IRR17 (26) - Investigation and Notification of Overexposure

Where an employer suspects that any person may have received an overexposure, as a result of work that he has undertaken, they must make an immediate investigation to determine beyond reasonable doubt that no overexposure could have occurred.

Unless this is shown to be so, the employer must:

  • notify the overexposure to HSE
  • where the employee is from another employer, notify that employer, and,
  • in the case of his own employee, inform relevant doctor (appointed doctor)

The employer must arrange for an investigation of the circumstances and determine the measures to be taken to avoid a recurrence. They must notify their own employee of the results of the investigation, and in the case of a person not being their employee, notify them of his overexposure.

Records of the immediate investigation must be kept for at least 2 years, and of the full investigation, until the person involved has or would have reached the age of 75, but not less than 30 years.

Whilst an RPS would be expected to be involved in this investigation, they would do so in consultation with the Radiation Protection Adviser.

It must never be assumed that an overexposure is not a real occurrence, however more often that not it is shown to be false. The following picture depicts a typical scenario where a personal exposure did not actually occur.

Example of a scenario where an investigation will find that an overexposure did not occur
Example of a scenario where an investigation will find that an overexposure did not occur

If you start from nothing, it is very difficult to get anywhere

– Gerhard Herzberg -