Radiation is a form of energy transmitted either as electromagnetic waves or as particulate matter. Radiations are classified into two categories based on the effects that they produce when they pass through matter:

Ionising Radiations

  • have enough energy to ionise, that is remove electrons from the atoms of, the matter through which they pass;
  • they may be either electromagnetic (gamma and X-rays) or particulate (alpha and beta-particles) in nature; and
  • they have the potential to cause serious health effects, including cancer, if misused.

Non-ionising Radiations

  • these do not have enough energy to cause ionisation in the matter through which they pass;
  • they are electromagnetic (e.g. ultra-violet radiation, microwaves, radio waves, etc.) in nature;
  • they generally have less potential to cause serious health effects than ionising radiations; and
  • their health effects are mainly due to internal body heating and induced electric currents.

Radiation Safety Governance

The South Australian Radiation Protection and Control Act, 1982, governs the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation in South Australia (SA). This Act is administered by the Radiation Protection Branch of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), who license users and/or register ionising radiation apparatus and premises where unsealed radioactive substances are stored or used.

UniSA is committed to the effective management of ionising and non-ionising radiation and to not simply meeting but, as far as possible, exceeding the protection standards. The University will meet these goals through a comprehensive series of documents, including policies, procedures and Local Radiation Management Plans (see below).  These documents include physical control measures, and the management of training, supervision and recording of all aspects of the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation.

Approvals Process for Projects Involving Radiation

Oversight of Radiation Safety, both ionising and non-ionising, is managed by the University Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and the Radiation Safety Committee. The University Radiation Safety Officer must consider for approval all projects involving the use of ionising and non-ionising devices that are  regulated  by radiation safety legislation.

All members of the University who work with ionising and non-ionising radiation, including staff and students, are responsible for ensuring the application of the policies, guidelines and procedures shown below. All staff and students using ionising or non-ionising radiation are responsible for their own safe use of radiation and have an obligation to ensure that their work does not affect the safety of staff, students, the public, or the environment by any action or inaction. In particular, they must:

  • Strictly observe the dose constraints and exposure limits set out in the University Policies for Ionising Radiation (HR29) and Non-Ionising Radiation (HR-30)
  • Reduce to a minimum the radiation hazard of their work
  • Have knowledge of the appropriate accident and emergency procedures
  • Understand the statutory regulations, codes of practice and local instructions relevant to their work.

Please note: The following forms are updated frequently. Please access the forms from this page. do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.