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Last updated February 2023

This chapter outlines the risks of radiation commonly faced by workers and how to reduce the risk of exposure to radiation.

What is radiation?

Definition: Radiation

Radiation is the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves oras moving particles, especially high-energy particles.

Radiation is a potential source of harm to many Australian workers operating across a variety of industries and workplaces.

Caution: Exposure to radiation can cause severe illnesses, such as skin cancer. This is why it is imperative you have systems and processes in place to protect your workers from radiation exposure.

The common areas of radiation that could affect your workers include:

  • ultraviolet radiation; and
  • radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation.

As with any health and safety risk, you have a duty under health and safety legislation to eliminate or reduce radiation risks as far as reasonably practicable.

Important: In Australia, the use, management and transport of certain radiation sources used commercially are regulated by state and federal laws. Those laws generally require registration, licensing and radiation management plans for the use, transport and disposal of regulated radiation sources. In the case of medical, mining and related industries that use or are exposed to radioactive sources, there are specific requirements for monitoring and protection of workers and members of the public. Contact your safety regulator for more information about these specific laws.