPANSA we expect our licence holders to regularly assess their compliance against relevant codes and standards as part their primary responsibility for safety. ARPANSA has developed a tool that helps people perform these simple checks.
The tool uses iAuditor, a simple checklist app which is available on a wide range of devices. We recommend using a free or paid account. You can also download a checklist as a pdf but this removes functionality including the logic which helps streamline the assessment.
Lasers include a wide range of applications including laser pointers, industrial (welding/cutting), and analytical devices.
The laser safety assessment helps you assess your performance against the requirements of:
- AS/NZS IEC 60825.1:2014 Safety of laser products Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements (ECR)
- AS/NZS IEC 60825.14:2011 Safety of laser products Part 14: A user’s guide (Guide).
Ultraviolet (UV) devices
UV devices include portable UV sources, biological fume cupboards and transilluminators.
The UV devices safety assessment helps you assess your performance against the requirements of:
- AS/NZS 2243.5:2004 Safety in laboratories Part 5: Non-ionizing radiations – Electromagnetic, sound and ultrasound
- Radiation Protection Standard for Occupational Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (2006) (RPS 12).
Baggage X-ray Scanners
The baggage scanner safety assessment helps you assess your performance against the requirements of RHS 21 - statement on cabinet X-ray equipment for examination of letters, packages, baggage, freight and other articles for security, quality control and other purposes (1987).
This tool allows you to assess your compliance outside of ARPANSA’s planned inspection cycle. We may also use it as part of our ‘e-inspection’ program.
The tool uses 'smartforms' to guide the user through the assessment providing guidance and streamlining the questions. You can use it on any mobile or tablet device - in the browser or app - attaching photos where needed.
ARPANSA plans to develop a suite of different checklists for a range of radiation sources and settings.
Why perform periodic self-assessments?
We all want to do our job safely, but how do we know if what we’re doing is in line with current standards? What if the standards have changed or what we do has changed? That’s where our self-assessment tool can help.
If you are a licence holder you have obligations to find and rectify non-compliance and to take reasonable steps to manage safety. The ARPANS Regulations sections 57 & 60 outline these requirements, and this tool just might help you avoid a serious breach.
Those who are not in ARPANSA’s jurisdiction but who have these types of sources are also welcome to make use of the self-assessment tool. While the checklists are based on national standards, you should check with your local regulator to find out if there are any specific obligations.
Self-assessments are all about you - the licence holder – and we are committed to keeping a focus on what you might need.
ARPANSA working groups have helped develop this tool and it’s the group who decides which checklists to develop. We often start with checklists used by inspectors, but our final product is tailored for industry use. We are working on other checklists including one for safety in laboratories where unsealed sources are used (AS2243.4). If you are interested in joining a working group please let us know!
These self-assessments are a great way to be ready for an ARPANSA inspection. However, our inspectors also look at things such as performance objectives and criteria, international best practice and holistic safety. The non-compliances and areas for improvement we find may differ from the ones identified in self-assessments.
Graded approach and frequency of assessment
The frequency and depth of assessment will depend on the complexity of your use of radiation. You should determine what works for you but using simple checks (such as these checklists) every 1-3 years is good practice. You may need to have other in-depth safety reviews less often particularly if you have high hazards.
Requirements vs recommendations
If you select 'No' in the tool - to say you do not comply with a question - it may be related to a recommendation ('should' statement) or a requirement ('shall' or ‘must’ statement).
Only non-compliance with a requirement will appear in red as a ‘fail’. If you do not meet a recommendation this will appear in orange. Either way you will be prompted to enter an explanation in the app – maybe you have a better way of doing it that achieves the same outcome!
We would like to hear from you if you have any feedback about the use of the tool or how we can improve your experience.
Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org