I've finally completed my RPS training. My nextstep is to write 'Local Rules' for the Arts Catalyst and Goldsmiths University on curatorial radiation protection requirements for working with radioactive contemporary art.
The role of the RPS is to supervise work with radioactive materials to ensure that all ICRP recommendations, national (IRR17) and international (Euratom Directive) regulations are adhered to in order to undertake precautions to make sure that exposure to radiation is As Low As Reasonably Possible (ALARP). The RPS should also adhere to the Health & Safety at Work regulations which apply to every employer and employee as well as current Environmental Legislation for the issue of permits, certificates which regulate the use, accumulation and disposal of radioactive materials.
The RPS will make sure that the organisation’s Local Rules for Radiation Protection are kept up to date and are being appropriately followed. This will include full risk assessments for working with radioactive materials and their public display.
The RPS will undertake record keeping of specific sources, their use, and radiation monitoring measurements in the lab. They will consult with an Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA) to establish the local rules, and to ensure that the appropriate measures are being implemented.
The RPS will be familiar with the specific protection requirements of their organisation and materials. This will include a good knowledge of the characteristics of the specific isotopes, the form in which they are used in the workplace and their internal and external radiation hazards. For example this should require knowledge of the TVT Tenth Value Thickness of the shielding barrier for specific elements, and to be aware of the Inverse Square Law in calculating dose distance.
The RPS should advise their colleagues on the correct procedures and appropriate behaviour when working with radioactive materials, with the full support of the Director and their team. The RPS should be able to identify risk and reassure their colleagues as appropriate in a respectful and supportive manner.
An RPS should undertake training, and keep up to date with changes in regulations. They should ensure that all radiation monitoring equipment is regularly calibrated, and stored appropriately.
In an arts and museum organisation, the RPS should be familiar with the regulations for the shipping, storage, handling and public display of the specific materials, and be responsible for implementing them.
The RPS will work with their appointed RPA and or RWA to ensure that any HSE notification and registration requirements are appropriately made.