Department of Health

Key messages

  • Management licence holders must report certain radiation incidents to the department.
  • Incident reporting helps the department to protect the public and environment from harmful effects of radiation.

Radiation safety incidents may signal a breakdown of radiation safety systems that require thorough investigation and response.

All management licences include a condition that requires a management licence holder to report radiation safety incidents which occur in the conduct of the radiation practice in a manner and time consistent with the document titled Mandatory reporting of radiation incidents. Failure to comply with a condition of licence is an indictable offence under the Radiation Act 2005.

What type of incidents must be reported to the department?

Management licence holders must report certain types of incidents to the department. Table 1 in Mandatory reporting of radiation incidents describes the incident that must be reported and the manner in which it must be reported to the department.

How to report a radiation incident

Depending on the radiation incident, a management licence holder is required to report the incident by phone or by writing to the department.

Where incidents are required to be reported in writing the licence holder must complete a Radiation incident report form and submit it to the department within 14 days.

Emergency reporting

Where radiation incidents are required to be reported immediately, they must be reported by telephone to the Department's Radiation Team:

(a) during business hours by calling 1300 767 469; or

(b) outside business hours by calling 1300 790 733.

Why notify department about a radiation safety incident?

  • Notification of a radiation incident alerts the department of any ongoing risk to human health or the environment. For example, a notification of a transport incident where there has been a spill of radioactive material on a road requires an immediate response from the department to assess the risks and, where required, to coordinate a clean-up. Similarly, a notification that radioactive material has been lost or stolen will trigger immediate departmental action, which includes alerting other agencies regarding the loss or theft.
  • The lessons learned from the investigation of the incident can be used to help prevent similar incidents at that workplace as well as other workplaces.
  • Knowledge from previous incidents allows us to share the learning with other stakeholders who may conduct similar practices with the hope of reducing the likelihood of a similar incident occurring at another site.
  • Notifications allow the department to meet national obligations of reporting radiation safety incidents to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

Investigation of incidents

The department's investigation of radiation incidents will involve, as a minimum, an assessment of the incident report against the following criteria:

  1. accuracy
  2. completeness
  3. adequacy of the procedures as a result that were in place at the time of the incident
  4. proposed or actual changes to procedures as a result of the investigation.

The department may conduct a field inspection of the site where the incident occurred.

Reviewed 28 October 2021


Contact details

Our phone service is available Monday to Friday, from 9.00am to 1.00pm or we can be contacted via email. 

Radiation Safety Department of Health GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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