Occupational exposure to
ionizing radiation can occur in a range of industries, mining and
milling; medical institutions, educational and research establishments
and nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The term 'occupational exposure'
refers to the radiation exposure incurred by a worker, which is attributable
to the worker's occupation and committed during a period of work.
According to the latest
(2000) Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects
of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), an estimated 11 million workers are
monitored for exposure to ionizing radiation. They incur radiation
doses attributable to their occupation, which range from a small fraction
of the global average background exposure to natural radiation up
to several times that value. It should be noted that the UNSCEAR 2000
Report describes a downward trend in the exposure of several groups
of workers, but it also indicates that occupational exposure is affecting
an increasingly large group of people worldwide.
The International Basic
Safety Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for
the Safety of Radiation Sources (BSS), which are co-sponsored by,
inter alia, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International
Labour Organization (ILO), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and
the World Health Organization (WHO), establish a system of radiation
protection which includes radiation dose limits for occupational exposure.
Guidance supporting the requirements of the BSS for occupational protection
is provided in three interrelated Safety Guides, jointly sponsored
by the IAEA and the ILO. These Guides describe, for example, the implications
for employers in discharging their main responsibilities (such as
setting up appropriate radiation protection programmes) and similarly
for workers (such as properly using the radiation monitoring devices
provided to them).
It should be noted, however,
that radiation protection is only one factor that must be addressed
in order to protect the worker's overall health and safety. The radiation
protection programme should be established and managed in co-ordination
with other health and safety disciplines, such as industrial hygiene,
industrial safety and fire safety.
Less than half of the occupationally
exposed workers are exposed to artificial radiation sources. The remainder
are exposed to elevated levels of natural radionuclides. Notably,
this latter group receives a higher average annual dose than those
workers exposed to artificial sources. The principal natural sources
of radiation exposure, other than the mining and processing of uranium
ores, are radon in buildings; non-uranium or thorium ores that contain
significant traces of natural radionuclides, other underground workplaces
and cosmic rays at aircraft altitudes. Some of these exposures are
amenable to control but others are not. The BSS provide for the exclusion
of those exposures, the magnitude or likelihood of which is essentially
unamenable to control.
- THE CONFERENCE AND ITS
The IAEA is organizing
its first International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection.
The objective of the Conference is to foster the exchange of information
on current issues related to the exposure of workers to ionizing radiation
in the course of their work and to formulate recommendations, as appropriate,
regarding measures to strengthen international co-operation in occupational
radiation protection. The Conference will address the issue of establishing
occupational radiation protection standards and providing for their
application. It will focus on a number of specific problems, inter
alia, the complex issue of controlling occupational exposure to natural
sources of radiation.
The Conference is aimed at: governmental officials involved in occupational
radiation protection matters including representatives of regulatory
authorities; workers and employers involved in the use of radiation
sources and in the operation of installations containing or handling
radioactive materials; radiation protection experts, researchers and
persons responsible for occupational monitoring services; and manufacturers
of radiation emitting apparatus and other radiation sources. Representatives
of workers' and employers' organizations as well as other interested
parties would also find this conference of interest.
- PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
The opening session will
include welcoming addresses by representatives of the host Government,
opening addresses by the IAEA and the ILO, statements by the other
co-sponsoring and co-operating organizations, and a keynote address
by the President of the Conference.
A background session will
give the scientific and organizational background with regard to occupational
radiation protection. This will be in the form of keynote presentations,
including presentations by representatives of UNSCEAR, the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International Commission
on Radiological Measurements and Units (ICRU), the ILO, the IAEA and
EC. There will also be special presentations from the IAEA/NEA Information
System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) and from the International
Committee on High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas.
This will be followed by
a briefing session on Stakeholders involvement where representatives
for workers, employers, regulators and radiation protection professionals
give their views on the present status and problems to be solved with
regard to occupational exposure.
A series of topical sessions
will cover selected topics relating to occupational radiation protection.
