New information sheet on managing site radiography


Industrial radiography involves the use of industrial X-ray sets and/or high-activity gamma radiation sources to carry out NDT of welds or for determining structural or pressure-retaining integrity. The high-intensity radiation sources used can pose a significant risk to those carrying out the work as well as others who may be in the vicinity.

HSE's expectation is that industrial radiography will be carried out in a properly designed shielded enclosure, fitted with appropriate safety systems to restrict radiation exposures. However, there will be occasions where items are too large to be transported into an enclosure, or in-situ components such as pipework, spools and so on need to be radiographed. On these occasions the radioactive source and/or X-ray set must be taken to the site for the testing to be carried out, a practice known as “site radiography”.

The Non Nuclear Sectorial Committee of The Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) has produced an information sheet intended to assist companies carrying out site radiography, and also clients who engage such companies, to comply with the law. Clients, main contractors and site radiography companies are all employers and have clear responsibilities under health and safety legislation (Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999, Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).

Site radiography companies using gamma radiation sources must also comply with the specific conditions contained in their radioactive substances permit issued under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 (by the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales) or their certificate of registration issued under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency).

The leaflet provides a short summary of the main radiation protection requirements to ensure that site radiography is carried out safely, and consists of two checklists:
  • one for site radiography companies
  • one for their clients

These checklists are not intended to be exhaustive; rather they represent the minimum standards in terms of radiation protection arrangements.

BINDT's Service Inspection Group assisted in the preparation of the leaflet and copies are available from the Institute. Click here to download a PDF version.