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For more information please get in touch with ARPANSA

  • Phone Number+61 3 9433 2211 or 1800 678 112 (Freecall)
  • Fax Number
  • email PRMS

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about personal radiation monitoring results.

Answers to queries about personal radiation monitoring results below appear below. If you haven't found the answer you're looking for, or you need further clarification, please submit an enquiry to PRMS. To submit your query, follow the instructions at Submit a dose or dose report query.

The Personal Radiation Monitoring Service (PRMS) is unable to provide advice on actions to prevent or minimise any doses received. If you have questions about the regulations that apply to you or you suspect your dose is above dose limits or dose constraint please contact your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or Work Health and Safety (WHS) representative. RSOs and WHS representatives are familiar with your workplace environment. If you have any further enquiries about your personal radiation results and regulatory requirements please have your RSO or WHS representative contact your regulatory authority on your behalf for advice. For more information please see Who Needs to be Monitored?

Frequently Asked Questions

Controls

FAQ1

Our control monitor is stored in the console room yet the dose report suggests it is being exposed. Can you explain why?

This will be correct as the console room appears to be an area of elevated background radiation. Relocate storage of the Control monitor to a new location where background radiation is low. (see FAQ2 and FAQ3)

PRMS cannot tell you exactly where to store your monitors as we are unfamiliar with your workplace. We recommend it is stored in an area of low background radiation, away from any potential radiation source or irradiating apparatus.

For details about Controls please see Guidance on the use of Controls (PDF 88 kb).

Dose(s) and dose reporting

FAQ2

An unworn monitor received a dose during the wearing period. Why is this?

This may be related to how you store your Control monitor and employee monitors when not being worn. All employee monitors should be stored with the control monitor in an area with low background radiation, away from any potential radiation source, when they are not being worn.

If the unworn monitors were stored with the Control monitor there may be a comment on your dose report indicating that the Control monitor was possibly exposed. If the unworn monitors were not stored with the Control monitor they may be stored in an area of elevated background radiation. Please relocate the storage of the monitors (when not in use) to a location where background radiation is lower.

Our PRMS cannot specify exactly where to store your monitors as we are unfamiliar with your workplace. We recommend the monitors be stored in an area of low background radiation away from any potential radiation source or irradiating apparatus.

For details about Controls please see Guidance on the use of Controls (PDF 88 kb).

FAQ3

A wearer received a zero dose on this report, but the dose for the last 12 months is not zero. Can you explain why?

Dose Last 12 Months’ on your dose report is a rolling total dose. It is the sum of all reported doses a wearer has received in the past 12 months from all centres prior to and including the Report Date of the current report. Please review all reports up to 12 months prior to the report date of the report in question.

FAQ4

The reported dose of the last 12 months on the current dose report is less than the dose of the last 12 months on the previous report. Can you explain why?

See FAQ3.

FAQ5

A wearer's reports over the last 12 months show zero dose, however their dose for the last 12 months is not zero. Can you explain why?

If the wearer is registered at more than one centre their last 12 month dose will appear on your report. If the registered wearer has received a dose at another centre the dose will be added to the column ‘Dose Last 12 Months’. This is a total cumulative dose the wearer has received from all working centres.

FAQ6

I received an unusual dose. Do I need to service my X-ray machine?

We are unable to comment on the performance of your equipment. Please refer to the equipment’s supplier/manufacturer for recommended servicing, calibration and maintenance.

FAQ7

The doses reported at one centre appear to be lower (or measure zero) than others doing the same work at another centre. Can you explain why?

See FAQ3. Alternatively, the wearers at the centre receiving the elevated doses may be receiving an elevated dose..

FAQ8

How long does it take to produce my dose report?

Reports are produced within 15 business day of PRMS receiving your dosimeters.

FAQ9

My dose result for the current report is different to the last report. Why is this?

If your dose varies from report to report, it is because you may be receiving more or less radiation than in the previous monitoring period. This may be due to variations in your workload and variations in the length of the actual wearing period.

FAQ10

I last received our centre’s annual cumulative dose report in July, but haven't received one since. When should I expect my next cumulative dose report?

Annual cumulative dose reports for centres are issued late July/early August each year. They report the cumulative dose over the past financial year.

FAQ11

Why is my name/an employee’s name not on the dose report?

Only monitors that are returned are printed on the dose report. If a name is absent from the dose report, their monitor has not been returned to PRMS at the end of the wearing period with its control group.

FAQ12

I have a dose report with a salmon coloured line. What does this mean? Is this a warning?

This is not a warning. The dose reports’ lines alternate colours from white to salmon for ease of reading.

FAQ13

The dose report says that the office employees are getting a dose yet the radiation workers are not getting a dose. Why?

See FAQ2 and FAQ3.

FAQ14

My dosimeter reported a zero dose (or “- -“). How do you know it is working?

We have stringent processes and procedures in place to make sure the doses reported to you are true and accurate. As part of our NATA accreditation we are able to demonstrate traceability and documentation of all our equipment to ensure we are continually operating to specifications. We do this by conducting daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly quality assurance and quality control measurements. We also ensure all our equipment is well maintained and calibrated.

If you repeatedly record a dose of zero (or “- -“) it does not mean you did not receive a dose. The dose you received was below our minimum reportable dose (MRD). Please refer to our Scope of Service for our MRDs.

Dosimetry quantities

FAQ15

What is the difference between Hp(10) and Hp(0.07)?
What is the difference between equivalent dose and effective dose?
What is deep dose and superficial dose or skin dose?

Personal dose equivalent Hp(10), also known as the penetrating or tissue dose, is an operational quantity 10 mm below the skin surface which is an estimate of effective dose and is used to compare with the occupational dose limit to the torso.

Personal dose equivalent Hp(0.07), also known as superficial or skin dose, is an operational quantity which measures the dose to the skin surface. This may comprise of components of photon and beta radiation able to penetrate the thin window (circular depression on the monitor).

For further information please refer to units of ionising radiation measurement.
OSL

FAQ16

I previously used the TLD monitor and typically received no reported dose. My new OSL monitor suggests that I am now receiving a dose. Why has this changed?

or

I previously used the TLD monitor and typically received a reported dose greater than zero. My new OSL monitor report suggests that I now receive no reported dose. Why has this changed?

With the change of technology from the TLD monitor to the OSL monitor there may be a slight change in sensitivity which may impact on reported doses close to natural background dose levels. Whilst you may see a different dose reported the change is insignificant in terms of dose received.

Submit a dose or dose report query

If you have any questions that are not answered by the FAQs above, please send a detailed explanation of your query to PRMS@arpansa.gov.au. Contact by email is preferred.

If you prefer to contact us by phone (03 9433 2211 or Freecall 1800 678 112), please leave a brief message providing the information below and your call will be returned as soon as possible. Our scientific and technical advisors are unavailable for immediate consultation.

Subject line information required:

Centre Number - XXXX Query Subject

Please include the following information in the body of your email:

  • Your name
  • Centre number
  • Report number(s)
  • Report date(s)
  • Wear(s) name(s) and number(s) in question
  • Monitor number(s) in question
  • Nature of your query
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