Radiation Safety

Radiation Control Legislation

The Radiation Control Act (1990) and Radiation Control Regulation were introduced to secure the protection of persons and the environment from exposure to ionising and harmful non-ionising radiation to the maximum extent that is reasonably practicable, taking into account social and economic factors and recognising the need for the use of radiation for beneficial purposes; to protect security enhanced sources from misuse that may result in harm to people or the environment; to promote the radiation protection principles including: justification of a practice, optimisation of protection and dose and risk limitation. 

The Radiation Control Regulation was revised in 2013 following amendments of the Radiation Control Act in 2010. The requirements of the new Regulation came into effect on 1st of July 2013.

What should I do in an emergency?

Unintentional release of Radiological Material or Personal Exposure

Any incident involving unintentional exposure to radiation or release of radiological material must be reported to the UNSW Radiation Safety Officer (Ph: 9385 2912) and RECS (radiationsafety@unsw.edu.au) as soon as possible

All serious incidents need to be reported to UNSW Security for immediate action (Ph. 9385 6666).

UNSW Radiation Safety

The University of New South Wales as a major research and teaching establishment in Australia uses a range of ionising and non ionising radiation in Schools throughout its campuses. The University is committed to operating radiation programs in a manner that will continuously improve the ability of researchers and students to advance the knowledge of Science using radiation in a safe and commercially effective manner for the benefit of society and to conform with legislation. We endeavour to minimise any health and safety effects on people by radiation emitting systems at the University. 

The radiation management system covers all activities, staff, students, visitors and contractors within the University of New South Wales campuses and premises and affiliated organisations designated to be the responsibility of the University of New South Wales.


Radiation Safety Committee

Roles and responsibilities

The role of the University's Radiation Safety Committee (UNSW RSC) is to:

  • Assess and monitor the environmental and safety risk management aspects of University activities that involve ionising and non-ionising radiation
  • Advise senior management on identified radiation hazards and proposed risk control measures.

Matters that Require UNSW RSC Approval 

  • Registration of Unsealed laboratory, radiation apparatus or sealed source devices
  • Registration of laser laboratory and lasers (Class 3B or 4)
  • Projects (research and teaching) that involve radioactive isotopes
  • Proposed variation of a current project or facility registration
  • Incident reports relating to actual or potential risk to people or the environment from radiation, such as unintentional exposure to radiation

Committee terms of reference can be found here.


UNSW RSC 2016 Meeting Dates

Email an electronic Word version of the application, with the signature page scanned to the RSC support officer, 2 weeks prior to RSC meeting dates.

Meeting no. Deadline to submit application for RSC approval Meeting date

                        28th January

11th February

                        31st March

14th April

                       26th May

9th June

                         28th July

11th August

                         29th September

13th October

                         24th November

8th December

RSC Application templates 

  • If you're working with unsealed radioactive isotopes, ionising radiation apparatus (i.e: XRD, XRF, bone mineral densitometer), sealed source device (i.e: density & moisture gauges), you must:
  1. Register the unsealed lab/ apparatus/ device by submitting an application to the RSC
  2. For work with unsealed radioactive isotopes, you must also submit a project approval application to the RSC
  • If you're working with lasers (Class 3B or 4), you must:
  1. Register the laboratory by submitting an application to the RSC and
  2. Register the lasers by submitting an application to the RSC

RSC Procedures & Guidelines

  • Ionising Radiation Procedure (HS601)
  • Non-ionising Radiation Procedure (HS711)
  • Laser Safety Guidelines (HS712)
  • Laser Pointer Guidelines (HS433)


It is a prerequisite for staff and students working with ionising radiation to receive Ionising Radiation training prior to starting work. 

Click here for information on Ionising Radiation Safety training at UNSW.


Contact Details

 All correspondence must be directed to the UNSW RSC Support Officer, Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS) unit, UNSW.

Name Position Phone / Email
Lan Le RSC Support Officer T: +61 2 938 57244
E: radiationsafety@unsw.edu.au

Complaints and Grievances

Complaints about the conduct of research by UNSW Australia staff and students should be directed to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Les Field.  The contact details for Professor Field are Phone 02 9385 2700, Fax 02 9385 8008 and Email research.integrity@unsw.edu.au.

Grievances about ethics review and processes by UNSW Australia staff and students should be addressed to the Director Research Ethics & Compliance Support, Dr Ted Rohr. The contact details for Dr Rohr are Phone 02 9385 4235, Fax 02 9385 7238 and Email ted.rohr@unsw.edu.au.