Uni rapped by health body over radiation procedures >.
Byline: Tamlyn Jones Business Correspondent email@example.com
UNIVERSITY of Birmingham has been censured by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over claims that its radiation procedures could expose staff.
The government watchdog issued improvement notices to the institute in April regarding employees working in its "Cyclotron" vault which is operated within the school of physics and astronomy.
The device is used primarily for the production of radio-isotopes for a range of applications such as medical imaging among others.
Four separate improvement notices were issued to the Edgbastonbased university.
The first said that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to employees, which identified the measures to be taken to restrict the exposure to ionising radiation, had not been carried out for work in the Cyclotron vault.
A second said that University of Birmingham had "failed to take all reasonable steps to restrict, so far as is reasonably practicable, the extent to which employees are exposed to ionising radiation".
A further notice issued by the HSE said the university had failed to ensure that all staff engaged in radiation work in the Cyclotron vault had been given appropriate training and information about protection.
Finally, the HSE said the university had not operated in accordance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999.
University of Birmingham complied with the HSE's improvement notices by the watchdog's June deadline.
In a statement, the University of Birmingham said: "The cyclotron facility at the University of Birmingham produces radioactive material which is used for the diagnosis of disease in hospitals around the country.
"It is also used for materials studies and to test detectors being developed for medical and particle physics research.
In April, a visit from the Health and Safety Executive identified a number of areas for improvement in the facilities and procedures.
"These included additional restrictions on the circumstances under which the trained operators can enter the facility.
"These requirements were acted upon in consultation with our advisors, Public Health England, and a subsequent visit by the HSE confirmed full compliance with the notices."
University of Birmingham in Edgbaston