Our safety precautions for radiographic testing

Whether it’s assessing welds in a construction project or inspecting aerospace components, radiographic testing plays a pivotal role in ensuring the structural integrity of various materials and components across a range of sectors.

However, like any other industrial process involving radiation, it poses inherent risks. To ensure the safety of personnel and the environment, stringent safety precautions must be in place. In this blog post, we will delve into the vital safety measures that govern radiographic testing.

Understanding radiographic testing

Radiographic testing is a non-destructive inspection method that uses X-rays or gamma rays to penetrate materials and produce images of their internal structure. 

By passing radiation through an object and capturing the resulting shadows or images on a detector, radiography allows for the detection of hidden defects, such as cracks, voids, or inclusions, without the need to disassemble or damage the inspected item. 

It plays a pivotal role in quality control, safety assurance, and the maintenance of critical structures, making it an indispensable tool in ensuring the reliability and safety of countless products and infrastructures.

While this method is highly effective in detecting flaws, it also involves ionising radiation, which can be hazardous if not managed properly.

Interested in our Radiography service? Learn more about it here

Safety precautions: a top priority

At NDT Group we take safety very seriously. Let’s take a look at some of our safety precautions. 

1. Qualified personnel

Radiographic testing is only conducted by trained and certified personnel who understand the principles of ionising radiation and radiation safety. Our technicians must undergo rigorous training and regular recertification to ensure their competence. All of our technicians are certified Level 2 PCN or over.

2. Radiation source control

Controlling the radiation source is crucial. We adhere to all regulations regarding sealed radioactive sources as set out in Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and an RSR Permit for category 5 sealed radioactive sources. 

3. Exposure time and distance

Minimising exposure time and maximising distance from the radiation source are fundamental safety practices. The longer the exposure, the greater the radiation dose. Maintaining a safe distance from the source reduces the risk significantly. 

4. Radiation shielding

Adequate shielding, such as lead curtains or barriers, are in place to protect personnel working in the vicinity of radiographic equipment. Shielding helps to minimise radiation exposure to non-essential personnel.

Our purpose-built bay in Sandycroft allows us to properly shield from the effects of the radiation. 

5. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

When involved in radiographic testing our technicians must wear appropriate PPE. Dosimeters are essential for monitoring radiation exposure and ensuring it remains within permissible limits.

6. Radiation monitoring

Continuous monitoring of radiation levels is essential. We use radiation monitors that trigger alarms if radiation levels exceed safe thresholds.

7. Restricted access

Access to radiographic testing areas is strictly controlled. Only individuals, suitably trained and qualified are permitted in the vicinity of the radiation source.

8. Emergency procedures

Well-defined emergency procedures are in place, including protocols for evacuating the area in case of radiation leaks or other emergencies. Our technicians are trained in these procedures and conduct regular drills.

9. Radiation surveys

Regular radiation surveys are conducted to ensure that radiation levels remain within acceptable limits. Any deviations will trigger an investigation and corrective actions.

10. Documentation

Thorough documentation is essential for tracking radiographic testing procedures, including exposure times, distances, personnel involved and radiation levels. Our technicians ensure that proper documentation is kept which helps in quality control and regulatory compliance. 

Regulatory compliance

Radiographic testing is subject to strict regulatory oversight and compliance with these regulations is non-negotiable. 

Regulatory bodies, such as BINDT and the HSE in the UK, set guidelines and standards for the safe use of ionising radiation in industrial applications. 

At NDT Group we adhere to these regulations and hold the necessary licences and permits to carry out radiography safely.

Ongoing training and education

Safety in radiographic testing is not a one-time effort but an ongoing commitment. Our technicians receive regular training and updates on safety procedures and best practices. 

Staying up-to-date with the latest developments in radiation safety is vital to ensuring the well-being of workers and the integrity of the inspection process.

Radiography: non-destructive inspection method where safety comes first

Radiographic testing is a powerful tool for non-destructive inspection, but it comes with inherent risks due to the use of ionising radiation. 

Ensuring the safety of personnel, the environment and the integrity of the inspection process requires a comprehensive approach. 

Strict safety precautions, qualified personnel, radiation monitoring and regulatory compliance are all essential elements of this approach. 

By prioritising safety we can harness the full potential of radiographic testing while minimising risks and protecting all involved parties. Remember, in radiographic testing, safety always comes first.

Responsive testing that delivers assurance that your equipment is safe.

Contact us for a quality testing service with a fast report turnaround. We can respond to any challenge.

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