Each topical session will be addressed by one or more keynote speaker(s),
introducing the topic, and the relevant contributed papers will be
summarized by a Rapporteur. The presentations will be followed by
a general discussion.
Posters of some of the
contributed papers will be available for viewing and discussion.
A series of round table
sessions will address controversial issues and seek recommendations
for possible future actions.
Topical and round table
session summaries for each day will be presented in the following
morning by the Chairpersons.
The Conference will end
with a concluding session at which the summaries of all topical and
round table sessions will be condensed and presented by the President
of the Conference as the Conference findings, conclusions and recommendations.
- TOPICAL SESSIONS
The topical sessions will
Radiation risks in the workplace in perspective: radiation in comparison
with other hazards; protection criteria and regulatory systems;
trends and implications in the overall context of occupational health
- TS2 Infrastructure
development: regulatory framework; safety culture; quality management;
education and training; human resources; regulatory effectiveness
(authorization, inspection and enforcement); approval/accreditation
of dosimetry services; authorization/recognition of qualified experts.
- TS3 Status of
operational implementation of Basic Safety Standards: Country experiences
with: responsibilities; alternative employment; conditions for young
persons; classification of areas; local rules and supervision; personal
protective equipment; co-operation between employers, registrants
and licensees; conditions of service; special compensatory arrangements;
female workers; contractors; special circumstances (doses above
limits); potential exposures; optimization of protection; health
- TS4 Monitoring
of occupational radiation exposures: individual monitoring and exposure
assessments for external and internal exposures; monitoring of the
workplace; monitoring techniques; biological dosimetry; recording
and reporting procedures; intercomparison programmes.
- TS5 Occupational
radiation protection in medicine: diagnostic radiology; interventional
radiology; nuclear medicine and radiotherapy practices; biomedical
research; dental and veterinary applications; exposures during waste
management; lessons learned from accidents involving exposure of
- TS6 Occupational
radiation protection in workplaces involving exposure to natural
radiation: mining and milling; processing of mineral sands; workplaces
with potentially high radon levels; oil and natural gas; hazards
for air crew and frequent flyers.
- TS7 Occupational
radiation protection in industrial and research facilities: non-destructive
testing; irradiation facilities for sterilization and polymerization;
accelerators; use of gauges; tracers; well logging; other uses of
sealed and unsealed sources; handling of disused sources; lessons
learned from accidents involving exposure of workers.
- TS8 Occupational
radiation protection in nuclear facilities: nuclear power plants;
research reactors; nuclear fuel fabrication plants; nuclear fuel
reprocessing plants; radioactive waste management facilities; facilities
under decommissioning; lessons learned from accidents involving
exposure of workers.
- TS9 Probability
of causation of occupational harm attributable to radiation exposure:
dose reconstruction techniques; compensation schemes; results of
epidemiological studies on workers.
- ROUND TABLE SESSIONS
Round table sessions will
address the following questions:
- RT 1
Is the co-operation between regulators, employers and workers achieving
optimum occupational radiation protection? (To follow on from "Stakeholder"
- RT2 Has the continued
improvement in radiation protection standards gone far enough in
comparison with standards for other hazards? What should be the
level of ambition? (to follow on from Topical Session 1).
- RT3 Can control
of occupational exposure to natural radiation be made compatible
with controls of occupational exposure to artificial radiation?
(to follow on from Topical Session 6).
- RT4 What are
the main problems in operational implementation of radiation protection
standards? Consideration will be given to special compensation arrangements;
female employees; split responsibilities between employers and licensees;
different national regulations but free movement of workers (including
contractors); values of
in optimization (to follow Topical Sessions 3,5,7 and 8).
- RT5 Is there
a need for a major change in ICRP recommendations involving occupational
exposure? Evolution or revolution? The role and utility of dose
limits, collective dose and ALARA.
