All use of ionising radiation is regulated by the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99).
From the user's point of view, these differ in some important respects from the previous (1985) Regs - if your documentation refers to the old ones, contact your Radiation Protection Adviser immediately!
The object of IRR99 is to ensure, by placing duties on employers, that every use of ionising radiation at work is justified and optimised, and in particular that any exposure of people (whether employees, patients or members of the public) is
subject to dose limits, and
as low as reasonably practicable.
IRR99 in particular requires that almost every employer who uses or intends to use x-rays or radioisotopes must consult a certified Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) with a view to ensuring compliance with the Regs, when planning the work. Go to "contacts" if you use ionising radiation and don't have an RPA, or if your current RPA is not certified under IRR99 (certification is mandatory after December 2004).
The medical (but not veterinary) application of radiation is also subject to the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 (IRMER). These Regs place additional duties on the Employer, the Referrer (in effect, a patient's GP or physician), the Practitioner (usually a radiologist) and the Operator (usually a radiographer) to ensure that every radiation exposure is individually justified and optimised. The Employer must retain a Medical Physics Expert (MPE) to advise him - often but not always the RPA.
Additional regulations apply to the storage packaging transport and disposal of radioactive materials - go to "contacts" for advice.
UK law does not grant anyone the right to use ionising radiation: it imposes duties on those who do, and requires anyone who does so, to have appropriate training and facilities.
[to be continued....]