Radiation regulator to target miners

By Julian Bajkowski

Radiation safety for workers in the mining and resources sector is set to be probed by the government after the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) revealed it is scouting for consultants to review the state of radiation exposure reporting.

Tender documents released by the atomic safety watchdog call for consultants to “review the status of the reporting and monitoring systems in the mining and milling sector currently in place” and “quantification of numbers and types of workers potentially exposed to radiation".

The stocktake aims to guage the extent and of occupational radiation exposure reporting, monitoring, record retention and regulatory compliance across Australia’s booming mining industry.

Radiation exposure levels of workers in the uranium mining and milling sector have been overseen by ARPANSA since 2010, but the regulator is now increasing the scope of its oversight to include workers across the broader mining and minerals sector, including exploration.

The agency manages the Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR), a database of radiation dose information for workers who are occupationally exposed to radiation.

“ARPANSA has a statutory mandate to protect the health and safety of people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation and to promote uniformity of radiation protection,” documents from the agency said.

“Consistent with this statutory role, ARPANSA is seeking to expand the ANRDR beyond uranium mining to include workers occupationally exposed to ionising radiation in other forms or radioactive ore mining and milling, including exploration.

Tender submissions for the consultancy close on Thursday 5th September 2012.


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