Shielding Requirements and Surveys
Minnesota Department of Health rules have many requirements around construction and use of facilities to keep both operators of x-ray units, and those in surrounding areas, safe. Depending on the type of x-ray unit, these regulations may require that a shielding plan be developed and submitted. After construction and installation, an exposure rate survey must be conducted to determine if shielding is adequate. In some cases, this will require access to surrounding areas, in others, a survey around a self-shielded unit is sufficient. Any changes in the unit that could change radiation output, or alter the shielding of the unit, will require a new survey.
Whenever the addition of radiation producing equipment is planned, it is important to contact the Department of Radiation Safety (DRS) as soon as possible in the process so that all requirements are met. Review the shielding worksheet for a more detailed outline.
In addition to a radiation exposure rate survey, many types of radiation producing equipment are required to have performance evaluation testing prior to use to make sure they are functioning properly. These checks are required either every 12 or 24 months, depending on the type of equipment. They must also be completed if there is a tube replacement, or any other repair that could affect radiation output. These checks must be done before the repaired unit is used for patients. A unit that has been tagged out of use, and is brought into use again, must also have function testing done.