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IAEA-ILO Holds First Asia Pacific Joint Regional Workshop on Worker's Radiation Protection

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Participants learning about Radio-Photoluminescence Glass Dosimeters at the Individual Dosimetry Laboratory in Japan. (Photo: B.Okyar/IAEA)

Experts from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region learned about radiation protection for workers during an October workshop that was the first of its kind jointly organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Every year, around 20 million workers globally are exposed to radiation in the course of their work. Well-educated radiation protection professionals ensure that good practices are followed and that national legal arrangements meet with international requirements. The IAEA and the ILO often hold joint workshops to help countries strengthen their capacity to protect exposed workers.

During the workshop held 2-6 October in Ibaraki, Japan, 39 participants learned about the IAEA General Safety Requirement Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards and safety guidance that shows how it can be implemented to protect workers exposed to radiation. Both the requirement and the guidance documents are co-sponsored by the ILO.

The workshop, supported by the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, featured lectures and visits to sites including Japan’s Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory in Ibaraki.

“I hope that the workshop will be followed by concrete actions to improve and strengthen the protection of workers against all hazards including ionizing radiation at the workplace,” said Akiko Taguchi, Director of the ILO Office in Japan.

 Eileen Beth A. Hernandez, participant from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, said the workshop’s discussions “were essential to enhance occupational radiation protection regulations” in compliance with international standards.

 “Participants enhanced their knowledge on assessment of occupational exposures, workplace controls and the use of personnel protective equipment, as well as worker’s health surveillance,” said Burçin Okyar, a Radiation Safety Specialist at the IAEA who gave some of the course lectures. “This will contribute to their national programmes on controlling, monitoring and recording of occupational exposure.”

The workshop also highlighted IAEA resources such as the Radiation Safety Information Management System  and the Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research as well as the peer review service Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisal . In addition, participants were encouraged to join the Asia Regional ALARA Network, which enables participants to exchange experiences on how to best implement the As Low As Reasonably Achievable principle, which aims to minimize radiation doses.

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