- CONTRIBUTED PAPERS AND
Concise papers on issues
falling within the scope of the Topical Sessions (see Section 5 above)
may be submitted as contributions to the Conference. These papers
will not be presented orally, but will be summarized by a Rapporteur
(as indicated in Section 4 above) and included in a Compendium of
Contributed Papers to be distributed free of charge to all participants
upon registration. Questions relating to the contributed papers can
be put at an appropriate topical session. Authors of contributed papers
may, if they so wish, present the substance of their papers in the
form of Posters, which will be exhibited in a Poster Area. It is expected
that a least one author of each Contributed paper will attend the
Conference. Guidelines for the preparation and submission of contributed
papers and posters are given in the Appendix.
(See Section 9 for Form for Submission of
a Contributed Paper).
The deadline for the receipt
of contributed papers is 1 February 2002. Papers submitted after the
deadline cannot be considered.
- PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE
The Proceedings of the
Conference, to be published by the IAEA, will contain the welcoming
addresses, the opening address by the President of the Conference,
the keynote presentations, the Rapporteurs' reports, the Chairpersons'
summaries, the Conference conclusions presented by the President of
the Conference, and the records of the discussions. It will include
a CD containing the Contributed papers. The Proceedings can be ordered,
at a discounted price, during the Conference.
- PARTICIPATION AND SUBMISSION
For participation in the
meeting the Participation Form must
be completed and sent to one of the competent official authorities
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health or the national atomic
For contributed papers
the Form for Submission of a Contributed
Paper must be completed and sent along with the contributed paper
itself to one of the competent official authorities listed above.
Additionally, Conference papers may be sent directly to [email protected]
For participants wishing
to receive financial assistance for travel to the conference (see
Section 11), the Grant Application Form
must be completed and sent to one of the competent official authorities
The deadline for receipt
by the IAEA through official channels of all applicable forms is 1
should be sent to the Scientific Secretary of the Conference when
they concern technical matters and to the Conference Organizer when
they concern administrative matters (see Section 16 for addresses,
- VENUE, DATES AND WORKING
The Conference will take
place at the Headquarters of the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, from
26 to 30 August 2002. The Opening Session will start at 09:30 hours
on Monday, 26 August 2002.
The working language of
the Conference will be English.
There is no registration
fee for participation in the Conference.
The costs of organizing
the Conference will be borne by the sponsoring Organizations and the
As a general rule, the
IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance, i.e. travel and living expenses,
of participants. However, limited funds are available to help meet
the cost of attendance of qualified specialists mainly from Member
States eligible to receive technical assistance under the IAEA's Technical
Co-operation Programme. Generally, not more than one grant will be
awarded to any one country.
If governments wish to
apply for a grant on behalf of one of their specialists, they should
address specific requests to the International Atomic Energy Agency
to this effect. Governments should ensure that applications for grants:
- be submitted by 1 February 2002.
- be accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant
Applications which do not
comply with the conditions mentioned under (a) and (b) cannot be considered.
The grants awarded will
be in the form of lump sums usually covering only part of the cost
Information on accommodation,
together with general information, will be sent to all officially
designated participants approximately three months prior to the Conference.
Participants who require
a visa in order to enter Switzerland should submit the necessary application
to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Switzerland
as soon as possible.
- KEY DATES
Deadline for receipt of
participation form: 1 February 2002
Deadline for submission of contributed papers: 1 February 2002
Deadline for application for grants (if applicable): 1 February 2002
- CONFERENCE BODIES
The Conference is supported
by the following three bodies:
- A Conference Secretariat
- A Programme Committee
- An Organizing Committee
- CONTACT PERSONS IN THE
-- Conference Organizer, IAEA
Ms. Evelyne Janisch
Division of Conference and Document Services
Conference Service Section
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 100, Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria, Europe
Telephone No.: +43-1-2600-21312
Telefax No.: +43 1-26007
Email: [email protected]
Technical matters and
paper submission -- Scientific Secretaries, IAEA
Ms. Monica Gustafsson
Mr. Khammar Mrabit
Division of Radiation and Waste Safety
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Telephone: +43-1-2600-22725 or -22722
Telefax No.: +43-1-26007
Email: [email protected],
Email address for paper
submission: [email protected]
- CONFERENCE WEBPAGE
The Conference Webpage